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Where can I get proper car rental insurance in New Zealand?

B B
Banff, Canada
11 posts
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Where can I get proper car rental insurance in New Zealand?

I've booked a rental with Omega but in reviewing their convoluted sample contract on their website (www.omegarentalcars.com/assets/contract.pdf) it shows that if you are found to be:

1) at fault for any accident in the rental then you are responsible for the entire amount of the damage to the car *regardless of the excess amount* and *regardless of CDW purchase.* This is not at all how their insurance is marketed on the "client-facing" parts of their website.

2) in contravention of any road regulation or bylaw, then all insurance is null and void - which means if I am trying to pass a camper and move 4 inches to the wrong side of the centreline on a narrow road to try to get a sightline on the road ahead and a truck carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars of merchandise sideswipes me and runs off the road, I am now personally liable for those hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Similarly, what if I have a stroke and cross the centreline? I'm perhaps not "at-fault" in a medical emergency but I am in violation of a road bylaw, so presumably all insurance is void.

At home, my car insurance would cover me in these situations - there's a difference between gross negligence (driving drunk) and ordinary negligence (not using a turn signal, stopping ahead of a stop line, speeding by 4km/h). But in all cases of ordinary negligence where one breaks a road bylaw and causes any damage to your own rental car or the property of anyone else, according to Omega you're now on the hook personally for unlimited damages.

Really not "upfront and honest" as they proclaim to be. But this is how all car rental companies in New Zealand do business apparently.

To try to mitigate this risk, I've looked into my credit card insurance (no third-party liability there) and my own personal car insurance (not valid outside of North America). I've been trying to find a New Zealand company that sells rental car insurance separately, but I can't find anything so far.

I've seen so much talk on these forums about this but the advice amounts to the supremely unhelpful "drive according to the laws and you won't have any problems" or "know what you're signing before you sign it!" Does anyone saying this substitute their knowledge of road rules and liability laws for an appropriate insurance policy when it comes to their personal vehicle?

In lieu of cancelling my rental and taking the bus... I wanted to ask: are there third parties I can buy car rental insurance from in New Zealand that covers me regardless of fault or (ordinary) negligence?

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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41. Re: Where can I get proper car rental insurance in New Zealand?

Glad everything turned out okay and thanks Angela for a good result.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,369 posts
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42. Re: Where can I get proper car rental insurance in New Zealand?

I'm glad everything worked out for you Vilem :)

well done Angela and Bean - the power of TA!

Auckland, New...
7 posts
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43. Re: Where can I get proper car rental insurance in New Zealand?

Pleased to hear all sorted out. Thanks and Kind Regards, Angela

OzS
South England
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106 posts
256 reviews
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44. Re: Where can I get proper car rental insurance in New Zealand?

This is a very disappointing thread.

We have hire companies claiming that they can only provide the barest minimum insurance cover under the law, when clearly they could provide something better.

We have hire company representatives pretty well saying that if you infringe the law then you should loose your cover (and I've never heard that one before).

The motto is probably:

1) Get complete cover locally (eg UK insurance4carhire.com 60 days for 50ukp)

2) Stick to a better company.

Interestingly I usually use local (very cheap) ones in Europe and these have been astonishingly good, all cars under 18mths old. In NZ, I don't think so...

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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45. Re: Where can I get proper car rental insurance in New Zealand?

"We have hire companies claiming that they can only provide the barest minimum insurance cover under the law, when clearly they could provide something better."

OzS may I suggest you re read my post #5 and answer the question "What part of fully comprehensive" do you not understand. All insurance policies of all types from anywhere in the world have exceptions and exclusions. If I am wrong please advise me an insurance company that doesn't.

On checking your profile this post appears to have been your first on a kiwi forum and you appear never to have ventured downunder.

May I further suggest that you take a punt and come downunder and experience how we operate personally

OzS
South England
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106 posts
256 reviews
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46. Re: Where can I get proper car rental insurance in New Zealand?

Oh, I am coming, hence looking for reputable car suppliers.

Your reply pretty well sums it up, instead of pointing me to rental companies with reasonable cover you have defended the clearly inadequate cover provided. It doesn't fill me with confidence and makes me more sure that I should stay with the aviz/hertz reputable brands. In any case I will be buying cover from insurance4carhire where I do get complete cover for a reasonable price.

Generally the threads here remind me of car hire of old (10-20 years ago) when it was distinctly disreputable in UK/Europe.

Few people, its to be said, are aware that they are generally exposed to the first $$X000 of damages even with 'damage waiver' in many places.

So the thread has served its purpose, and informed me.

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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47. Re: Where can I get proper car rental insurance in New Zealand?

Few people, its to be said, are aware that they are generally exposed to the first $$X000 of damages even with 'damage waiver' in many places.

You obviously have not taken time to read T & C's of NZ rental companies which is typical of foreign visitors who complain later, because had you done so you wouldn't make such outrageous false statements

If however you can arrange suitable insurance that meets you needs you should have a trouble free visit providing you again observe the T & C's of whatever company you choose

Edited: 04 November 2014, 08:01
48. Re: Where can I get proper car rental insurance in New Zealand?

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