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Old 10-31-2003, 09:26 AM   #1
mkingdon
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That old car insurance thing again

Rob are you listening

I called TCD to get our fly drive price confirmed and actually found it to be £80 cheaper than on the web. Result.

I then told them I didn't need the car insurance as I was going to use my own policy (Natwest).

They told me point blank that I could not have the fly drive without taking their insurance.

I know this has been discussed a lot (but search is switched off atm) so can anyone clarify what they have done in the past, and if I can insist on a price without their insurance for the car?

Many Thanks

Craig
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Old 10-31-2003, 10:52 AM   #2
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Craig

Difficult one. Do thier terms clearly ( or not so clearly ) state that insurance is a part of the deal? If so, it looks like you're lumbered.

We looked at TCD a couple of years ago for a villa + flight..........there were so many "ifs and buts " about them that we told them to lump it and did a DIY package...that's what we do every visit. Personally I find it cheaper and we do it to suit our requirements.

Have you looked elsewhere ?

How much is their insurance btw ? Then you can judge if they're ripping you off.

On the bright side, you HAVE saved £80 by phoning them!

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Old 10-31-2003, 11:26 AM   #3
rob@rar.org.uk
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Re: That old car insurance thing again

Quote:
Originally posted by mkingdon
Rob are you listening
I certainly am Craig!

When I first contacted TCD for a quote the agent told me the same thing (ie, I must take their car insurance): I told her this was incorrect and that there was no way in law that they can make their insurance a mandatory part of their flydrive ticket. After a bit of to'ing and fro'ing with TCD's Sales Manager on a different matter (whether I could book Sunshine First without a TCD villa) I eventually confirmed my flydrive booking with them, and have made seperate arrangements for car hire insurance (with Amex).

After comparing prices with a number of other charter and scheduled airlines I thought TCD offered the best value by far, so I was prepared to be persistant with regard to the insurance issue. I suggest you do the same if you thing that TCD's prices are competitive.

Regards

Rob
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Old 10-31-2003, 01:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice.

When you get a price on the web site, it says the car is £408. As the car is "free" that would suggest that the insurance is £408.

So if I can get them to take my booking without the insurance, that will mean the fly drive will be around £1500. Then add £75 for the Natwest insurance. Good value I would say.

Then I guess we need to leave a hefty deposit when picking the car up, but that's only an imprint so that's OK.

Rob, nice to know you succeeded, so at least they have set a precedent here. How "difficult" did you need to be?

Guess what my first phone call tomorrow will be

Many Thanks

Craig
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Old 10-31-2003, 03:50 PM   #5
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The same thing happened to us when we booked our fly drive with Virgin, the Virgin rep told us that Dollar would not accept the Amex insurance policy. We didn't argue but called Dollar in Miami (where we collect our car) direct, who told us they had no problem with us using our own Insurance as long as we were prepared to leave a credit card imprint. We then went back to Virgin and booked the holiday less the insurance and saved ourselves approx £400!
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Old 10-31-2003, 07:02 PM   #6
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Virgin don't actually force you to take out their insurance though, whereas it seems that TCD do. It's the old story of how companies make use of the word 'Free'.

In the case of Virgin you get a basic vehicle included for the first week, and then pay extra for additional days or upgrades. It ended up costing us £90 for a full-size for the 14 days, plus about £45 or so in local taxes, and £75 for the Natwest insurance which we will re-use next year. So, about £175 in total.

I looked at the TCD website and it mentions that they include a 2-door economy model with basic liability insurance (does . It doesn't seem to state explicitly in their terms and conditions that you must take their insurance for this, but does say "Your booking with us becomes effective when you have paid a deposit and any applicable insurance premiums". Whatever that means :D

I guess it may be that TCD use part of the margin on the car insurance to reduce the apparent costs of the flights, thereby making the initial price seem cheaper. Alternatively they could just be trying to fleece people with their highly-priced policies....

Good luck declining the insurance Craig - let us know how you get on.

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Old 11-01-2003, 04:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by mkingdon
Rob, nice to know you succeeded, so at least they have set a precedent here. How "difficult" did you need to be?
I didn't need to be difficult on the insurance point, I simply said I didn't want it (although I did have to say this to a couple of people before things weere sorted out). Even though there are four of us flying out they have only offered an economy grade car, so I will probably pay to upgrade to something just a little larger. Even with this extra cost the TCD flydrive plus my Amex travel insurance (which covers car hire) was still the best value for money by far, so I'm more than happy with my TCD booking.

Regards

Rob
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Old 11-01-2003, 05:01 AM   #8
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Result..I think

Well upon calling TCD, I confirmed the price, and the breakdown of all the charges.

I then explained that I wouldn't need thier insurance cover as I have my own policy.

I was told that I had to fax them a copy of my policy, for a manager to review, and if they think it is suitable, I do not have to take their policy.

I can therefore reduce their quote by £408.

So all I have to do now is buy the policy fax it to them, and that should be that.

Of course, they could always say it is not acceptable!!!!!!!!!!

Rob, did you have to have your policy reviewed?

Thanks

Craig
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Old 11-01-2003, 05:51 AM   #9
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I think I may have faxed them the relevant page from my Amex policy boolet. However, I think all that is irrelevant. By not taking out their insurance you are not asking TCD/Dollar to accept your NatWest policy as an alternative; you are simply declining to buy their insurance. There is nothing that they can to 'approve' or 'not approve', even if they say they are doing it on Dollar's behalf. I have rented with Dollar on several occasions in the last four years, and not once have they cared whther I have their insurance or made other arrangements.

Your Dollar hire car comes with the legal minimum third party insurance (as all car hire must do in the USA). How you top up that legal minimum to a sensible level of cover is entirely up to you. Of course, Dollar will say that if you do not take their Collision Damage Waiver you must leave a deposit just in case you damage their car (this will be a $1,500 credit card imprint). However, Dollar will not care whether you increase the legal minimum third party cover ($30,000) to a more sensible level ($1,000,000) as they will not be sued if you are responsible for damage or injury to a third party.

In my view TCD are making if difficult for people to make alternative arrangements for car hire insurance. I guess this is because their profit margins on their very cheap flights are so small that they need to use profits from car hire insurance to make it a worthwhile business. I'd be interested in comments from TCD's Sales (marketing?) Manager who I know has posted on the DIS in the past. I'm sure he would be able to clarify any confusion.

Regards

Rob
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Old 11-01-2003, 06:27 AM   #10
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I thought it was 'illegal' for any travel company to insist that you take out the insurance offered by them. I assume this is usually taken to mean travel insurance, but I wonder whether the same applies to rental-car insurance.

As has been said here already, Virgin don't try to persuade you to take out their car insurance package and, because it's an added on cost, you can calculate how much it will cost you if you do take it. With TCD, their prices seem to be a bit less easily predicted and therefore more difficult to tell exactly what you would save by declining the car insurance.

It is definitely going to be more difficult for the average holiday-maker to tell what he/she is obliged to pay for with the TCD package IMHO.

Craig - it will be interesting to see whether you have a successful outcome with this, like Rob. Here's hoping it goes smoothly for you.
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Old 11-03-2003, 11:11 AM   #11
mkingdon
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Update....

I've spent most of today on the phone to TCD.

I faxed the policy detail across four times until they confirmed they had received it.

They then said they would need to confirm with Dollar that this would be OK and come back to me.

They didn't, and I called them back. They have now asked me for a document with my name on, to show I actually have the policy in place, BEFORE they will take the booking.

Initially, they just said they needed details of what the cover was, NOT that I had already bought the cover.

I understand all this is just to make it as hard as possible for me to do this, but it's doing nothing for their reputation in my eyes.

Despite some protesting they will not take the booking until I send them this paperwork. From what Rob has said, whether I have the policy or not, is frankly none of their business!!

I have now put the wheels in motion to buy the policy, and I will fax across the documentation asap.

I'm determined not to be put off by these delaying tactics, and I'll let you know what happens.

Cheers

Craig
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Old 11-03-2003, 01:05 PM   #12
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rob

Re: Dollar Car Hire..........

I've had a quote from Airline Network for car hire through Dollar at Tampa Airport.

Their price includes SLI, CDW, Under & Uninsured Motorist Insurance and all airport, state and local fees.

Is this adequate cover ???? I've only used Fly/drive before and taken the usual package so I'm unsure as to levels of insurance needed.

Strangely enough, if I take the Dollar Platinum Upgrade ( Any driver over 25 + tank of fuel ) it's £3 cheaper ?!!?



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Old 11-03-2003, 02:06 PM   #13
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I have to point out that I'm not an insurance expert! I've just had some experience of buying independent insurance and declining the cover usually sold by the tour companies.

The Airline Network policy seems to provide all the usual types of cover necessary for car hire. You don't quote the level of cover offered by Airline Network; you might want to compare these with other policies if you are concerned, but I would guess that it's a pretty standard policy.

Regards

Rob
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Old 11-03-2003, 04:49 PM   #14
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Re: Update....

Quote:
Originally posted by mkingdon
I've spent most of today on the phone to TCD.
This is exactly why I cannot be bothered with DIY holidays. I booked direct with Virgin for next year and took their Fully Inclusive Policy - total cost for a F4 car for 19 days hire plus insurance was £425.70. It's impossible to cut that bill by hundreds of pounds so IMO it's a waste of time spending hours on the telephone, faxing etc. to try and save a few quid. I'm self employed and I could lose hundreds of pounds worth of sales in the time that it appears to take to try and get a cut price insurance quote. If I was retired I may like the challenge but until then the easy and safe option looks best to me. If you were unfortunate to have an accident I'm sure that Dollar/Alamo etc would wait until any insurance policy outside of their control was verified 110% before they would issue a new car - and we all know the speed that insurance companies work!

Lol
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Old 11-04-2003, 01:26 AM   #15
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Re: Re: Update....

Quote:
Originally posted by floridalol
This is exactly why I cannot be bothered with DIY holidays
I think the problem here is that we are starting with a package holiday (because that's what the TCD Fly Drive is) and trying to convert it to DIY. That's why it creates hassle. That hassle wouldn't be worth it for me either (although I wish Craig luck with his endeavours). Of course, the real proof of whether the hassle is worth it is isn't measured by how much money can be saved, but by what happens in the event of a claim. I would worry about entering into a contract governed by English law for cover in another country.

However, whilst you may not save hundreds of pounds on the car hire/insurance by taking the DIY route, you most certainly can save hundreds (even thousands) on the entire package. Dh and I were only looking last night at the Virgin brochure and wondering how on earth anyone manages to afford one of the Disney Deluxes (£3000+ each for Grand Floridian in April - £12000 for our family of four ). I could do it DIY for half that.
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