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Insurance Question on Car Rental in UK

We will be renting a car for a couple of days just to drive around the Cotswolds, Oxford, etc. I have tried to understand what I will be required to have on the rental, but am not sure. My Visa will cover the CDW so I should not get it through the rental agency, is that right? But do I need to purchase some kind of medical liability insurance through the rental agency in case I am in an accident with injuries to myself or others? I know my U.S. auto insurance does not cover anything in the U.K. Thank you for any suggestions for the car rental.

Posted by
661 posts

The NHS will fix any needs you have for free, so no worries there. They might try and send someone a bill later, but not always, and I gather very few people pay it anyway. They fix you first and ask questions later. Good old NHS.

Posted by
5380 posts

These days if you have a debt remaining of over £1000 unpaid to the NHS you will be refused entry until it is paid off. Providing all the procedures have been carried out.

Rentals made directly in the UK usually include CDW as virtually no one has any kind of default insurance cover from cards or their own motor policy. It may be possible to get a non inclusive rate from outside, but it may not be much if any cheaper.

Posted by
9 posts

Yesterday I spoke with the benefits people at Chase Sapphire Preferred, regarding coverage. The agent was very helpful, but her answers to a couple of questions have me scratching my head; I will call back and try to get another agent.

First, she is sending a "Letter of Coverage" which I can show the rental company (Hertz) if they ask.

We must decline ALL of their CDW / LDW including the coverage included in their base quote. (This is where the rental company may fuss, and put a hold on the credit card for a significant chunk of money).The primary driver must be the person whose name is on the card. Damages must be reported to card services within 31 days.

She stressed that they only cover the car we are renting from theft and damage. Nothing else is covered:

  1. If someone smashes a window and steals a suitcase, the window is covered but the suitcase is not. Fair enough.
  2. If we damage another car (a fender bender) then damage to the other car is not covered. I want to call back and confirm this with another agent, as it seems pecular.
  3. If we injure someone else -- say we hit a pedestrian -- injuries to that person are not covered.
  4. If we, say, hit someone's sheep, then injuries to the sheep are not covered.

When I asked about situation 3 in particular, she said (vaguely) that we'd need to buy other insurance from the rental company for that. As I said, I am going to call again today and talk to another agent.

I shall report back.

Posted by
3621 posts

Good for you for making the effort to investigate all the ins and outs of the car insurance. It's much more complicated than one might think. I have my Chase "Guide to Travel Benefits" in front of me. It clearly states that personal liability is excluded. That would apply to some of the situations, e.g., hitting and killing a sheep (not so far-fetched in rural UK), that the poster above mentioned. Loss or theft of personal belongings is also excluded. That, however, is something that might be covered by your homeowners' insurance. Check with your agent.
When using your cc coverage, it's clearly stated that you must decline any optional insurance offered. However, that does not apply to countries where liability coverage is required by law and is included in the rental price, e.g., Italy.
Don't think that you're home free just by accepting the insurance offered by the rental company. I was rather appalled to find that the insurance offered by some of them has a deductible of 1000 euros. Also, many specifically exclude damage to tires and windows. I would certainly investigate whether my cc coverage includes that, even as secondary insurance.
Finally, be sure you understand and adhere to any requirements any insurance coverage has, in the event you do need to make a claim.