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What is Damage Excess Refund and Is It Worth It?

[ 3 ] 21/07/2010 |

Cracked WindscreenDamage Excess Refund or DER is a policy offered by car hire companies that covers the excess insurance cost in case of any damaged caused during your rental period.  But is it really worth the extra cash?  For some people DER brings peace of mind but for some others it’s an unnecessary expense.  Read this article so you can make up your own mind about purchasing a Damage Excess Refund policy.

How does DER Work?

With each rental, your supplier will require a deposit to meet the value of excess insurance.  If the vehicle is damaged during the rental period the supplier will use the deposit to pay for the excess insurance cost.

This cost can only be reclaimed after presenting the company which sold you the policy with the following:

  • Any evidence of the payments taken.  A credit card statement and a copy of the invoice showing the amount you deposited should be sufficient.
  • Copies of both damage reports.  When you collect your car you will get a check out report which states the current condition of your vehicle and lists any existing damage.  When you return the car you will receive a check in report which will list any new damage.  Don’t forget to keep or ask for the check out report.
  • a copy of the supplier accident report form, (this should be completed before completing the rental).

[Always read the companies DER terms & conditions carefully as they may differ.]

How much does DER cost?

The greater the excess costs are, the more you can expect to pay on DER.  You could expect a typical economy class rental to have an excess of £500 and expect to pay around £2.25 -£5 extra per day for the DER policy.  If you hire a luxury car with excess costs around £1,750 you can expect to pay about £6 -£12 per day.  That means for a week’s rental you could be paying anywhere between £16 and £84 extra for a DER policy.

Before you book your car you should ask the supplier how much it costs.  Some companies offer cheap car hire but make money on selling you this policy at a higher price.  Some companies are known to charge more than twice the amount from others.

What does Damage Excess Refund cover?

To be truthful, the DER policy doesn’t cover that much.

Typical Exlusions:

  • Roof
  • Undercarriage
  • Windscreen & Other windows
  • Wheels & Tyres
  • Damage to the Interior & Other Personal Belongings

You will also be subject to other conditions such as off road driving, driving on dirt roads and gravel tracks.  Any negligent behaviour will exclude you from the policy and driving without due car and attention or driving whilst intoxicated will deem the policy worthless. Theft of your hire car is also not covered by the policy and any damage caused by towing is also excluded.

Is Damage Excess Refund worth it?

Basing a decision solely on the extent of the cover the policy provides, you might think the policy isn’t worth it.  However for the sake of another £16 -£84 on top of your week’s rental, it provides you with peace of mind.  Even a small dent in the bodywork of a car can cost more than your excess is worth. However our advice is to check other insurance policies as you might get more cover for the same cost.

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Category: General Information

Comments (3)

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  1. Guest says:

    well written blog. Im glad that I could find more info on this. thanks

  2. veterinary technician says:

    Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

    • CarHireToday says:

      Hi there,

      Welcome to Car Hire Today, I am pleased you find the information useful. I will be adding more content over the next few days.

      Thanks for commenting and hope you return.

      Kind regards,


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