Excess Recovery Insurance is an optional product you can buy to supplement your car insurance. Its aim is to help you reclaim your excess when you’ve made a claim. To understand whether you’d benefit from it, it might be useful to first explain what a car insurance excess is, and how excess recovery works.
What is an insurance excess?
An excess is a payment made by the policyholder when they make a claim through their own policy – regardless of fault or non-fault.
Your insurer deducts the excess from their settlement cheque to you, or to the garage making the repairs to your car.
The level of your excess is set at the outset of the insurance policy; it’s a fixed amount which can vary widely, depending on the insurer’s assessment of the risk factor, or any voluntary excess you may have chosen to help reduce your premium.
Your excess is set at £350 and your car sustains £1,000 of damage in an accident. Your insurer will pay £650 towards the repairs and you will pay £350.
Can you claim your excess back?
In some situations, yes, you should be able to claim back your excess, but not always, which is where Excess Recovery insurance can plug that gap and save you money. Here are some examples:
- If you were clearly not at fault for the loss or accident and there is an identifiable third party who admits liability, you can claim back your excess. In fact, if your insurer is dealing with the claim for you, they’ll insist that the third party or their insurer pays all the costs associated with the claim, including your insurance excess.
- If you don’t believe that you were to blame, but it’s not a straightforward case to prove, the third party’s insurers may dispute liability. In those circumstances, a common solution is that claims are settled on a 50/50 basis, i.e. each insurer settles their own costs. Effectively, this means they won’t reimburse you for any out-of-pocket expenses, such as your insurance excess. In this situation, Excess Recovery insurance can come to your rescue, because it works by refunding all or part of your excess when you can’t claim it from the third party.
- Some claims arise from fire or theft, where there is no third party to make a claim against. Ordinarily, this means you’d have to pay the insurance excess with no way of being reimbursed, but Excess Recovery insurance is designed for this type of situation, so it will cover all or part of your costs.
Does Excess Recovery Insurance reimburse your whole excess?
It depends what level of cover you choose and how high your insurance excess is. For example, if you purchase Excess Recovery insurance to the value of £350, and your actual excess is set at £400, you’d be reimbursed all but £50 of your excess – that’s quite a saving!
Obviously, if you choose a higher level of cover the cost increases, but if you need to make a claim the savings are more significant, too.
Who would benefit most from Excess Recovery insurance?
Anyone whose insurer has set a high excess on their policy is likely to benefit most from Excess Recovery in the event of a claim. This might include:
- Young drivers
- Drivers with prior claims
- Drivers with motoring convictions
- Policies for high performance cars
- Owners of modified cars
Excess Recovery is offered by Complete Cover Group as an optional additional product for as little as £36.95 when you buy a car insurance policy through us, with excess cover ranging from £350 to £1,500.