Posted by Carter | Under Travel Tips
Thursday May 12, 2016
Italy Car Rental Tips: Theft & Damage Excess Protection
Renting a car in Italy doesn’t have to be difficult, but sometimes things can go wrong. Accidents do happen and can be a lot more costly and difficult when you are in another country. Make sure you are safe and protected, and following the law, by knowing your insurance options.
Whether you choose to buy a comprehensive insurance or the theft and damage excess protection you need by law, it’s important to know your options before you leave to collect your rental.
Here are our Italy car rental tips to make sure your rental experience is as safe as it can be:
You have to purchase insurance
The first thing to know about car insurance in Italy is that it is mandatory. You cannot use your credit card as car insurance in Italy, and have to purchase a specific insurance in the country or before you leave with the rental company.
The law requires you to have a minimum of CDW (Collison Damage Waiver) and Theft Protection coverage. If you do not have these insurances you will not be covered to drive in Italy.
What is CDW?
If you have CDW, which is mandatory in Italy, the rental company waives the right to charge you a high deductible if you are involved in an accident. It also covers the cost of most of the car’s damages. The insurance typically costs between $10 and $30 per day, and in the event of an accident you will only have to pay an agreed excess, or deductible, to cover the costs. It’s also possible to choose a Zero Excess option on some insurances in Italy, which means you won’t need to pay anything.
Buy in advance
The best way to ensure that you are covered for Italy is to buy the insurance that comes with the car rental company. Make sure this is as “inclusive” as possible, and that it includes third party liability insurance, CDW, Value Added Tax, Unlimited Mileage, and Theft Protection. Most comprehensive rates will come with everything you need for Italy, including Fire Insurance, which gives you unlimited coverage for the whole vehicle.
There are a number of additional types of insurance you can also add-on onto your package to ensure you and your belongings stay safe while in Italy. These are optional, but can give you further peace of mind when driving in the European country.
Personal Effects Protection can be added on locally, and effectively protects any items left inside your car. Personal Accident Coverage can also be bought in Italy, and usually costs around $8 per day.
Check your excesses
Make sure you check any excess or deductibles on your insurance. These mean that in the event of an accident, or the need to use your insurance, you will have to pay a non-refundable amount towards the damages. In some cases, there is no deductible or excess to pay or you may be entitled to a refundable excess, which means the money will be held but returned to you. This is known as a “Zero Excess Rate” and is often available on fully comprehensive insurances.
Add travel insurance
It’s also a good idea to take out a separate travel insurance plan if you are planning to drive abroad. Travel insurance plans usually cover things like medical expenses and trip cancellations and can be an extra helping hand or peace of mind when it comes to renting a car in Italy.