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Do You Want The Extra Protection Package Sir?

Dec 18, 2007
When we hire a car, after going through the reams of paperwork, and in some outlets, giving our bio-metric data, we are asked the age old question. For a nominal fee would you like our insurance protection plan?

Many think this is a necessity but in reality it is optional. The question that enters my mind however is, 'is it really worth it?' What will I gain from paying this nominal fee? If I do happen to have an accident how far will it go to reimbursing me?

To answer these questions a number of factors must be taken into consideration and case studies looked at; it's a classic case of risk versus reward. For some who never use the car hire firm's optional insurance cover, money has been saved wholesale, although regular users know things can go wrong and the cover comes in handy sometimes.

Overall customers are not sure of their own level of cover; some personal insurance policies can be extended to car hire and many clients are unsure if their own cover will do this, bear in mind it is something worth checking out before hiring a car.

Figures from an insurance company survey show that 34 percent of people will buy a car hire company's additional cover just for the sense of security. This however is a mistake and in many cases an undue expense.

Added to customers own personal insurance policies, the credit card often used for the leasing of a car carries its own secondary insurance. In many cases, when accidents in hire cars have occurred, customers have neglected this element of there credit card service and failed to make a claim, unfortunately, if a claim is not made within 45 days of the incident it is impossible to recoup the losses encountered.

Making claims on both personal insurance policies and credit card secondary insurance however can be difficult. Not all policies will give cover if the car hire is for business trips and also many will not give cover for long term rentals. Added to this it is, cover is not always available in foreign countries, making the optional extra cover a valid decision.

Car hire companies offer many levels of cover making the choice for customers increasingly difficult. Options include loss or damage waivers, personal effects protection and in most cases numerous accident damage policies.

Customers have had nightmares when no additional cover has been purchased, as car hire companies charge an extortionate fee for damage, even if it is just scratch. This makes the argument for extra cover stronger but does not make it a necessity.

.Many regular clients of car hire companies feel that the optional insurance is completely overpriced, and as long as the prices remain high they will not purchase the cover. Some purely buy the collision coverage just for peace of mind while others who have had awful past experiences always purchase extra cover.

Car hire companies predictably defend their cover plans, some state that even if your personal insurance will cover your rental would you really want to jeopardise your no claims bonus? They also defend the elevated prices with the explanation that those insist on refusing optional insurance are keeping fees high

It is clearly visible that customers are divided over the issue, ultimately it boils down to whether you are a risk taker or not. Whether you are willing to gamble your wallet against the nominal fee they ask for at the desk or simply hand over the amount for peace of mind. What can definitely be asserted is that as long as there are risk takers among us, this trend will continue.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has been involved in the car hire industry for many years and looks into the variety of insurance packages available. To find out more please visit http://www.budget.co.uk/
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