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I am renting a car for a trip to England. The car rental agency offers insurance for damage to their car. My personal auto insurance company doesn't cover me in England and doesn't offer any international policies. So what happens if there was an accident and damage was done to someone else's car? How is that covered? How do I get protection for damage done to their car? thank you!!

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    What country are you renting the car in? Does the rental agreement include any insurances? – DJClayworth Apr 20 '17 at 16:06
  • Typically, you don't buy insurance to protect other people's property. Those people are responsible for having insurance to cover potential damage or loss. What you carry is liability insurance, which covers damage or destruction for which you are deemed liable, when they or their insurance company come demanding compensation. How this is administered varies greatly by locale, however. – choster Apr 20 '17 at 16:22
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As the other answer implies, in the UK it's obligatory to drive in the UK with third party insurance. For a rental car, that isn't very helpful as the rental car company could be fully insured themselves, but still require you to pay an arbitrary deductible amount should an accident occur.

Typically, renting a car in the UK without fully comprehensive insurance means that you could be liable to an excess amount of anything up to GBP 2000 or so depending on the rental car company. To reduce it you could pay the rental car company up to GBP 30/day for insurance, rent via a third party company that has negotiated a lower excess, or you could purchase a third party rental car excess insurance policy. I have one that covers me for any number of rentals per year and costs less than GBP 100 per year. I have had occasion to use it with a stolen car that would have cost me GBP1000+ so it has worked out for me. I do rent for 3 or 4 months per year though.

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UK rentals should include 3rd party liability and damage to the car (typically with a relatively large deductible called 'excess').

Avis UK gives a list of standard and optional insurance types here. See the 2nd item under "Basic cover at no extra cost".

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Not related to your question directly, but there have been a number of complaints of lack of transparency in top-up collision insurance cost, and fairly unreasonable and un-negotiable charges for minor damage such as scratches. Covering the 'excess' which could amount to as much as GBP 1000 with optional insurance purchased through the company can cost a lot of money (and the cost is reportedly sometimes not disclosed until you are at the counter). You may have coverage through a premium credit card (or not).

  • To make sure I understand clearly- so in the UK all rental cars-no matter what the company is- automatically comes with liability insurance for damage to others cars? – C. O. Apr 22 '17 at 1:48
  • From what I can see of UK rental agreements it is typically included in the price with a large deductible. True of Budget, Avis, Sixt. . There are 3rd parties who will insure the excess or the car company can do it (for more money typically). Or provide additional 3rd party coverage. This site says European rates "almost always" include "basic mandated liability coverage". I believe that the European mandated liability amount is much more likely to be adequate than it might be in the US. – Spehro Pefhany Apr 22 '17 at 2:38

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