Rental Car Insurance Explained: CDW, LDW, Excess Cover

At the rental desk, you will be offered insurance (also called Excess Reduction or Excess Waiver or Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) or Super Loss Damage Waiver (SLDW) etc). Instead, you can purchase a policy which will cover the "excess" which applies to any rental vehicle globally. The vehicle's standard liability is the maximum amount you would have to pay in the event of an accident, and you can reduce that for a daily price. 

What is Excess Cover for Rental Cars?

When you rent a car in most countries the default insurance you will be provided will have an excess between €/$/£1500-3000. You are liable for up to this amount if any damage is done to the car (or they 'report' that damage has been done to the car). covers this excess along with any administration fees or other charges the rental company will make you pay. 

We provide Rental Car Excess Coverage insurance and full protection products against this happening. Get a quote today! Our prices are 50% cheaper than the insurance offered at the rental desk.


What is CDW & LDW?

This is usually included in the rate that you see on a website. Note that these “waivers” just reduce your excess from a high amount (similar to the full value of the car) to somewhere between €/$/£1500 & €/$/£3000 depending on the car and the rental company. The reduced excess may still exceed €/$/£10,000 for some high-end sports car rentals, mainly in France.

CDW policies typically exclude windscreen & tyre repairs/replacements, as well as undercarriage, roof, interior, window and side mirror damages. The renter will be liable for the full cost of those repairs. Many companies also exclude theft as they sell separate theft coverages.As mentioned it is usually included in the rental price, but where sold separately CDW costs €/$/£10 to €/$/£30 per day. LDW (which is CDW with Theft Protection) is in the same price range.

If it is not already included, we recommend to all customers that they take out a basic CDW (or LDW to include Theft Protection) for European rental vehicles. Our Insurance Policies and warranty protection policies for Rental Cars cover you for all the items these policies don't protect you for. 

What is Super CDW or SCDW

If you take out the basic CDW as advised above your excess is still in the range of €/$/£1500-3000. This can be lowered with Super CDW. It can be confusing because the rental companies might also call this product "CDW" but the main thing to be aware of is that these policies reduce your excess from somewhere between €/$/£1500 & €/$/£3000, towards €/$/£0.

These policies are sold aggressively at the rental company rental desks. The cost is similar to CDW (€/$/£10 to €/$/£30 per day) with similarly hidden exclusions (windscreen & tyre repairs/replacements plus undercarriage, roof, interior, window and side mirror damages). Repairs for those types of damage are charged at the full rate but limited to the reduced liability of €/$/£1500-3000. 

What is Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI)

Purchase "Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI)" from the rental company. This will be offered generally in states where third party liability is not required to be held by the vehicle owner. The SLI cover is usually between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000. However we always recommend that you ask the rental company as there are differences from state to state.

Discount Rental Car Insurance

For campervan and motorhome rentals, try our motorhome and campervan excess cover overview or for 4x4s and 4x4 campers, try our 4x4 excess cover page.

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Страховое покрытие на автомобили с числом посадочных мест менее 9 (включая водителя).