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A Look at Car Rental Insurance Options When Renting a Vehicle in Australia

Australia occupies an entire continent. The country’s territory is vast, and the population density here is relatively low, so it is the leader in the length of roads. Given the distance, you will fail to get to the right place without a car.

Of course, you can always take a taxi – but this service is not cheap at all. And if you choose public transport, you will completely depend on its schedule. 

So a road trip seems to be the best approach to study Australia in detail. Luckily, here, you can rent any vehicle for as long as you need.

How to Rent a Car in Australia?

The most convenient way is to book a car rental in advance through online services and then pick up your car right at the airport. 

The driver must be at least 21 years old (in some cases – 25 years old). You need to submit an international driver’s license and have driving experience of 2 years or more. 

All foreigners should also have a passport with a valid visa. Payment is usually made by credit card.

Types of Insurance for a Rental Car

Not all credit cards and travel insurance policies cover car rentals. It means you must arrange it either through a rental company or a third-party insurer. Actually, it is compulsory for local car rental agencies to include some basic coverage in a daily fee. 

Most often, this is protection against collision and theft, which is officially known as CDW or LDW. It always comes with excess. Let us review how these work and what additional insurance you may buy.

  1. CDW or Collision Damage Waiver protects against vehicle damage except for theft. But it has 2 major drawbacks:
  • It comes with an excess – you still have to pay the excess in the event that the vehicle is damaged or stolen. However, there is a way that allows you to reduce your excess to zero! This is where car hire excess insurance Australia from CarInsuRent comes into place. The rental company will estimate the cost of necessary repairs and charge your credit card up to your excess if the automobile is damaged while it is in your possession. Excess waiver insurance reimburses you for your excess liability.   
  • It does not cover all types of damage – as a rule, it does not include windscreens, tires, or headlights. Note that CarInsuRent’s car hire excess insurance also covers roof and undercarriage damage, auto glass and widescreen damage, towing expenses, misfuelling, loss of car key and tire damage, which as we mentioned above, are generally excluded from the basic CDW coverage. 

While this insurance covers basic damages, it may not spread to such expensive charges as towing. Besides, the excess amount is very high.

  1. LDW or Loss Damage Waiver works exactly the same as LDW but also includes theft protection.
  2. Roadside Assistance Cover. It covers costs associated with towing, key lockout or fuel shortage. This insurance is not cheap and, therefore, not very popular.
  3. Personal Assistance Insurance or PAI. It will compensate for your personal injuries, including those of your passengers.
  4. Full Protection. This insurance includes all types of covers that have been listed above. It will compensate for all accident-related expenses. It is not cheap, but it will be even more expensive for you to buy all the above policies separately. To be able to apply the Full Protection policy, you must have a basic cover from the rental company – CDW or LDW.

Some Useful Hints

When it comes to rental cars, all precautions are very similar for all countries, but it is worth repeating some of them:

  • Always take time to read your rental agreement before you sign it. Recheck your action plan in case of an accident directly with the company representative.
  • Inspect your vehicle before driving off and, if necessary, take pictures of all existing damages and enclose these to your rental document.
  • Not to miss a payment for toll roads, install a special device in the car, with the help of which payment for services is done automatically at each entrance to the toll road.
  • Check whether you need to refuel the car before returning it, as fuel costs can be crazy if you fail to follow the rules.
  • You can easily see a kangaroo or other local fauna representative outside of large settlements. So drive with extreme care.
  • If you are going to the center of the continent, get enough supply of water, food and fuel. In desert areas, gas stations and shops can be located 100-150 km from each other. 

There is not any cut-and-dried solution when it comes to rental car insurance. So you need to analyze your financial capabilities, driving experience, and potential risks before boiling down to a final decision. 

However, once you are traveling in a foreign country, it is reasonable to think of the best protection. And always remember to drive sensibly.

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