"Excess" charge for car rental--necessary?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Mar 14, 2012 4:29 AM Last Post By: peterscot
Mar 13, 2012 7:47 AM
"Excess" charge for car rental--necessary?Hello everyone
Still trying to sort out car rental details for our Namibian holiday in July this year. Mainly confused by the insurance, which is expressed in a different way than rental insurance in North America.
As far as I understand, the "excess amount" is a deposit you pay on your credit card. If the car is returned with no damage, they tear up that credit card slip.
You have the option of paying a higher daily rate to reduce the excess amount. As you pay a higher daily rate, the excess (deposit) drops. BUT I assume that if you pay the higher daily rate, you DON'T get that money back.
Ergo, if you want no deposit, you pay a significantly higher amount on your daily rate. In other words, you are paying nonrefundable insurance rather than a security deposit.
This seems to be equivalent to a CDW (collision damage waiver), which we normally decline when we rent, because we have coverage through our VISA card.
In fact, our VISA card coverage states we MUST decline CDW coverage if we want coverage under the VISA card.
So...I'm not sure what we should do here. I don't really want to pay twice as much to avoid the deposit, if we can get the deposit back at the end vs paying a higher daily fee. And I don't mind leaving a large security deposit as long as we will get it back in the end.
On the other hand, the tyre and window damage insurance might be worth it if it's a minimal amount and we can buy it separately from the other insurance.
I also can't seem to find out whether, if you do pay an excess (deposit) of N$ 7 000 or whatever, does that mean your liability is limited to that amount? So if you have an accident, the maximum you will lose is the amount of your excess?
We are not planning to drive off road at all, nor in particularly remote areas. (Windhoek--Etosha--Walvis Bay--Windhoek by direct routes)
BTW--anyone dealt with Desert Car Rental?
Mar 13, 2012 8:46 AM
1If you are insured under a standard contract the excess is the amount you will pay for the repairs before the insaurance company pays anything. So if your excess is, e,g,, $10000 and the cost of repairs is anything up to that amount the insurance company pays nothing and you pay everything. If your claim is for an amount more than $10000, you pay the $10000 and the insuarnce company pays the rest. The excess can also be specified as a % of the claim amount instead of a as fixed amount (e.g. 10%).
If you take out full cover insurance you will pay more as a premium, but your excess will be zero. The insurance company will pay the full amount. (This is the insurance that you usually decline).
You do not pay a deposit on your credit card. Usually an amount, which may or may not be related to your excess amount, will be placed on hold. It will not be taken out of your account, but will be blocked and you will not be able to use it until it is unblocked. If you leave without paying an amount owed to the car hire company - be it for damages to the car, irrespective of whether you have been involved in an accident, or for the final filling up of fuel, or for traffic fines, or for any other reson - the hire company will be able to take that amount (up to the amount blocked) from the blocked funds on your credit card account. In practice they could also take an amount that you owe then from your credit card account even after the funds have been unblocked. The unblocking of the amount (the "deposit") may take a few weeks after the car has been returned to the hire company.
Be careful - check specifically to ensure that you are covered when driving on gravel (unsurfaced) roads - paticularly in Namibia. Also check whether you are covered in the case of a single-car accident - i.e no other car is involved - you just rolled the car when taking a corner at high speed. You may not be covered. Check also who may drive the car - only specified people over a certain age will be covered.
This is as I have always understood the vehicle insurance. I hope someone else either confirms what I have said, or corrects me.
Mar 13, 2012 11:31 AM
Mar 13, 2012 3:35 PM
Mar 14, 2012 3:13 AM
Mar 14, 2012 4:29 AM
5Insurance in Namibia is quite tricky, as RudiK describes, as there is a high proportion of accidents involving bad driving. Many people, especially visitors, drive to fast for the road conditions or their ability.
Added to that, wild and domestic animals wandering onto roads and it is an insurance nightmare, hence the high costs.
Basically, paying to reduce your excess is a gamble - how much will the extra premiums cost you? And how much would repairs cost you? Do ya feel lucky?, Well, do ya?
If you feel you are a carfeul driver and are happy to cover the costs of repairs should the car be damaged, then no need to pay to reduce the excess. Money saved.
By the way, when you return the car MAKE SURE you get a SIGNED AGREEMENT, that it was returned full of fuel, and undamaged.
Car hire firms everywhere often try to deduct charges on credit cars to some spuroious damage such as stone chips, etc. Get proof that the car hire firm was happy with the car when you returned it.
Having said all that, your route could be on excellent straight, tar roads, where your mainly problem will be speeding. If you went via Sossussvlei, it would be gravel all the way. And, as said, I have seen a car roll on the road to Walvis Bay, when the driver took the only bend for about 100 miles, too fast. He was lucky, but the car was not. Another statistic and insurance claim.
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