Complimentary cover and a low cost zero excess option..
New Zealand Frontiers standard daily rental rates include comprehensive insurance of your motorhome.
However, you will be responsible for the first $NZD2500 ("the excess") of each claim. This means that if you have an accident, or need to make a claim for any other reason, you will have to pay the first $NZD2500 (for each accident - but you'll probably find that we politely request you return the vehicle if you crash frequently!) For further information on what is covered and what is not covered - see "What is Covered" below.
Insurance costs and cover are important features to consider carefully when choosing a rental company. Further useful insurance information is provided in the "Insurance Tips" section below.
Zero Excess Option
You can also choose a low cost zero excess option for just $NZD25 per day - try comparing that with the zero excess plans of other motorhome rental companies in New Zealand! With the zero excess option you will be completely covered and wont have to worry about paying the first $NZD2500 (provided you have met all the conditions explained in your rental contract). New Zealand Frontiers encourages all clients to take advantage of the zero excess option.
What is Covered?
Your insurance covers:
- Your motorhome
- Other vehicles and property you hit
- Your motorhome's windscreen and tyres
- The equipment supplied with your motorhome
Your insurance does not cover:
- Your personal property
- Your personal medical expenses
- If you have chosen the $NZD2500 excess option, your insurance does not cover the first $NZD2500 of any claim
What is the Excess?
The excess is the amount you will have to pay each time you make an insurance claim which is accepted by the insurers. With New Zealand Frontiers this is $NZD2500 if you choose the standard insurance option. Remember that you can also choose a zero excess option for only $NZD25 per day - less than half the cost of the zero excess plans offered by many other rental companies in New Zealand.
Which Insurance Option for Me?
New Zealand Frontiers recommends all clients purchase the zero excess insurance option due to the significant financial risks associated with agreeing to accept liability for the first $NZD2500 of damage. Factors to consider when choosing between the standard insurance option (where you accept liability for the first $NZD2500) and zero excess option include:
- Your own accident record and driving abilities - particularly your experience in larger vehicles.
- Your budget. While cost is a natural factor in considering whether to opt for the additional expense of the zero excess insurance plan, it is also worth considering that the cost of paying for repairs almost always far exceeds the cost of having taken out full insurance cover.
- Even minor bumps and grazes to panel work - such as those caused by reversing into obstacles that you didn't see due to the size of your motorhome or inexperience in reversing with mirrors, hitting overhead trees in motorhome parks and rest areas, and by bumping into bollards at gas stations - all routinely cost in excess of $NZD1000 to repair at current rates.
- Your New Zealand Frontiers insurance only covers your motorhome (including the windscreen and tyres and everything in the motorhome that belongs to New Zealand Frontiers) and any third party damage caused by you. It is highly recommended that you purchase full travel insurance before leaving home to cover your medical expenses and personal property.
- It is important to note that you can void your insurance and receive no cover under certain circumstances (such as, but not limited to drunkenness, illegal use, leaving keys in the ignition while unattended, damaging the engine by using incorrect fuel, etc), even if you have chosen the zero excess option - just the same as you can with any other rental company or with your insurance back home. Full insurance conditions are clearly explained to you in your rental contract, including your obligations, what is covered, and what is not covered.
- Because of the possibility of voiding your insurance, the $NZD2500 security deposit on all rentals is required regardless of which insurance option you choose. The security deposit is held in the form of an un-deposited credit card sales voucher and is taken at the time you pick up your vehicle.
- If you choose the $NZD2500 excess option and have to make a claim, the full excess will be charged to your credit card immediately due to the uncertainty of repair costs. Once repair costs have been confirmed and the repairs completed you will be refunded any unused balance of the $NZD2500.
- Similarly, if you choose the $NZD2500 excess option and have to make a claim, the excess will be charged regardless of fault. However, the excess will be refunded if recovered from a third party - that is, if someone else was at fault and they pay.
- Clients sometimes enquire about the possibility of choosing the $NZD2500 excess option and, in the event of a claim occurring, having the excess covered by their own insurance such as that extended by some credit card issuers. Naturally New Zealand Frontiers is not in a position to comment on the extent of cover offered by any insurance that clients may arrange for themselves or have extended to them in conjunction with other third party products such as credit cards. However, should you consider that your own insurance may cover you for this expense, it may be worth enquiring with your card issuer regarding the topic. You are strongly advised to seek a written opinion clearly answering the question; "We are going to be renting a motorhome during a trip abroad and are considering choosing an insurance cover option for the vehicle that would leave us liable for the first $NZD2500 of any damage. Will you cover us for this cost should it arise?" It is also important to note that any other insurance cover you may have (such as that offered by your credit card company) remains a separate arrangement between yourself and the organization providing the cover. This means that if you choose the $NZD2500 excess option, you would still be charged by New Zealand Frontiers for the cost of any damage up to this amount and would need to seek any reimbursement of it offered in conjunction with your credit card directly from your card issuer upon your return home.
Insurance costs are a major additional expense over and above advertised rental rates in the New Zealand rental motorhome industry. Rental companies commonly seek to attract customers with attractive rental rates, then increase their returns by using very high excesses to guide clients towards expensive excess reduction plans.
Insurance cover also represents a considerable expense for rental companies. Many rental clients are unfamiliar with driving larger vehicles, and even common minor damage such as that caused by driving too closely to obstructions can cost thousands of dollars to repair and cause loss of income issues for the rental company.
When considering the insurance cover offered by different rental companies, always understand clearly:
- How much is the excess? ($NZD5000-7500 is common)
- How much are the excess reduction plans? (again, some plans can cost over $NZD50 per day and may throw in extras such as a picnic table to make them more attractive - when such items are often standard equipment with other companies)
- Is all of the vehicle covered - it is common for exclusions to include windscreens, tyres, under-body and overhead areas.
- Will I be covered on all public roads? New Zealand Frontiers' insurers cover our motorhomes on every legal road in the country, yet most rental companies provide clients with a list of roads on which they will receive no cover.
- Will I be covered for all accident types? Obviously you will have no cover if you are drunk or otherwise in breech of the law or your rental contract, but some rental companies wont even cover you while you are reversing or for single vehicle or roll-over type accidents.
- Will I have to pay for the lost income suffered by the rental company while the vehicle is repaired?
Naturally there will always be some circumstances where you can void your insurance cover. But exemptions to cover should be reasonable and clearly explained, particularly if you are paying extra for a higher level of insurance cover.
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