How Rental Car Insurance Works in Cairns, Australia

When you rent a car in Cairns and Australia you are, by default, 100% liable for all damage to the hire car, and any damage to other cars or property.

The only liability that you don’t have to worry about is that from injuring another person. This is always covered by the compulsory CTP insurance required on all rental cars in Australia.

If your thought your own car insurance is confusing, hire car insurance policies add an extra layer of complexity. Most hire car cairns businesses offer their own in-house excess reduction option.   Whether you are picking up your car from Cairns airport, or a Cairns city location, one constant question on your mind will be ‘what about car hire insurance?’  

Here at Cairns Luxury Car Hire, we find better value for our customers by suggesting they utilise 3rd party providers such as in this article. The policy we provide is governed by our own rental car insurer, and this dictates some terms on our car rental agreement such as a standard $5,000 excess and minimum drivers age limit 28 years. Car hire bond requirements of $1,000 required.   Cairns car hire industry has come a long way. Not just offering cheap car rental such as Hyundai, how about try a V8 Mustang Convertible, Porsche Macan, or the Ford Performance Raptor 4wd hire.  

Our luxury car hire Cairns policy also has a number of common exclusions, such as windscreens, tyres and underbody damage. So how can you cover yourself for this?   The below comparisons of car hire insurance is courtesy of and published with their consent. Cairns Luxury Car Hire has no commercial agreement with Ridehacks and is their assessment of some of the more popular rental car insurance policies available.  

Please be advised to consider your own circumstances when choosing a policy. This is for information only as some details can change. Always check the insurers PDS for the latest information.   As these are 3rd party policies, the hirer is still responsible for the insurance excess, and required to submit any claim with the insurer below.

Car Hire Cairns Excess Insurance Options
Insurance policies have come into the market to specifically covering car hire excess. This is fantastic. Each provider has their own unique stance on what they will cover. This luxury car hire insurance guide is aimed to point out obvious advantages of one provider over another.

No small print needed. You know I can’t recommend car hire insurance for your personal situation. Instead, I’ll show the gaps in coverage and obvious advantages of one product over another. You can choose the right one for yourself to enjoy your car rental Cairns experience.

Allianz —

These policies will pay up to $8,000 towards your rental vehicle excess reduction on their ‘Plan B’ or ‘Plan D’ for drivers over 25 years old, and up to $4,000 for ‘Plan A’ or ‘Plan C’ for drivers over 21 years old. All plans are for a single journey, meaning that you need to purchase this policy each time you rent a vehicle. This policy includes coverage for all of the items typically excluded within the primary rental agreement — glass, tyres, roof and underbody.

Despite being cheaper and comprehensive, by comparison to the car rental provider’s excess reduction option, it still isn’t necessarily the cheapest option. But focusing on cheap may not be your ideal option either.
It’s not 100% perfect, but it will make most painful events 95% less painful, in most cases.

What’s not liked so much
In 1.1.1 (a) of the PDS, the document states:
If, during your period of cover, a rental vehicle you have rented from a rental company or agency is involved in a motor vehicle accident while you are driving it; or damaged or stolen while in your custody, then we will pay the lesser of:
• the specified excess, deductible or damage liability fee you are liable to pay under your rental vehicle agreement; or
• property damage for which you are liable.

Concern here is comes from the detail of the Rental Agreement. We saw several cases in the sections above where you might have to pay more than the excess amount stated on your rental agreement. If this policy is only covering the $5000 in the agreement, but the rental company charges me an extra $2000, this would seem to not be covered, even if I purchased $8,000 of rental excess insurance. - Zurich
Rental Car Protection is the newest player in the rental car market. First impressions are that they have the most customisable policy compared to their competition.

Generally, their policy is incredibly precise in its language. I like this. Less ambiguity is best for everyone. In particular, unlike the Allianz policies which seem to only pay up to your excess amount disclosed on the rental agreement (not always the amount you are liable for), their concept of Excess is simple:
The monetary amount for which You are liable for loss or damage to the Rental Vehicle under the Vehicle Rental Agreement.
The other classification within this policy is the wording for incidents where you are required to pay your excess to the rental provider.

We will pay up to $10,000 for any single incident or for a series of incidents during any single Vehicle Rental Agreement for the reimbursement of the Excess applied by the Rental Company or Car Club Company caused by accidental damage to the Rental Vehicle including any caused by fire, the or vandalism, as well as for any repair costs that the Rental Company or Car Club Company charges You or for payments that You are responsible for under the terms of Your Vehicle Rental Agreement following accidental damage to windscreens, tyres, roof and under-carriage.

Note the wording about ‘series of incidents’. This is particularly useful for those rental providers who will charge you excess per incident, which could mean multiple charges to your credit card. This is another case of a fairly well though-out policy.

Another interesting difference with this policy is that Loss of Use is only an option if you select it. Every rental provider has the option to charge you Loss of Use in the result of an accident.
Including unsealed roads as an option is a huge win for any of the rental providers who allow for unsealed roads in their policy.

First thing’s first. Depending on your country of residency (defined as at least six months residence), you will have a different policy offered to you. We’ll only discuss the relevant facts for Cairns and Australian residents in this article. The policy is backed in Australia by Assetinsure, has been around since 2014 and has offices in Sydney and London.

Okay, now for the fun stuff.
·     $100,000 of cover, regardless of the claim the rental provider is making.
·     No excess when you make a claim
·     Worldwide coverage
·     The only policy that explicitly covers car share companies
·     The only policy that covers unsealed road cover if you buy the slightly more expensive 4WD hire policy
The other awesome thing here is the unsealed road coverage. Although this must be purchased as part of the (slightly more expensive) policy. You can only use this policy with a rental provider who allows you to drive your hire car on unsealed roads.
For your next Cairns Luxury Car Hire experience, consider your options. What is the cost if you don’t cover yourself? Afterall, I’m sure you have your own car insured!
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Cairns Luxury Car Hire is the longest running premium car rental company in Far North Queensland & Cairns inc Port Douglas. We specialise in luxury sports, muscle and elite car rentals, wedding cars, tours & corporate car hire services
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