Halo Insurance

Halo Insurance

July 27, 2011 12:26 ET

Survey Reveals Car Hire Customers Getting A Raw Deal Plus Don't Understand Car Hire Insurance

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - July 27, 2011) - iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading online provider of car hire excess insurance, is calling for the car hire industry to put its house in order after a YouGov survey it commissioned found the following experiences were commonplace amongst consumers who have hireda car:

  • Consumers being wrongly charged for damage to a car...
  • Damage not disclosed to them correctly at pick-up…
  • Consumers forced to wait for over an hour before they could collect their hire car…
  • Not getting ordered car…
  • Insufficient staff to check the hire vehicle at drop off…

Furthermore, it revealed that 15% of people who have hired a car had driven it without fully understanding exactly what insurance they had and what they were covered for. "It is extremely worrying that a sixth of people are in the dark on their insurance cover," said Ernesto Suarez, founder of iCarhireinsurance.com. "Many people are totally unaware that if their hire car is stolen or damaged in any way, even if it's just a small chip to the windscreen, they could end up with a large excess bill."

Consumers being wrongly charged for damage to a car...

The YouGov survey, of over a 1,000 British adults who have hired a car, revealed that 1 in 20 (5%) people felt they had been wrongly charged for damage to their hire car. Any damage to a hire car is subject to an excess amount (typically around £625 : see Table 1 below), so if the customers had not bought additional excess insurance they could be liable for at least this amount, then an additional charge if the damage cost exceeded this.

Damage not disclosed to them correctly at Pick-Up…

Unfortunately the above problem is not surprising when one considers that almost a quarter of those surveyed (23%) had found damage on the car that had not been disclosed initially during the pick-up process.

Consumers forced to wait for long periods before they could collect their hire car and continue their journey…

Almost a sixth (12%) of people have had to queue for more than an hour to pick up a rental car.

Not getting ordered car…

A quarter of people (25%) have not been given the car they ordered.

Insufficient staff to check the hire vehicle at drop off…

At the end of a holiday or business trip, almost a fifth (18%) of people have arrived to drop off a hire car and found the staff were too busy to check the vehicle, meaning they had to trust that the check would be done fairly in their absence.

"The customer service that people are used to receiving from other industries appears to go out of the car window in the car hire industry," said Ernesto Suarez, founder of iCarhireinsurance.com. "Our survey revealed that people are experiencing shocking levels of customer service standards. Firstly long delays to even get their hire car; then often not receiving accurate descriptions of existing damage to the car; and finally to add insult to injury being charged for damage that they did not cause."

iCarhireinsurance.com protects customers from these insurance risks at a price significantly lower than the car rental companies charge and also automatically covers damage to the tyres, windows, roof and undercarriage. Its policies start from only £2.99 a day (compared to approximately £17* per day) or annual cover for £39.99. This is a saving of around £200** for a two week holiday from buying the excess insurance direct from the hire car company.

"Our advice to people is to buy before you fly," said Ernesto Suarez, founder of iCarhireinsurance.com, "Buying excess insurance in advance not only saves customers a significant amount of money, it also protects their wallet in the event of damage to a hire car."

* From Table 1 Avis charges €19.6 per day for excess insurance, or £17.57 (currency exchange as of 28/6/2011 - 1 GBP = 1.11570 EUR)
** The cheapest Nil Excess Insurance in Table 1 is Avis, which is €19.6 per day. This multiplied by 14 (for a two week holiday) is €274.40, or £245.92 (currency exchange as of 28/6/2011- 1 GBP = 1.11570 EUR). Buying two weeks excess insurance cover from iCarhireinsurance.com is £2.99 a day, multiplied by 14 = £41.86. This gives a saving of £204.06.

Notes to Editors:

YouGov Survey

The research was undertaken for iCarhireinsurance.com by YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2007 adults, of which 1103 have hired a car. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1 - 4 April 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Table 1

Excess Insurance cost for UK resident renting a VW Golf class car in Barcelona (Barcelona Airport) for a three day rental from 29.04.2011 - 02.05.2011 – Average 51%

Excess Nil Excess Insurance Rental Only Cost Rental + Insurance Excess % of Rental
Avis € 738 € 58.80 (€19.6 daily) € 119.62 € 178.42 49%
Budget € 707 € 65.46 (€21.82 daily) € 112.81 € 178.27 58%
Europcar € 773 € 61.56 (€20.52 daily) € 117.97 € 179.52 52%
Hertz € 784 € 66.52 (€22.17 daily) € 132.97 € 199.49 50%
Sixt € 350 € 59.48 (€19.82 daily) € 134.98 € 194.46 44%

Background on iCarhireinsurance.com

Founded in 2009, iCarhireinsurance.com is a groundbreaking new online insurance service that takes the hassle out of hire car, car club and van hire insurance. It offers a range of policies that are fully comprehensive, simple to understand, unbeatable value and accepted at all car and van rental locations worldwide.

iCarhireinsurance.com is a registered trading name of Halo Insurance Services Limited. Halo Insurance Services Ltd was founded by Ernesto Suarez, a leading insurance professional with 13 years' experience in the industry.

Halo Insurance Services Limited is registered in England number 6929208. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority Register No. 504629 for the sale and administration of general insurance products in the United Kingdom and throughout the European Economic Area (EEA).

Halo Insurance Services Ltd is backed by Bridges Ventures and Magenta Partners.


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