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Zero Excess


Before you rent a car in New Zealand, it is important for you to understand that all rental vehicles there are required to carry Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection coverage. Collision (CDW) and theft protection (TP) insurance adds peace of mind to its entire Customer’s. Most insurance will include an excess, or deductible, with their policy. In the event of an accident, the driver is charged an amount of money to cover part of the damage estimates. This is your excess amount. Excess / deductibles can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

When you choose a Zero Excess or Excess Free rate, you remove the excess you'd be responsible for in the event of an accident. Look for vehicles listed with a "No Deductible Rate" and enjoy renting a car with CDW and TP insurance; with no deductibles to pay in the event of a collision.

When renting a car you will often see references in the Terms and Conditions to the ‘Excess’ amount on the vehicle. Similar to insuring your own car this insurance excess refers to the amount that you must pay in the result of a claim. So if you were to Damage your Car during the Rental period and the car hire company needed to make an Insurance claim you would be liable for the Excess amount.
Occasionally though you will see ‘Zero Excess’ offers from car hire companies meaning there will be no excess amount charged in the event of a claim. This, in effect, is the car hire company paying a ‘no excess’ policy on your behalf.  

  1. CDW and Theft Protection greatly reduce the amount of deductible you're responsible for in the event of a collision or theft.
  2. A Zero Excess or Zero Deductible option reduces or removes the deductible owed with an inclusive CDW and Theft Protection plan in the event of a collision or theft.


CDW covers most of the car if you're in a collision, but may exclude the side mirrors, undercarriage, roof, wheels, windshield, windows, and interior depending on the supplier. It's wise to carefully read the terms and conditions for your individual rental supplier so you don't have any surprises if an accident occurs.

An extended coverage insurance option is available from some suppliers to continue your Zero Excess coverage to the glass, interior, chassis, tires, and roof.

Any local car rental company's employees are usually trusted with sales, so they will probably try to sell various company products to customers. With a few exceptions, all insurance products offered locally will be optional. If the offered product is said to Zero Excess, it will probably not be needed in addition to the excess coverage you've purchased in advance from ClaimyExcess.  

Zero Excess car hire insurance policies - what are they?

Most collision damage waivers (CDW) come with an excess, meaning you have to pay the first $xxxx of any damage done to the hire car. So a Zero Excess must mean you won't have to pay anything must, isn't it? The answer is yes and no. If something is covered by the CDW then Yes, you won't have to pay anything if the hire car gets damaged. But there are quite a few things not covered by most collision damage waivers. Typical exclusions include damage to tyres, windows, underside and roof of the vehicle where these are the only areas damaged. So damage to these areas would still be your responsibility. You would also face charges for losing the car keys or putting the wrong fuel in it.  

Another area where you may be charged is for towing and recovery charges following either an accident or as a consequence of something else not covered by the CDW. For example, if you get a puncture on the car and need to be towed off the car to allow the tyre to be changed, the car hire company would argue that as the tyre is your responsibility so is the cost of recovery.  

Some CDW policies do have some stranger exceptions. For instance, one will not cover you if your car gets scratched or dented while unattended in a public car park. So even with a Zero Excess car hire, you may still be liable for charges.

If you don't see the type of coverage you wanted listed in the search results, give our specialists a call at 09-278 8800 or Visit ClaimyExcess and we will make sure you get the level of coverage you're most comfortable with.

Our team's hands on experience in bespoke insurance solutions and claim handling makes us #1 preferred choice with businesses and individuals NZ wide.