Tag Archives: CDW

Should You Take the Insurance Coverage with a Rental Car?

Perhaps the most common question about renting a car is whether or not it’s a good idea to pay extra for the insurance coverage offered by the rental car companies. There’s really no easy answer, other than “maybe.” First, let’s take a look at the different types of coverage that are generally offered. The most common has a few different names, like CDW (collision damage waiver), PDW (physical damage waiver) or LDW (loss damage waiver). Technically this is not insurance coverage, but rather a waiver that says that the insurance company will not charge you for damages to the car during the rental (although there are exceptions for reckless driving or if you violate the terms of the rental agreement). Generally speaking, if you have insurance on your personal car then you should be OK to decline this coverage as your policy will cover it, although it’s a good idea to check with your insurance agent to be sure.

Some of the other coverage that might be offered includes personal liability or LIS (liability insurance supplement), PAI (personal accident insurance) or personal property insurance. These cover things like damage you cause to another vehicle, items that are lost or stolen from the rental car, and medical costs/death coverage for you and/or your passengers in case of an accident. Again, many of these will be covered by your own personal policy, and sometimes by your credit card (however, you need to use that specific credit card to reserve and pay for the rental).

Whether or not to pay the extra fees to the rental car companies is a matter of personal choice. If you have comprehensive auto insurance and have a credit card that includes rental car coverage, then you are probably OK to decline all coverage. On the other hand, if you don’t have personal car insurance, then it makes sense to take the coverage. One other thing to consider is that even if you have coverage through your own car insurance policy, that doesn’t mean you won’t be responsible for deductibles and the potential for increased rates by filing a claim for a rental car. So if the cost of the coverage gives you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your trip, then it’s not a bad idea to pay the additional cost, especially since you are going to save money by renting through RentACarNow.com.