Doesn’t it seem confusing sometimes just to get a rental car? There seems to be so much paperwork and so many decisions to make.
For example, should you get the collision damage waiver or not? Should you buy additional insurance coverage from the car rental company?
If you’ve ever watched people at the rental car counter, you know these are questions that most people struggle with. Sometimes you can decline additional insurance on car rentals, but there are specific instances that you should always buy the insurance. But how do you know?
One of the biggest areas of confusion is the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) offered by the car rental company at the time of rental. It covers damage to the rental car if you are involved in an accident.
The CDW isn’t exactly insurance, and it only covers only damage to the rental car. It doesn’t cover property damage or personal injury. If CDW is purchased, the car rental company waives some or all of its right to gain from you for physical damages to the car.
So should you purchase the CDW the car rental agency pushes at you? Experts say that most people don’t need it but purchase it anyway. This is a very costly mistake!
You can save yourself a lot of hassle and unnecessary cost by doing three things. First, check your own car insurance policy to see what coverage carries over to rental cars. Second, see if the credit card you are using offers any coverage for renting. And finally, check the options the car rental agency offers in its own policies.
Many car insurance policies include all-inclusive and collision coverage to damages to rental cars. There is no sense paying for more if your policy includes this coverage, right? Just verify the details with your insurance agent before you decline the car rental company’s additional insurance options.
Typical car insurance policies provide liability coverage that extends to car rentals. If you injure someone in an accident while driving a rental car, your policy will often cover you. If your car insurance policy does not provide these coverages when you are driving car rentals, be sure to purchase additional insurance from the car rental company to protect yourself.
In addition, many credit cards offer coverage for rental cars. If your credit card includes coverage for car rentals that have been damaged in an accident, you don’t need to buy any other additional insurance coverage the car rental company offers you.
Finally, read the car rental policy carefully and decide whether or not your car insurance or credit card covers you. Then discuss the car rental’s coverage with the agent. Always make an informed decision. Don’t give into pressure by the car rental agent.
Deciding whether or not to pay for additional insurance coverage the car rental companies offer can be a tough decision. Check with your credit cards and existing car insurance policy to see if they provide rental car provisions, and if they don’t, you’d better consider spending the extra money for additional insurance for your own protection.
You shouldn’t pay for anything that you really don’t need! On the other hand, you don’t want to have inadequate coverage in the event of an accident with rental cars.
Karen Kirby has over 25 years of experience in the computer