Insurance and rental vehicles: for a worry-free vacation

When you travel abroad, even with a rental car, you may need to take out insurance. However, you need to be careful, as some guarantees may already be included in the rental contract, in your car or home insurance policy, or even with certain credit cards.


Understanding rental car insurance

If you decide to rent a vehicle for your vacation, the compulsory third-party liability insurance is automatically taken out and included free of charge in the rental contract. It covers any property damage or personal injury caused to third parties, including passengers. However, this basic insurance does not cover damage to the rental car or bodily injury to the driver.
It is therefore important that the car you are renting is in perfect condition, and that its last roadworthiness test at an approved center, such as those recommended on, is less than six months old.
In addition, the rental contract also includes a minimum damage insurance clause which stipulates that below a certain amount, known as the deductible, repairs to the damaged car are the responsibility of the lessee.

The benefits of buying back your franchise

The deductible is usually €10,000 and can vary up to €75,000 depending on the type of vehicle. As a result, even the slightest scratch can cost you a lot of money to repair, and in the event of theft or vandalism, the deductible is often increased, sometimes even doubled. However, it is possible to buy back part of the deductible in the event of a claim such as collision, theft or vandalism. This reduces the deductible to a minimum threshold called the “non-redeemable deductible”, set by the rental agency according to the type of vehicle and the type of claim. In practice, the cost of repairs is reduced to €500 for a collision and €700 for theft.

The price of this buy-back option generally ranges from €10 to €30 per day.

What are optional coverages, and are they necessary?

As the name suggests, optional benefits include all benefits that are not compulsory:

  • PAI or “cover for bodily injury to drivers and/or passengers, medical and technical assistance”;
  • CDW or “Reduced Liability for Damage” and TPC, which are respectively the deductible buy-back in the event of accident and theft.
  • However, it is not necessary to take out this additional cover, as your home or car insurance contract may already contain this option. Also, if you have used a prestige bank card such as Gold Mastercard or Visa Premier, you automatically benefit from the deductible buyback.
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