Zero Excess Rental Car Insurance
When "Zero" doesn't mean ZERO.
In deciding to introduce a Zero Insurance Excess in response to requests from customers, we fully investigated the Gold Coast market. Of the 52 rental websites (other than ours) that we found, 17 purported to offer a Zero insurance excess – of these, 3 were the same company under different names.
10 of the rental companies provided enough information to enable us to determine the credibility of their Zero excess claims, but only one maintained its “Zero Excess” rating after proper analysis of their contractual terms and conditions. That company was Hertz.
The other 9 of those companies all have some form of exclusion from cover which would be unlikely to be expected by a potential customer.
Seven of these exclude “Accessories” from cover – including keys and/or remotes which can add up to more than $1,000 for a full re-keying of a car. We believe these items should be expected to be covered within any motor insurance arrangement.
One company excludes Hail Damage (often costing between $10,000 and $20,000) as well as Accessories, Of course, this is covered almost universally in motor insurance policies.
One has a $5,000 excess on Overhead Damage and Roll Overs and imposes full liability on the renter for any retrieval costs. Getting a vehicle out of a gully or river can be very costly indeed and is normally covered within insurance arrangements.
Another company excludes Tyres, Keys, Reversing Damage, Overhead and Underbody Damage, irrespective of cause. Re-keying a car can cost more than $1,000 and we believe that so long as the vehicle is being driven responsibly, all of these exclusions should be covered.
Yet another company cancels the zero excess if the renter incurs a police fine in relation to the incident, reverting the renter’s liability to $3,000. If the fine is minor, you should have the cover that you paid for!
Finally, there is one company that imposes a mandatory $60.50 accident administration fee, so, even though it isn’t much money, it is not really “zero”, is it? This same company excludes 3rd party damage, theft, and windscreen & tyre damage at standard or intermediate excess levels.
Five companies offer a blame-free roadside assistance service (out of fuel, lights left on etc.), but three of them exclude key extraction from locked vehicles from this service.
Apart from us, only one other company offers emergency overnight accommodation costs – their allowance is $150, whereas ours is $200.
Then there are the 7 companies which fail to provide sufficient information on their websites to enable any evaluation of the integrity of their claim to have a zero excess.
Without a full copy of their rental contract, one cannot know what hidden perils are contained in it. Given that 9 out of the 10 who did bother to provide full information failed our scrutiny, we have no confidence to expect any of these 7 to be any better.
So, there’s only us and Hertz who provide a Zero excess that is actually ZERO.
Hertz claims to have two Zero Excess packages MAX and SuperCover. MAX fails our scrutiny because Hertz (as of 11 July 2018) exclude towing costs (which incidentally is also excluded from their standard excess). SuperCover passes our tests and costs $46.00 per day, including a Premium (blame-free) 24hr roadside service, but not any emergency overnight accommodation.
The cost of the Hertz SuperCover for a week is $322.00 and it is capped at $460 per 30 days. Our pricing is a sliding scale, starting at $22 for the 1st day; $67.00 for a week and $136.50 for 30 days.
You can see the full list of these companies here.
Remember, the easiest way to avoid being stung with having to pay for damage that you didn't cause is to have a true Zero insurance excess facility.
Posted By darryl on 16th July 2018
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