Argus / cartrawler - insurance scam?

Hello,
I recently hired a car online through ArgusCarHire, a broker and subsidiary of Cartrawler.
The rental voucher & paperwork, though not very comprehensive, stated that if i took out the optional Axa excess insurance policy, in the case of quote "any damage", that would cover me for any damage up to 1250 euros (i.e. i could later claim back the deposit/excess) and the standard vehicle insurance with the hire would, quote, "cover the rest" .
The car was damaged on holiday and the repair bill was over 4000 euros. I paid the 1250 deposit before returning home, on the understanding that the local supplier (or i) could claim via Argus' "standard vehicle insuance". However. Since returning home i have had no real assistance from Argus, and the local supplier has charged my credit card again, another payment of 1250 (running total 2500 euros). I dont know if i can dispute the transaction via my cc company as the paper work from the local supplier suggests we had no insurance (we had insurance apparently with the broker).
The customer service line was mysteriously disconnected today when i asked to be provided with contact details of the Argus legal department.
Has anyone had similar experiencr with Argus? Do they eventually assist? Or do i just have to wait for the local supplier to take legal action against me for not paying the full cost of repair..? (Worst case scenario!)
Many thanks
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Replies

  • Jlo31Jlo31 Forumite
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    Hi, I don't think it's a scam. I have just done a dummy booking and saw it offered AXA excess insurance.

    If you look at the terms and conditions documents it gives an online portal to claim and explains what documents are needed.

    I think it's up to you to put in the claim. Shame Argus are not offering you some support though.
  • AW85AW85 Forumite
    13 Posts
    Thanks very much for your reply. I dont think the excess insurance is a scam, i'm wondering who provides the 'standard vehicle insurance', i.e. to cover anything over and above the value of the deposit. The local supplier, or maybe me, should be able to claim against this in order to cover the rest of the cost of repair. But, as it stands, argus seem unable or unwilling to tell me who provides the standard insurance (it may also be axa). And in the mean time, the local supplier is left with a garage bill to pay and my credit card details...
  • Jlo31Jlo31 Forumite
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    On your rental agreement you would have had a CDW (collision damage waiver ) excess. Do you know what it said? This should be the maximum amount you would have to pay. You then would reclaim this amount through axa?

    If they have taken more than the maximum excess amount then yes your correct you need to take this up with Argus/hire car company. Are you sure the extra amount has been taken from your account or is it just a 'pending hold' on your card?
  • edited 23 August 2018 at 9:20AM
    AW85AW85 Forumite
    13 Posts
    edited 23 August 2018 at 9:20AM
    Jlo31 wrote: »
    On your rental agreement you would have had a CDW (collision damage waiver ) excess. Do you know what it said? This should be the maximum amount you would have to pay. You then would reclaim this amount through axa?

    If they have taken more than the maximum excess amount then yes your correct you need to take this up with Argus/hire car company. Are you sure the extra amount has been taken from your account or is it just a 'pending hold' on your card?

    The CDW section states - Often referred to as CDW, this partially covers damages incurred to your vehicle. Please note that you will still be liable for insurance excess (see: Not Included section below). CDW does not cover damage or loss of keys, tyres, glass or undercarriage.

    However, further quotes from the "not included" section of the rental agreement voucher -

    Damage Waiver Liability - EUR 1250
    In the event of damage to the rental vehicle, you will be liable for up to the first EUR 1250.00 of costs and the standard vehicle insurance policy will cover the rest. Please note, you must have this amount available on your credit card at the time of pick up in order to pay for any damage to the rental vehicle that may occur during your rental period
    .

    And
    Extra insurance - Ask at desk
    You may be offered additional insurance at the car rental desk. This should be declined if you have already purchased the Axa excess insurance through CarTrawler. You may be told that the Axa cover is not valid - this is not the case so there is no need to purchase any additional insurance cover offered at the rental desk. However, a deposit will be placed on your credit card by the car rental company to cover the excess in case of damage or theft. Axa will refund any excess paid. If you require assistance from us regarding insurance while at the desk, please call us on the number listed at the bottom of your voucher.

    Therefore, while there was damage to the glass, I understood that the standard vehicle insurance, plus the additional policy would cover the cost of the repair. In addition, I have not received an itemised breakdown of repairs, therefore i do not know what is covered (or not) by the CDW. The car was towed from the scene.

    And yes, unfortunately, both payments of 1250 are actual charges, and not pending holds. One was taken the day we returned to the rental desk (the morning after the accident), and another was taken 4 days later after we had returned home.
  • Jlo31Jlo31 Forumite
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    As far as I can read the maximum financial liability to you is €1250 euros which you should be able to claim from axa but you will need to try and get hold of the damage charges from the hire car company and ask them to refund €1250 back to you. Sounds like they double charged you.
  • AW85AW85 Forumite
    13 Posts
    Thank you, that is what i understand too!
    The local supplier has confirmed that they intentionally took the second payment, and feel they are within their rights to do so. Which i can understand to an extent, as, according to the documentation we signed on the day of hire, we didn't have insurance with them (we did, just through Argus, the online broker).
    I was planning to dispute it with my credit card, but unsure i would get very far!
    Thank you for you help.
  • Jlo31Jlo31 Forumite
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    I think you are in your rights to dispute one of those charges as they had no authority or reason to take both.

    Was the hire car company one of the big nationals. If so I would try there head office and maybe take to Twitter. Do the same with Argus.

    Hope you get it sorted.
  • AW85AW85 Forumite
    13 Posts
    Thanks, I probably will send a disputed transactions form to my CC provider (The Post Office).

    But, from what I have been told, I will likely be refunded the money initially, until / unless the local supplier (Yes/Yor Car - not one of the big ones..!) can prove the charge was legitimate.

    My concern is that, on review of the documentation we signed at the rental desk, the charge will look justified, as we were not insured with Yes/Yor Car. So the charge will then be re-applied to my credit card, and the Post Office will instruct me to take it up again with Argus.
    Who, as it happens, closed my online case yesterday , marking it as "Resolved"... It is anything but!

    Thanks again.
  • Jlo31Jlo31 Forumite
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    Which country did you hire the car?

    As far as I can see you were insured as the car had CDW on it with an excess. The excess is what you have to pay. The point of a CDW is it waives you from financial liability for damage of the car.

    The only thing you are not insured for was to reduce the excess.... But your third party AXA insurance should cover you this.

    The bit I don't understand is why they say you were not insured???
  • Jlo31Jlo31 Forumite
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    Just to add as you have disputed the charge you just need to make sure post-office credit card team are aware of your rental voucher and contract and that as per terms and conditions you owe the rental company €1250 to cover the damage (max excess) and the other €1250 charge had been wrongly taken.

    I hope you win this charge back.! I think you should.
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