You can save a fortune by buying independent insurance to cover your Fly Drive - but make you you have the agreement of the rental firm first
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Fly Drive deals to America are really popular as they look so cheap.
One of the reasons for this is that whilst your rental car is ready for collection when you arrive it is almost always going to come with just the legal minimum insurance in the US or Canada, meaning you will need to buy both Collision Damage Waiver and Supplementary Liability Insurance to fully cover yourself.
Most Fly Drive packages will offer this in the form of upgrades, presenting either insurance only options or 'premium' deals which include additional drivers or a tankful of fuel. These can add hundreds of pounds to your base cost over a couple of weeks.
An option is to buy a standalone car rental to provide the cover - and with an annual policy being available from under £75 (visit the moneymaxim car hire insurance service to see a range of suitable policies) it is easy to see why these are popular - at least with drivers.
The rental firms however rely on selling the in house insurance options to make their money. They offer their cars to the airlines at deeply discounted rates as they know most travellers will take their insurance, making the overall programme profitable. This means sometimes they can be rather obstructive when presented with insurance that has been bought independently.
I therefore always recommend that fly drivers email their car rental firm to ask for their agreement that your own independently sourced Collision Damage Waiver and Supplementary Liability insurance policy will be accepted. Most will do so, and armed with this confirmation you can happily arrive in the US or Canada knowing you should face a smooth journey through the car hire desk.
You can always what the cost of local policies is,when you make your request so you can see the savings you can make by taking this approach.
Finally it is worth pointing out that the independent policies work on a reimbursement basis (so you pay the rental firm and then get paid back by the car hire insurance company) unless you are facing a sizeable claim. This works for most car hirers who think the potential hassle factor in having to process a claim themselves is well worth it bearing in mind the savings that can be made.
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This content was last reviewed on 11/08/2014