Car rental: which insurance to choose

Renting a vehicle requires being vigilant in terms of coverage, in the event of damage. Our tips for worry-free riding this summer.

When renting a vehicle for vacation or temporary travel, it is better to be properly covered. How to navigate through the maquis of additional guarantees? Everything you need to know before booking a car or motorhome, with Cédric Ménager, managing director of the Les Furets comparator.

Paris Match. What minimum insurance does a vehicle rental contract contain?
Cedric Menager. Whether on the Internet or in an agency, the offer offered by the professional rental company systematically includes civil liability insurance, also called “third-party insurance”. It covers damage you may cause to others or to other vehicles. On the other hand, it does not cover the damage caused to the rented vehicle, nor the injuries which you could suffer yourself in the event of an accident responsible on your part, nor the thefts.

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Your premium payment card sometimes includes the partial redemption of the excess

Hence the interest of taking out additional insurance…
Invoiced by the day in addition to the initial price, these optional covers – strongly recommended when it is a first rental or a sports model – allow you to increase your level of protection. This is the case, in particular, of the driver’s personal guarantee, which covers your bodily injury, but also of the guarantee against fire or even breakdown assistance. Subscribing to these supplements also allows you to reduce the deductible that you may have to bear if you are the victim of a theft or an accident. Be aware that your premium payment card (Visa Premier, Gold Mastercard, American Express), used for payment of the rental, sometimes includes the partial or total redemption of this excess, the amount of which varies from €1,500 to more than €10,000. € for a basic car.

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What if we travel outside the borders?
When you rent a car in France, you have the option of driving abroad. However, some rental companies issue limits and restrict the destination countries. Check with the rental agency beforehand to find out the validity of your insurance on international routes, as well as the compensation limits.

And if you opt for a rental from a private individual?
If you go through an online platform, you generally benefit, like a rental from a professional, from third-party insurance and a vehicle damage guarantee. In the case where the rental is done directly with the owner, remember to ask him for a certificate proving that his vehicle is insured. To better protect yourself, you can also extend certain options included in your own insurance contract.

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Also read. Long-term car rental: avoid the pitfalls

Are there any other points of attention?
Whatever the rental method, to avoid any dispute, carry out a detailed inventory in the presence of the rental company before signing the contract and after returning the keys to the vehicle. Furthermore, no insurance coverage will apply if you suffer damage while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

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