To Waive or Not to Waive: A Comprehensive Guide to Rental Car Insurance Options

10 Reasons You Need Collision Damage Waiver When Renting a Car

Are you going on vacation and planning on renting a car soon? While some people may think that the fees for a collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW) are outrageous, it’s actually best to purchase them when renting a vehicle. Why? Well, for one, these waivers can protect you against thousands of dollars in charges that may not be covered under your personal auto policy. Plus, having both your auto insurance and the rental agreement waiver can give you double the protection and peace of mind!

So, what are some reasons to purchase the CDW/LDW? Here are ten good ones:

  1. Don’t get ripped off! The rental company may value the rental car differently than the “actual cash value without betterment” basis provision found in most auto policies.
  2. If there’s a disagreement on the value of the damage, your auto insurer may charge you for an appraisal. Plus, the rental company may not wait for this process to play out, which could lead to denied claims or limited coverage.
  3. The rental agreement may require immediate reimbursement for damages, which can result in a huge debt, max out your credit card, and even lead to litigation.
  4. Renters are now responsible for any “loss” other than normal wear and tear, so having both the CDW and LDW is a good idea to ensure you’re covered in any situation.
  5. You may also be responsible for indirect losses, like loss of rental income while the vehicle is being repaired, which can be a hefty charge on top of the initial damages.
  6. The rental contract may make you liable for various “administrative” or loss-related expenses, like towing or storage, which auto policies typically don’t cover.
  7. Insurance coverage for rental vehicles can get complicated, especially with different policies and coverages. Having both auto insurance and the damage waiver can help prevent any controversy or litigation.
  8. Many personal auto policies only cover damage to certain types of vehicles and in certain territories, which could leave you vulnerable if you’re renting a motorcycle or traveling outside of the US, for example.
  9. Some auto policies don’t cover business use of non-owned autos or have driver exclusion endorsements. Having both insurance and the damage waiver can ensure you’re covered in all scenarios.
  10. Paying for damages to a rental car can result in a significant premium increase or even non-renewal of your policy. So, having the extra protection of the damage waiver can actually save you money in the long run.

Keep in mind that any damages incurred during your rental will be billed to your credit card, so it’s best to protect yourself by purchasing the CDW/LDW.

Credit Cards Providing Rental Car Insurance: Exploring Coverage Options

Several credit cards offer rental car insurance, providing coverage similar to the collision damage waiver offered by rental car companies. This insurance typically protects against damage or theft up to the total value of the rental vehicle.

The rental car insurance provided by your credit card is complimentary, meaning there is no requirement to add or activate it separately. Nevertheless, it is advisable to review the terms of service associated with your card before renting a car.

It’s worth noting that the rental car insurance provided by your credit card is generally considered secondary coverage. This implies that it fills in any gaps in your regular car insurance policy, or in some instances, you may still need to purchase additional coverage from the rental car company.

Here are some credit cards that come with rental car insurance included:

Chase cards with rental car insurance:

  • Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards
  • Hyatt and World of Hyatt cards
  • United Explorer and United MileagePlus cards
  • Amazon Rewards Visa Signature cards

American Express cards with rental car insurance:

  • Green, Gold, and Platinum cards
  • Hilton Honors and Starwood Preferred Guest cards
  • Delta SkyMiles cars

Capital One cards with rental car insurance:

  • Venture X, Venture Rewards cards

If you have any questions or concerns about auto insurance and rental car coverage, don’t hesitate to reach out to Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance. Our team of experts is always happy to help you find the right coverage for your needs and budget.

Contact Us today for Auto and Home solutions and learn more about how we can help. Give us a call at 603-431-4020, email at or fill out the form on this page to get started.

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