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Ratgeber Mietwagenversicherung

Rental car insurance. Peace of mind on a journey of discovery by car.

Helvetia explains how to properly insure your rental car so that you can enjoy your holiday without a care in the world.

What insurance do you need for a rental car?

You have made it to your dream destination and the rental car you booked is ready and waiting at the airport or hotel. But before embarking on your discovery tour, you should first see to it that you have the right insurance cover for your rental car. Do you even need additional insurance for your rental car? And if so, which?

Liability insurance

When you book a rental car, many providers will offer liability insurance for a limited period of time. Just to remind you: liability insurance provides financial cover in the event of third-party claims for compensation.
Our tip
Check whether liability insurance is included in the rental agreement.As bodily injury especially can become expensive, it is advisable to ensure that the sum insured on the liability insurance policy is sufficient. The rule of thumb here is at least five or ten million Swiss francs.

Comprehensive insurance

An accident alone is enough to dampen the holiday mood. It becomes all the more annoying if you end up with an expensive bill for the repairs. Car rental companies therefore offer comprehensive insurance to cover damage to the rental vehicle.
Our tip
When taking out a comprehensive policy, also check how high the deductible is. It may be worth considering choosing the option without a deductible. Then you will not have to pay for any damage should you have an accident despite taking all due care.

How can I insure my rental car directly with Helvetia?

With personal liability supplementary insurance «Use of third-party motor vehicles comfort» insurance, you are protected against the financial consequences of an accident involving a third-party vehicle. This also includes rental cars. Should you have an accident, you are insured for up to CHF 2,500 of damage to the rental car. You are also insured if other people are injured or third-party vehicles or other items damaged in the accident. If you have non-owner cover, there is no need to take out further supplementary insurance with the provider, provided that the rental car has fully comprehensive insurance.

Our tips for you

It is worth shopping around

Compare different providers before you book a rental car. It pays to search, as by doing so, you are sure to find the right product. When shopping around, though, look not just at the prices, but at the included benefits as well. Very cheap products may lack key benefits that then have to be added at considerable cost.

No rental car without a credit card

If you wish to book a rental car, virtually all providers will ask for a valid credit card. This is required in order to put the security deposit on the credit card. So check whether there is a sufficient amount available on your credit card before you travel. Some providers also require the card to be in the driver’s name. Find out about the exact terms and conditions in advance.

Ask for a rental agreement

An agreement is part and parcel of every car rental. Make sure that the rental agreement lists all contractual points such as pick-up, return, fuel policy, the price of any additional services booked and insurance. You should resolve any uncertainties you have. That way, you will make sure that no hidden costs emerge at the end.

Fuel policy

The full/full fuel policy is generally recommended. With the full/empty policy, you do not have to worry about filling up the tank, but you may often be charged expensive service fees for the rental company to do the refuelling. If you have the full/full policy, make sure that the tank really is full when you return the vehicle; otherwise, additional costs may likewise be incurred for refuelling.

Take accessories with you

With virtually all car rentals, there is the option to book accessories such as navigation systems, child seats, etc. These extras are expensive, however. So it is worth considering whether you would prefer to take these accessories with you from home. With many apps, including Google Maps, you can download “offline maps” at home and then still use the navigation function locally.

Exclusions from the insurance cover

Be aware that specific items and events are not insured in certain countries. Some car rental companies are not liable for damage if you drive the car into particular regions, for example. Also make sure that all drivers are insured. To do so, you should notify the car rental company of second drivers. While this usually entails additional charges, this way you will be on the safe side in the event of a claim.

Check when picking up the vehicle

Even if you have had a long journey and wish to get to your hotel or holiday home as quickly as possible, you should take time to be thorough when the vehicle is handed over. Examine your rental car carefully and check it for dents, scratches or glass damage. Test whether the windscreen wipers, air conditioning and all lights are working perfectly. It is also imperative to check tyres and the fuel gauge. Any damage should always be documented and confirmed in writing.

Return

Right at the outset, agree where and when you will return the vehicle. And bring the rental car back during opening hours. That way, the car can be checked over directly and a handover report issued to you. There will therefore be no uncertainties in the event of a subsequent claim. Always return the rental car promptly so that you are not charged for additional days and hours.

Accident involving the rental car

If, despite taking all due care, you nevertheless have an accident, you must first make the scene of the accident safe and call the police. Write up a report documenting what happened in the accident and check that all parties involved sign it. Also write down the addresses of all parties involved and then notify the car rental company.
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