Car rental excess covered by travel insurance

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by kyle, Apr 24, 2006.

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  1. kyle

    kyle Active Member

    Mar 8, 2006
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    I've emailed QBE, but have yet to receive a response. Maybe someone who's familiar with travel insurance can help me here.

    Under the car rental excess section of the travel policy, it reads, "we will pay you for the rental vehicle insurance excess, or the cost of repairing the vehicle, whichever is lower, if you rent a vehicle from a rental company and it is involved in an accident and you are the driver or it is stolen during the trip."

    Now here are my questions:

    1. What is the definition of 'accident'?
    2. Does it matter who or what caused the accident?
    3. Say if a bird crashes into the windscreen of the car and causes damage, is this covered?

    Thanks.
     

  2. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I had the same dilemma a few months back. Have you tried reading through the Rental Vehicle Insurance Excess thread as it may answer some of your questions.

    When I rang the insurance company they were being very vague, as they don't like to give too much tricks of the trade away, but you are covered for most events unless it was gross negligence on your part or you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    So accidents can be things like you pranging the car, someone else pranging the car while you weren't watching or a bird crashing into the windscreen.
     
  3. kyle

    kyle Active Member

    Mar 8, 2006
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    Thanks JohnK. I've looked at that thread, but it's more focussed on paying the excess.

    The reason why I'm asking is because I'm considering switching to the Westpac Altitude Platinum which covers the rental car excess. In the policy wording, it covers for loss or damage caused to the car. It does not use the word 'accident' as in the QBE policy. I am considering the Amex Platinum CC too at $295 (discounted) also, but the insurance does not cover rental cars.

    I currently take out a QBE policy each time I travel.
     
  4. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
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    :idea: Do you travel enough or have you thought of buying an annual policy :?:

    This is often a better deal and certainly worth a look.
     
  5. justme

    justme Newbie

    Apr 1, 2006
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    Not sure if this might help.....

    If it's not defined within the policy definitions, if there were to be any dispute a dictionary definition would be applied by IOS (Insurance Ombudsman Service). Their determinations are available on their website to show it is common practice to use a popular dictionary, such as Macquarie Dictionary, to make interpretations if the insurance company has declined a claim based on policy wording that is poorly defined.

    Different policies do word their clause slightly differently - some do imply that you need to be driving the car at the time of the accident (eg if it is vandalised whilst parked in a carpark, it may not be covered). I can't see any such wording in the QBE policy to suggest that this would be the case though. The only other clauses you might need to consider might be objection from the insurance company in paying a claim are claims arising when under the influence of drugs/alcohol, and the general exclusion on illegal activities (eg if you run a red light and hit another car and end up being charged by police for the event).
     
  6. kyle

    kyle Active Member

    Mar 8, 2006
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    I don't travel often enough to justify an annual policy.

    I'm not that concerned about illegal activities which might stop the payment of a claim. But rather, things which might be constitute an accident as per the QBE policy.

    My dictionary defines accident as an event happening by chance. Then I guess a bird flying into the windscreen would count as an accident.

    I'm trying to weigh up the benefits of the Altitude Platinum which covers the excess to $5000!
     
  7. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    No, you will find that I asked a few questions about what is covered. Are you travelling overseas or domestic? If you are travelling in the US I have no idea but this was also covered by other users. I am only interested in the domestic side of it.

    My dilemma was does this comprehensive travel insurance policy cover rental vehicle insurance excess if you don't take out the excess reduction offered by rental company? I haven't been able to find anywhere a clause to the contrary. Am I interpreting it in the right way?

    The quote is only $25.00 for 5 days within Australia (Plan B).

    I found it in the Travel Insurance Benefits section of their website.

    When you hire a car that car has rental vehicle insurance but the excess is very high e.g $2,750 or $3,000. You have the option to reduce this excess down to around $450 by paying between $20-$35 per day to car rental company.

    So if you don't violate your rental agreement (under the influence, negligent driving etc) and you have an accident the rental vehicle insurance covers the damage but you pay the excess, whatever that is. So theoretically damage can be $10,000 you only pay the excess, same as your own comprehensive motor vehicle insurance.

    Now I can choose to waive the high cost charged by car rental companies to reduce excess and take out additional insurance to cover the rental insurance excess. Some policies are for $3,000 others for $4,000 etc. With online travel insurance it is $3,000 and you can also purchase an additional $2,000 in lots of of $500 at $25 for each $500.

    Now by paying this premium to cover the excess I am covered for the conditions mentioned previously, ie. if rental car is stolen, crashed, damaged or I can't drive because I am sick. Assume rental car is stolen, so car rental company asks me for $2,750 excess (I did not pay daily excess reduction) and I pay them and then I put in a claim to the travel insurance to cover the excess money I just paid the car rental company.

    The person I spoke to on the phone explained all in detail and told me that I do not need to take out the daily excess waiver offered by car rental companies in order to by covered by this policy for excess. In fact this is the whole idea of this policy. You need to be aware that you will not be covered if you are negligent or under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

    For me I only travel 2-3 per year at most in Australia where I would hire a car and the $25 travel insurance per trip is sufficient to cover these things. I have never needed to hire a car overseas and to be honest do not have the desire to do so anytime soon.
     
  8. justme

    justme Newbie

    Apr 1, 2006
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    You don't need to take the excess reduction on the policy to be eligible.

    There are some smaller independent car hire companies who actually recommend (and sell) commercial travel insurance rather than continue to sell the 'extra' insurance to reduce the excess. As long as you are clear that you need to take their basic insurance policy, and aware of your limit on the benefit, you'll be fine.

    Realise you know this all NOW! Most business policies have either the annual option or the daily rate. Up to you to work out which is a better buy over a year
     
  9. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
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    My two cents worth - an annual policy for $300-$400 is worth it once you take the tax deductability into account, and the fact is covers domestic travel as well as OS. One ding in an Avis car cost me $3000 and I have been a faithfull believer ever since, and the money I got back for having a rewards ticket cancelled due to SARS will pay the premium for about 5 years!
     
  10. ozstamps

    ozstamps Member

    Aug 30, 2003
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    You get this free AFAIK with the ANZ basic Gold card at about $A85 pa, along with travel insurance. Works a treat for my needs.
     
  11. kyle

    kyle Active Member

    Mar 8, 2006
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    I've finally received a response from QBE.

    Here's a copy and paste of the response for those interested:

    "The term 'accident' as used in our insurance policy wording holds no special definition other than its dictionary meaning.

    If you are the nominated driver of the vehicle according to your rental agreement, then an excess charged by your rental company is claimable provided the damage is caused accidentally (as in your given example) and not in the course of any activity specifically excluded by the policy (eg. racing, driving without a valid licence, etc.)

    I would suggest contacting your rental company for information on which situations may incur an excess charge."

    And thank you for those who replied to this thread.
     
  12. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
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    Thats excess reduction as opposed to total cover on an insurance policy, our corporate plan has an excess of $3000 which gives us great rates and our insurance covers to $3000 excess:

    "ANZ Car Rental Cover can reduce this excess down to $350, and can pay up to a maximum of $2,050."

    You dont need Gold to get the car cover either:

    ANZ Gold cardholders are automatically enrolled in ANZ Car Rental Cover at no additional cost. All other cardholders can obtain ANZ Car Rental Cover for a yearly fee of $24 (inc. GST). The travel insurance covers overseas travel only, not domestic, but does include F/F points cover which is pretty cool.
     
  13. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    Also, this ONLY covers you far a vehicle registered in Australia and its offshore territories":
     
  14. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
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    I'm with you, Glen.

    I've made a couple of claims on the ANZ Gold Visa card "free" travel insurance, and have been impressed with the speed and fairness of the claims settlements.

    In the most recent case, in 2004, I had the passenger's window of a rental car smashed in France. Also had a few things stolen from the vehicle. ANZ paid the claim for a replacement window and replaced all the items stolen, subject to an excess of AUD 200.

    Pretty hard to beat, I think.

    I know there are a lot of naysayers on this board who, for their own reasons, decry the ANZ Gold card, but in my humble experience, the travel insurance (thru CGU) is substantial and honest.
     
  15. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    Thanks for the info in this thread.

    As a QBE insurance holder, interesting to know their definition of "accident".

    Makes me more confident if I need to make a claim.


    BTW. QBE Insurance Annual policies can be gotten up to 25-30% off the retail prices. You've just got to shop around (But note that the policies from various parties may have slightly different condtions)
     
  16. justme

    justme Newbie

    Apr 1, 2006
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    The debate over whether it's better to take a cheaper policy with an excess, or pay more now and less in the event of a claim will always exist (meaning there is no one right answer!).

    Most insurance companies recognise this and offer choices within their product range accordingly. The insurance company I work for suggests as many as one in 10 policy holders will lodge a claim. In the end, it's a gamble each person calculates with any insurance (I do it with my health and comprehensive car insurance too!).
     
  17. robynmac

    robynmac Newbie

    Apr 29, 2006
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    covermore (www.covermore.com.au) automatically covers you for theft or any damage you become liable for. Their base coverage is $2,000 but you can up that level if you want ... the best thing about their policy is when you read through their wording, they clearly define what WONT be covered, whereas I've found a lot that only list what will be covered ..
     
  18. ozstamps

    ozstamps Member

    Aug 30, 2003
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    We hit a dingo near Broome latter 2005 with $1000s damage and they paid up fine. We had declined rental car extra excess cover. :)
     
  19. ozstamps

    ozstamps Member

    Aug 30, 2003
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  20. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    This cover comes with the "ANZ GOLD" card only. It does not come automatically with the ANZ Frequent Flyer Visa Gold card.

    You get both ANZ Car Rental Cover and Other Travel Benefits including commission free travellers cheques.

    For other cards you can purchase the ANZ Car Rental Cover for $24PA (It also comes with the $33PA ANZ Auto Assist.
     
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