Does travel insurance cover car hire excess?

You can get travel insurance with rental car excess cover, but normally you’ll need to take out a comprehensive policy or upgrade your cover with an add-on.

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Find policies with car hire excess cover.

We’ve compiled a list of travel insurance companies that offer different levels of car hire excess insurance as part of their travel insurance policies. If you get this cover as part of your travel insurance, you won’t need to buy it from the rental car company (psst, this way usually gives you the most value).

Name Product Rental car excess insurance Cancellation and amendment fees COVID-19 expenses Theft or damage to lugagge Standard excess
Medibank International Comprehensive Travel Insurance
$6,000
Unlimited
Some cover
  • $15,000
$250
Freely On-Trip Policy (The Explorer) - International Trip
Optional
$5,000
  • $10,000
$100
⭐ Finder Exclusive: Get 15% off your travel insurance policies with Freely. Use promo code: FINDER2023
InsureandGo Bare Essentials One Trip
Optional
Some cover
  • $2,000
$100
Save 10% on InsureandGo policies with Finder. Use promo code: Finder10
InsureandGo Silver One Trip
$4,000
$15,000
Some cover
  • $6,000
$100
Save 10% on InsureandGo policies with Finder. Use promo code: Finder10
Tick Travel Insurance - Standard Single Trip
$2,000
$5,000
Some Cover
  • $4,000
$200
Get 10% off on Tick travel insurance policies. Use promo code: FINDER
Tick Travel Insurance - Top Single Trip
$4,000
$20,000
Some Cover
  • $7,500
$200
Get 10% off on Tick travel insurance policies. Use promo code: FINDER
Insure4less - Excel Travel Insurance
$1,500
$5,000
Some cover
  • $3,500
$200
Insure4less - Excel Plus Travel Insurance
$3,000
$7,500
Some cover
  • $5,000
$200
Fast Cover Standard Saver Travel Insurance
Optional
$25,000
Some cover
  • $5,000
$200
Fast Cover International Comprehensive Travel Insurance
Optional
Unlimited
Some cover
  • $15,000
$200
Fast Cover Snow Sports Plus Travel Insurance
Optional
Unlimited
Some cover
  • $15,000
$200
Travel Insuranz Premier Travel Insurance
$1,500
$5,000
Some cover
  • $3,500
$200
Travel Insuranz Premier Plus Travel Insurance
$4,000
$20,000
Some cover
  • $5,000
$200
Travel Insuranz Deluxe Travel Insurance
$4,000
$10,000
Some cover
  • $7,500
$200
Cover-More International Comprehensive Travel Insurance
$5,000
Cover chosen
Some cover
  • $15,000
$250
Cover-More International Comprehensive+ Travel Insurance
$5,000
Cover chosen
Some cover
  • $25,000
$250
Cover-More - Inbound Travel Insurance
$5,000
Cover Chosen
Some cover
  • $15,000
$250
World2cover International Top Cover Travel Insurance
$5,000
Unlimited
Some cover
  • $15,000
$200
Southern Cross International Comprehensive - Single Trip
$10,000
$2,500
Some cover
  • $25,000
$100
Southern Cross Domestic Travel Insurance
$6,000
Unlimited
Some cover
  • $15,000
$100
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Save time and money by including your car rental excess cover as part of your travel insurance policy. Some brands automatically include it, while some brands offer car hire excess cover as an add-on.

Want to know more? Find out what rental car insurance excess is, its benefits and other frequently asked questions in our guide.

Travel insurance with rental car excess cover included

These are the most popular brands on Finder for car rental excess from April - July 2019. All of these brands automatically include rental car excess insurance in their policies so you don't have to pay extra for cover, except for Fast Cover where it's only automatically included on domestic policies.

BrandsLimit on international policiesLimit on domestic policiesOption to increase limit?Apply
1cover logo

1Cover

$5,000$5,000
Budget Direct Logo

Budget Direct

$6,000$4,000
Picture not described

Australia Post

$3000$3000
Fast Cover

Fast Cover

Optional add-on$5000

*Table last updated 21st September 2019

Check out a full list of our partner brands

What does travel insurance with rental car excess cover?

Here's what the right travel insurance policy can cover:

  • Excess if there's loss or damage to the car. Car rental excess is the amount you are charged by a rental company if your rental car is damaged, stolen or involved in a collision. You can get overseas and domestic travel insurance rental car excess with most comprehensive policies.
  • Transportation of the vehicle back to the car rental depot. If you suffer an injury or illness during your journey, you may not be in a fit condition to drive your rental car to the nearest depot. When this happens, some insurers will cover the cost of returning the car to the nearest depot, as long as you can obtain written confirmation from your medical adviser that you are unable to drive.
  • Medical expenses if you get into an accident. Travel insurance provides cover for medical costs if you're injured in an accident overseas. If you crash your car and need ambulance transportation, medical treatment, hospital accommodation and even repatriation to Australia, your travel insurer will be able to cover the costs. You won't receive any cover if you break an exclusion on your policy, such as failing to follow the road rules in the country you're in, so make sure you're aware of the exclusions in your policy before you get behind the wheel.

Good to know. You won't receive any cover if you break an exclusion on your policy, such as failing to follow the road rules in the country you're in, so make sure you're aware of the exclusions in your policy before you get behind the wheel.

Compare prices of international car rental excess cover

If you want to compare prices, here's a table with our top-selling brands for travel insurance with car rental excess cover. Prices are based on a 7 day trip to New Zealand for a 30-year-old.

BrandsPolicy TypeLimit on international policiesPriceApply
1cover logo

1Cover

Comprehensive$5,000$84.11
Budget Direct Logo

Budget Direct

Comprehensive$6,000$71.84
Picture not described

Australia Post

Comprehensive$3,000$125.00
Fast Cover

Fast Cover

ComprehensiveOptional add-on$99.99

*Quote was made on 21st September 2019. Prices are indicative, get a quote for accurate pricing for your trip

Compare prices of domestic car rental excess cover

Here's a comparison of prices for travel insurance with car rental excess for a domestic trip. Prices are based on a 7 day trip for a 30-year-old.

BrandsPolicy TypeLimit on domestic policiesPriceApply
1cover logo

1Cover

Domestic$5,000$38.08
Budget Direct Logo

Budget Direct

Domestic$4,000$36.73
Picture not described

Australia Post

Comprehensive$3,000$125.00
Fast Cover

Fast Cover

Domestic Plus$5,000$38.89

*Quote was made on 18th July 2019. Prices are indicative, get a quote for accurate pricing for your trip

Travel insurance car rental excess vs waiving my excess

Before you sign the rental agreement, car hire companies will offer the option to reduce your excess charge for a daily fee. This is often referred to as an excess waiver or excess reduction option.

Often you'll be able to reduce the excess to zero if you're willing to pay the additional amount. While this may sound like an attractive option, paying a daily fee to reduce your excess can actually work out to be quite costly. A travel insurance policy that includes car rental excess cover is usually a much more cost-effective way to take out financial protection as shown below.

Other car hire concerns

Am I covered for damages and repairs to the car?car-damage

Travel insurance will indirectly cover you for the costs involved if there's damage or loss to your rental car.

When you hire a car, it usually comes with its own form of insurance called a loss damage waiver or the collision damage waiver. If you get into an accident and damage the car, you'll be charged an excess by the rental company and that's the amount your travel insurance should cover you for.

Am I covered if I injure someone else or cause damage to their car?

Travel insurance policies typically include personal liability cover, but they do not offer protection if you injure someone else or damage someone else’s property while driving a rental car.

You can get this cover through the compulsory liability motor vehicle insurance available from the rental company. In fact, most travel insurers include a requirement for your car rental agreement to have third-party liability motor insurance.

Am I covered for medical expenses if I get into an accident?

Travel insurance provides cover for medical costs if you’re injured in an accident overseas. If you crash your car and need ambulance transportation, medical treatment, hospital accommodation and even repatriation to Australia, your travel insurer will be able to cover the costs. You won’t receive any cover if you break an exclusion on your policy, such as failing to follow the road rules in the country you’re in, so make sure you’re aware of the exclusions in your policy before you get behind the wheel.

Nicola Middlemiss saved almost $1,400 following a car accident during a road trip from Launceston to Hobart in Tasmania last June.

"My policy cost $48... and it came with heaps of extra benefits"

"I knew we were hiring a car and had heard stories of the crazy repair costs and excess fees," explained Nicola. "So, I decided to buy a domestic travel insurance policy, mostly for the rental car excess cover."
Nicola Middlemiss

Nicola, who is Finder's commercial content editor, paid just $48.96 for her travel insurance policy, a domestic plan with InsureandGo to cover her 10-day break.

"At less than $50 for 10 days, the entire policy was cheaper than the insurance offered by the rental company and it came with heaps of extra benefits," added Nicola.

"Lo and behold, I ended up hitting a wallaby on our drive back from Cradle Mountain. I was devastated that I'd killed it and honestly didn't even give much thought to the cost – the damage seemed pretty minimal and I figured it would be a couple of hundred dollars at most.

"It was not. When we returned the car, I told them that I'd hit an animal and there were some small scratches on the bumper. I was immediately charged the excess of around $2,750. $1,475 of that was considered damage (the rental company charged additional fees including a claims fee and a charge for time off-road), and I was eventually refunded $909.

"As soon as I got home, I filed a claim with the travel insurer and they were great – far better to deal with than the rental company. There were no further shocks or surprises. I had an excess on the travel insurance of $100 but InsureandGo paid out $1,375 within a matter of days."

Nicola and her partner in Hobart

Nicola added: "My number 1 tip is this – if you are renting a car, get third party travel insurance. Even if you're only getting it for the rental car excess cover (like I did), it's cheaper than going through the rental agency and you get extra benefits that might come in handy such as cover for lost or stolen items."

8 things you need to be eligible for car rental excess cover

In order to be eligible for travel insurance with rental car excess cover, you will need to make sure you have the following:

  • 1. Basic motor insurance. The car rental company must include CTP (liability) and physical damage cover for the car itself. Most insurers will require both types of cover to be included in your car rental agreement in order for you to qualify for car rental excess cover.
  • 2. Licensed rental company. The vehicle must be rented from a licensed rental company or agency.
  • 3. Rental agreement compliance. You must comply with all of the rental company's requirements as outlined in the rental agreement.
  • 4. Vehicle limits. There may be specific limits regarding the size of the vehicle's engine or the number of people it can seat. For example, you may only be covered if the car has no more than nine seats.
  • 5. Driving limits. There may be restrictions on where you can drive the vehicle. For example, you may be required to drive only on paved roads.
  • 6. Time limit. Some insurers impose a maximum time limit on the rental contract, such as 15 days.
  • 7. Insured drivers. The car must only be driven by insured persons listed on your travel insurance policy and the car rental contract.
  • 8. Provide documentation in the event of a claim. You may need to provide copies of supporting documents in order for your car rental excess claim to be approved, such as your rental vehicle agreement, an incident account, an itemised repair bill and written notice from the rental company about the excess you must pay.

What isn't covered by rental car excess cover

While cover differs between insurers, your car rental excess claim usually won't be paid if:

  • You fail to comply with the terms of your rental agreement
  • You rent certain excluded vehicles such as commercial vehicles, buses, motorbikes, limousines, or expensive or exotic cars
  • You failed to take out collision damage waiver and third-party insurance cover through the rental company
  • Your claim is for damage sustained on a road that is not cement or tarmac
  • Your claim is for losses sustained because you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or because you were driving recklessly
  • Your claim involves an unauthorised driver not listed on the rental agreement
  • Your claim is for theft and you cannot produce the keys to the vehicle due to your own negligence
  • Your claim is for theft or damage and your vehicle has been left unlocked or unsecured
  • Your claim is for wear and tear or mechanical or electrical breakdown or failure
  • Your claim is for blowouts or tyre damage, unless caused by fire, malicious damage or vandalism
  • Your claims is for intentional damage by you
  • Your claims is for a loss resulting from any sort of illegal activity
  • Your claims involves the use of your rental vehicle to carry passengers or property for profit
  • You were driving the vehicle without a licence

Here's a list of brands that cover car hire excess

We took a look at a list of our travel insurance partners and found these brands automatically include car rental excess insurance in their policies. If you're hiring a luxury car or just need a higher excess limit in general, consider choosing an option that allows you to increase your excess for an extra premium.

BrandRental car excess limitConditionsOption to increase cover?Apply
Medibank Travel InsuranceInternational: $6,000

Domestic:$5,000

There is no Rental Car insurance excess cover on the International Medical Only Plan.
Bonus
Get quote
Freely LogoInternational: Optional up to $10,000Available only as add-on and you can select the days you need this cover for.
Bonus
Get quote
Zoom logoInternational: Optional $5,000 or $8,000
Domestic: $5,000
Automatically included on domestic policies only. Available as an optional upgrade on international policies except medical only.

(Domestic only)

Get quote
Fast Cover LogoInternational: Optional up to $8,000

Domestic: $5,000

Automatically included on domestic policies only. Available as an optional upgrade on international policies except basic.
Finder AwardBonus
Get quote
Insure4Less Travel Insurance LogoInternational: $3,000

Domestic: $3,000

You are covered for the agreed stated amount on your policy that you are liable to pay as a result of damage or theft to a hired vehicle.
Get quote
Travel Insuranz Travel Insurance LogoInternational: $4,000

Domestic: $4,000

You are covered for the agreed stated amount on your policy that you are liable to pay as a result of damage or theft to a hired vehicle.
Get quote
InsureandGo LogoInternational: $4,000

Domestic: Up to $7,500

Rental car excess waiver is available if you choose Silver or Gold cover.
Bonus
Get quote
Tick LogoInternational: $4,000

Domestic: $4,000

Available for Standard or Top Cover only.
Bonus
Get quote
World2Cover LogoInternational: $5,000

Domestic: $5,000

Automatically included on all policies except for ones with Basic cover.
Get quote
Covermore logoInternational: $5,000

Domestic: Up to $5,000

Automatically included on Comprehensive and Comprehensive + plans.
Bonus
Get quote
Southern Cross LogoSCTIIndividual: $5,000
Family: $5,000
We pay the non-refundable excess if the vehicle you're renting is stolen or damaged because of an unexpected event during your journey.
Finder Award
Get quote
Travel with Kit LogoInternational: Optional $5,000Available as an optional upgrade on international policies and not available on domestic policies.
More info
Travel with Jane LogoInternational: Optional $5,000Available as an optional upgrade on international policies and not available on domestic policies.
More info
Travel Insurance SaverInternational: $5,000

Domestic: $5,000

You can increase your excess with an additional premium.
Get quote
Easy travel insurance logoInternational: $6,000
Domestic:$4,000
Automatically included on Premium and Domestic plan. Available as an optional upgrade on inbound policies except medical only plan.
Get quote
1cover logoInternational: $5,000

Domestic: $5,000

This policy automatically provides cover for all plans except for Medical only and Essentials. You can increase your benefit level and additional premiums may apply.
More info
RACV LogoInternational: $8,000

Domestic: $5,000

Get cover for up to $8,000 on international policies except the travel care plan. RACV also offer a Car Excess only plan.
More info
Skiinsurance.com.auInternational: $5,000

Domestic: $5,000

You will be covered for any excess you are liable to pay in the event of an accident, damaged or stolen involving the rental vehicle.

More info

Note: Information last obtained on August 2022 and is subject to change. Make sure you understand the general conditions surrounding car rental excess cover for each policy. The cover amount is for an International trip (comprehensive policy) and domestic trip per single person. For a comprehensive list of the conditions of each policy, please read the product disclosure statement of the policy.

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