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Car hire insurance is one of the biggest uncertainties when it comes to hiring a car. We previously wrote our guide to car hire insurance to help clear some of the muddy water that surrounds car hire insurance. Two of your main options when it comes to insurance for your rental car are pre-purchasing the additional top-up insurance offered through Zest, or buying the locally offered product on collection of the vehicle.

Signing car hire insurance documentPhoto by: Antonioguillem/Stock

Good to know

Zest include Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) as standard on all rentals. We also include zero excess liability- this is something that many other brokers or car rental providers will charge a premium for. This is included either as a no insurance excess product, or will include Excess Reimbursement Insurance (ERI), where, should any damage occur, you’ll pay the excess and then claim it back. Our website states which one is included with the vehicle you’re looking to hire.

Additional top-up insurance from Zest

Zest offer a third-party insurance through Questor Insurance for a small additional fee (£3.00 per rental day). Questor Insurance are an award-winning broker who have sold over a million policies. Zest have worked with Questor for 10 years. The top-up product covers you against accidental damages to the car that the included CDW excludes. This is typically damages to parts of the car such as tyres, glass and the underbody. You can find out more about this cover in our guide to car hire insurance.

Please note: Currently it’s not possible for all customers to purchase top-up insurance. There are limitations in place for residents of certain countries and also age restrictions.

How will I know if I am eligible to purchase top-up insurance?
You must be aged between 21 and 84 years of age. When running a quote on our website, the product will be offered to you on Step 2 if you are eligible. Alternatively, you can visit the top-up insurance section in our FAQs, where a list of countries we can sell to is provided. You can also call our Customer Support Team for advice.

Why am I not eligible to buy the top-up insurance?
As the top-up insurance is provided by Questor, only residents from the countries that they are licensed to sell to, as part of regulations, can purchase the insurance. If you are a resident from a country that they cannot currently sell to, then unfortunately you cannot purchase the insurance.

Why should I purchase this insurance?
This product can often be cheaper than that offered locally. Local products can cost up to £20 per rental day.

The product is from an award-winning UK-based company which can limit barriers caused by time zones or language differences.

Purchasing the top-up insurance through Zest means that we can act as an intermediary with any claims. Should you have a query about the progress of your claim with Questor, then we can check this for you. If you need some assistance chasing required paperwork from the car rental provider, then we can support you.

Car hire insurancePhoto by: Kwangmoo/Stock

Local insurance offered by the car rental provider

Some of our customers prefer to take out the product offered by the supplier. We do not receive any information about these products so cannot advise customers on the terms and conditions that apply.

Why would I purchase the local insurance product?
Taking out the insurance offered by the car rental provider can reduce or remove the need to leave a security deposit. You can find out more about the security deposit in our blog about why you need a credit card to hire a car.

You may also take this product if you’re not eligible to purchase the top-up insurance we offer, and haven’t pre-purchased insurance elsewhere.

Some customers believe that settling a claim is easier when the insurance company is in the same country in which the car rental provider is located. Bear in mind that we cannot assist with claims on the insurance offered by the provider.

The representative has told me I must take their insurance or they won’t let me have the car. What should I do?
Contact us for assistance. Sometimes representatives may say the top-up insurance isn’t valid- this isn’t true unless their terms and conditions specifically state this; the top-up insurance simply is not linked to them. There are certain reasons why you would need to take local insurance due to age restrictions or because you haven’t got a credit card, but there a very few circumstances you will need to take their insurance on the grounds that the top-up insurance isn’t valid.

I’ve taken the local insurance but I’d already bought top-up insurance. What should I do?
If you want to refuse the local insurance, then stand your ground. If you’re uncertain then you should contact us before signing any paperwork so we can clarify the situation. If you agree to the insurance because you feel pressured or if you’re not sure if you’ve done the right thing, contact us immediately. The sooner we’re contacted, the better.

If you contact us before you sign any paperwork then we can clarify the situation so you feel more comfortable with whatever decision you make.

If you sign the paperwork and agree to take their insurance then it may not be possible to reverse this. Not all providers will allow the insurance to be cancelled once it’s in place. We can contact the provider on your behalf about this charge, but they may require you to go back to the office to leave a security deposit (if you’ve not already done so) or to re-do your rental agreement with the insurance charge removed. It may not always be possible to obtain a full refund as you may still have to pay for the time in which the insurance product was active and in place. It may not be possible for you to go to a different office to do this; you may have to return to your collection point. This is why it’s important that you don’t sign anything that you’re unsure of, and contact us immediately.

The provider’s decision on reversing the insurance and the requirements of this are final and has no input from Zest.

If you contact us when your rental is over, it is impossible to reverse an additional insurance cost as the insurance policy will have already been in place for the duration of the hire period. It cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Deciding what car hire insurance to take

If you remain unsure, contact our Customer Support Team on 01362 852288 for assistance. They’ll be able to explain to you what your options are.

You may also find it useful to read our complete guide to car hire insurance.

Written by Jessica Juby.

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