First of all, let's explain the rental vehicle excess, your financial liability when hiring a rental car in Australia.
When you hire a rental car in Australia, you have a financial liability to pay the repair cost of any vehicle damage that is caused as a result of the car being stolen or damaged while in your possession.
The financial liability has a number of names including the Rental Vehicle Excess, Damage Liability Fee, Damage Recovery Fee and Accident Damage Excess (these terms all mean the same thing). It is a capped amount that commonly ranges between $4,000 and $6,000 for standard vehicle types and in excess of $8,500 for prestige and large 4WDs. As the owners of the vehicle, the car rental company has insurance for the full hire car value and passes on the liability for the excess component only to the customer hiring the vehicle.
The actual excess value varies depending on which car rental company you hire a vehicle from, what car type you hire and where you collect your hire car from. The excess amount is set by the car rental company that you hire the vehicle from and is outlined in the Rental Agreement (contract between the car rental company and the customer that you sign) when you pick up your hire car.
In simplistic terms as an example, if you hired a Toyota Corolla with a replacement value of $20,000 and your rental vehicle excess was $4,000, the maximum repair or replacement cost that you would have to pay would be $4,000. Any costs above $4,001 up to $20,000 would be shouldered by the car rental company as the owners of the vehicle. Every rental is unique so it's important to check the specific liability level, inclusions and exclusions of your specific rental when hiring a car.
So, what is Rental Vehicle Excess (RVE) Insurance?
Rental Vehicle Excess Insurance is insurance for your rental vehicle excess when hiring a rental car. This means that if you cause damage to the rental car while it is in your possession, you would be able to lodge a claim with our partner Allianz Global Assistance to obtain reimbursement for assessed damage costs up to your benefit limit, either $4,000, $6,000 or $8,000 depending on which level of cover you choose.
All plans, $4,000, $6,000 and $8,000 level of cover, offered by RVE Insurance have a nil excess. This means that assessed damage costs may be reimbursed from the first to the four thousandth, six thousandth or eight thousandth dollar depending on your level of cover.
For example, David hired a Toyota Corolla from ABC Rentals and his rental excess is $5,200. David has purchased an Allianz Australia $6,000 plan with nil excess. During his journey, he accidentally reversed the car into a pole in the car park which caused damage to the rear bumpers and glass. The car rental company assessed the damage repair cost to be $5,500.
David's credit card was charged $5,200 by the car rental company for the damage (his total excess amount as stated in the Rental Agreement) and ABC Rentals shouldered the additional $300 damage cost that was above his excess liability. David then lodged a claim to the insurer and they assessed his claim against the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) product terms and conditions. Upon assessment, the insurer reimbursed David the full $5,200 for his out of pocket expense charged by the car rental company.
This example is for illustrative purposes only and it is important to note that everyones conditions are unique to them.
The Allianz Australia product provides cover for damage including underbody and overhead damage, tyres, bumper, windscreen, single vehicle accidents and multi vehicle accidents. Full product terms and conditions are outlined in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).