Car Rental Insurance
Companies use different terminology to explain the terms of their car rental insurance cover. In most countries your car rental agreement will provide full insurance which covers any damage to the rental vehicle – known as CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) or LDW (Loss Damage Waiver), Third Party Liability and Theft.
There will however be an excess which you need to pay in the event of an accident or if the car is stolen. This can be covered by buying additional car rental insurance cover which the rental company may refer to as Super CDW or Excess waiver. You may also find you need to buy extra insurance cover for windscreens and tyres in some countries.
As I mentioned in the section above on deciding which car rental company to use, if you’re dealing with a local company you really need to make sure you fully understand what the car rental insurance terms are before you set off on your trip. Print the emails off and take them with you so you can verify the terms again when you take delivery of your car.
If you want to be 100% sure you have full rental insurance cover and won’t be left out of pocket if you have a bump, one option is to purchase a combined CDW and excess cover policy before you leave. You can buy a yearly car rental insurance excess policy from a number of companies such as those below, and can generally choose which region you want cover in or whether you want a worldwide policy. Some of the companies mentioned (including icarhireinsurance.com) offer daily rates and these are often cheaper than the CDW Prices of the car rental companies.
You’ll need to decline the company’s car rental excess insurance and show them your documentation . Depending on the country you’re in, if you need to claim you may first need to cover the cost on your own credit card then claim back from your insurer at home.
If you travel and rent cars regularly, particularly beyond Western Europe, my opinion is that these annual insurance policies represent reasonable value and are worth considering so you have peace of mind wherever you’re renting a car.