Travel Insurance Car Hire Excess

Compare your options with Savvy to access the cover you need when renting a car on holiday.

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, updated on September 4th, 2023       

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Hiring a car on your domestic or international holiday can make things much simpler when it comes to getting from A to B in a foreign city and helps you avoid confusing public transport. However, getting in an accident could leave you with a bill worth thousands of dollars, so you can take out travel insurance with hire car excess cover to protect you.

Savvy is partnered with some of Australia’s leading insurers to help you compare some of the top policies available right now with cover for any hire car excess you’re charged. You can compare your options and start the quote process with us today to help you find the best travel insurance for car hire excess cover.

Does travel insurance provide car hire excess cover?

Yes – when you take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy, you’ll almost always be able to access cover for a hire car excess on your domestic or international holiday. This will either come as part of the main coverage offered by the policy or as an optional extra which you’ll have to pay an additional premium to have this included under your policy. It’s important to compare policies between providers to help you find one which won’t cost you too much to add to your travel insurance.

Rental car excess cover in Australia will usually come with an automatic maximum claim limit of around $5,000, but this may reach up to $8,000 or more in some cases. It’s worth looking at the type of car you’re looking to hire at your holiday destination and checking with the company how much the excess will cost if you’re required to pay it. This will help you ensure you have adequate coverage in the event you need to make a claim.

What is and isn’t covered by hire car excess travel insurance?

In terms of what hire car excess insurance covers under your policy, you can claim for the following incidents:

  1. Your car is damaged in an accident which is your fault
  2. Your car is damaged in an accident which you’re at fault for
  3. Your car is stolen whilst you’re renting it
  4. You’re deemed unfit to return your rental car and are charged a fee for the company to do so themselves

However, it’s also crucial to know what isn’t covered by your policy so you can avoid any rude surprises when you go to make a claim. Some of the incidents in which your rental car excess won’t be covered by your travel insurance include:

  1. You broke local laws when the accident took place
  2. You were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  3. You were driving without the required licence
  4. You break your rental agreement with your car hire company
  5. Your car is stolen after being left unlocked
  6. A driver not listed on your rental agreement is involved in the claim
  7. The damage sustained was on an unsealed road and not cement or tarmac
  8. You failed to take out vehicle insurance or a damage waiver with your car hire company

It’s important to note that while personal liability cover is offered by travel insurance up to $5 million in most cases, this generally won’t cover you if you’re involved in a road accident. The required vehicle insurance in the country to which you’re travelling should be arranged by your car hire company.

How else should I compare travel insurance with hire car excess cover?

There are many other ways you can go about comparing travel insurance policies beyond hire car excess cover. While it’s important to access cover in that area if you’re planning to rent a vehicle on your travels, you should also consider a range of factors before coming to your final decision on which is the best travel insurance policy for your needs. These factors include:

  1. Inclusions and exclusions: always make sure you’re taking out sufficient cover before buying your policy. While comprehensive policies will generally cover medical and cancellation costs, personal liability, lost or damaged personal effects and other costs relating to trip delays and resumption, it’s worth reading the PDS to find out what travel insurance covers and what it doesn’t.
  2. Cost of premium: you should avoid paying more than necessary for your travel insurance policy, so comparing travel insurance quotes will help you choose one with suitable coverage at the right price.
  3. Claim limits: the maximum you can claim for particular events will vary between insurers, so it’s crucial to compare this factor so you aren’t caught short. For example, while some policies only offer $5,000 worth of personal effects cover, others offer up to $15,000.
  4. Age limits: if you’re a senior traveller looking for insurance, make sure the insurers you’re comparing can offer you a policy. Age limits for policies and specific coverage start as early as 65 to 70 years old, but many insurers can offer coverage to those aged 100 or older.
  5. Optional extras: if you’re looking to go on some adventures while away from home, such as skiing cover, make sure they can be covered by your insurance. Most providers will offer specific adventure activity coverage either as part of their main cover or an optional extra. Other extras can include things like cruise cover (although this can also form part of the main policy).

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Common questions about car hire excess cover on travel insurance

What types of vehicles will car hire excess cover?

Generally, the types of vehicles which can be covered include the following:

  • Standard car model (such as hatchback or sedan)
  • Four-wheel drives
  • People mover
  • Minibus
  • Campervan (often under 4.5 tonnes)


Motorcycles, mopeds and scooters don’t qualify under this type of coverage.

What’s the difference between my car hire excess and my travel insurance excess?

Your travel insurance excess is the amount you pay out of pocket to your insurer when making a claim under your policy, while your car hire excess is the amount you pay your car rental company if your vehicle is damaged or stolen. As such, you’ll likely have to pay an excess (typically around $200) to cover your car hire excess. For example, if your car hire excess was $1,500 during your trip to Cambodia, you would pay your insurer an excess of $200 and they would cover the remaining $1,300.

Should I take out specific hire car excess insurance instead?

This is an option you may take in certain situations, such as if you were journeying away from home with a basic travel insurance policy but still wanted car hire cover. However, it’s generally cheaper and more convenient to simply bundle this cover into your travel insurance policy, plus there may be more exclusions on a rental company’s insurance (such as windscreen and roof damage).

Can I still take out car hire excess cover if I’m travelling in my home state?

Yes – however, there may be limits placed on how far away from home you must be to qualify for excess cover. In most cases, you’ll need to be at least 50km away from home before you can access cover, but this may be set as high as 250km to 500km, so bear that in mind when renting your vehicle.

What is a hire car excess reduction?

An excess reduction is another product purchased directly from your car hire company which, as the name suggests, reduces the excess on your vehicle in exchange for an increased rental rate. If you want to avoid forking out a substantial amount for your excess, this may be an option for you on top of your travel insurance policy.

Am I able to increase my car hire excess cover on my travel insurance policy?

Yes – if you’re renting a particularly valuable car on your trip to Las Vegas, you may wish to extend your coverage beyond the standard $5,000. Many companies, including some of Savvy’s partnered insurers, can enable you to pay an added premium to increase the value of your excess cover. This can generally give you access to up to $8,000 to $10,000 worth of cover.

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We do not compare all travel insurance brands currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and does not consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

Savvy earns a commission from our partners each time a customer buys a travel insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via their websites.

Before purchasing your policy, we recommend you refer to the provider’s PDS for any further information on the terms, inclusions and exclusions.