Please check if these questions are relevant or scroll down to contact us:
|US Fire||Axa Assistance||Collinson Group||Intact Insurance||Chubb|
In summary, if an accident occurs:
CDW (Collision Damage Waiver)/LDW (Loss Damage Waiver)
In Canada most rental companies will offer Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) (also called LDW/Loss Damage Waiver if it includes theft) to reduce the deductible "excess" you must pay in the event of an accident. Many rental companies exclude certain types of damage such as windscreens and tyres, while the CDW/LDW sometimes reduce your deductible to between CAD$500 & $2000. CDW and LDW reduce the deductible to CAD$0 for a handful of rental companies. Use the above comparison tool to see who does what.
As always, check your booking confirmation and discuss with your rental company if you are unsure how much you are insured for, or ask us to help you out as we are happy to help. You may also want to read our FAQ about renting in the USA as there are some differences, mainly because US rental companies always remove the "deductible" so there's nothing to pay in the event of a collision, except some "out of pocket" costs. Those incidental/"out of pocket" costs are instead insured by our "Extra Cover" policies for USA and Canada.
Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI) - Third Party
Each Canadian province has different rules regarding whether or not third party liability (usually called "Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI)" by car rental companies) must be provided, and often the minimum level of coverage required by law is quite low. This means the driver of the car is potentially responsible for injuries to third parties (i.e. other drivers, their passengers, the other driver's car).
|Minimum Liability Limits|
|Minimum liability limits per province are below alongside the supplementary amounts sold by the rental companies.|
|Province||Min. third party liability required||Supplier's Supplementary Liability Insurance|
|British Columbia||CA$200,000||CA$1-2 million|
|New Brunswick||CA$200,000||CA$1-2 million|
|Nova Scotia||CA$500,000||CA$1-2 million|
|Prince Edward Island||CA$200,000||CA$1-2 million|
Personal Accident Insurance (Personal Injuries)
Super CDW / Super LDW
Most rental companies offer a waiver that is variously titled Super CDW, Excess Waiver, Damage Liability Waiver, or something similar. RentalCover.com's "Zero Excess Rental Cover" is a cheap alternative to this waiver and covers all types of accidents and damages.
This is a summary of the main products offered by the rental companies for travel across Europe. Coverage and extras can vary widely across different countries in Europe, so it is important that you understand the options and purpose of each insurance product that you will be offered by the rental companies!
For non-US Residents
When you rent a car in Europe, a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) policy (also called "Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)" if it includes "Theft Protection") is usually included in the rate. To see if your booking includes CDW or LDW, please refer to your booking confirmation. Note that some rental companies in some countries do not include CDW/LDW so you will need to buy it either at the desk or independently.
In Europe, CDW and LDW reduces your excess from the full value of the car to somewhere between €/$/£1,000-4,000. See below for more information.
For US Residents
When US Residents rent a car in Europe the booking typically does not include CDW or LDW. From March 2016 onwards, this can be purchased from RentalCover.com for at least 50% less than the same CDW policy sold by the rental companies. To purchase a policy just enter your Country of Residence on the RentalCover.com homepage and select "CDW/LDW".
Super CDW/Super LDW
For all Countries of Residence
"Super CDW/LDW" policies are sold at the car rental rental desk and are designed to reduce the "excess" that you have to pay in the event of an accident or damage from €/$/£1,000-4,000 towards €/£/$0. This extra waiver has several names including "Damage Waiver", "Premium Waiver", "Premium Protection", "Full Cover" and others, however the purpose is the same.
US residents who have CDW need not worry about SCDW, given their CDWs are zero deductible policies.
RentalCover.com's "Zero Excess Rental Cover" is a cheap alternative to Super CDW/Super LDW and covers all types of accidents and damages.
The insurance requirements for travel in Africa differ for each country and rental company. The following is a brief overview however we also recommend that you check the terms of your rental agreement and discuss how insurance works in your particular country of travel. Your rental confirmation will indicate if your booking includes CDW. US Residents who have our Collision Damage Coverage plan do not need CDW/LDW nor SCDW/SLDW from the rental companies.
CDW (Collision Damage Waiver)/LDW (Loss Damage Waiver)
In Africa most rental companies will offer Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) (also called LDW/Loss Damage Waiver if it includes theft) to reduce the "excess" you must pay in the event of an accident. CDW and LDW reduce the excess from the full value of the car towards US$2000 (ZAR31000). RentalCover.com's Collision Damage Coverage is a cheap alternative to the CDW and SCDW.
Our Collision Damage Coverage for US Residents performs the same role as CDW, for at least half the cost. If there is damage to the rental vehicle you would pay and them file a claim with AON who would reimburse the costs. For non-US Residents, we recommend that you take out CDW from the rental company.
Super CDW / Super LDW to Reduce the Excess Payable
As with European, Australian and NZ rentals, CDW & LDW in Africa have a high excess that is reducible with SCDW/SLDW. The excess amount is usually in the range of US$1500-$2000 (ZAR27000), which can be waived by purchasing SCDW or SLDW. RentalCover.com's "Zero Excess Rental Cover" is a cheap alternative to Super CDW/Super LDW and covers all types of accidents and damages.
Liability Insurance/Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI) for Injuries to Third Parties
Most car rental bookings for visitors to Africa include SLI (also called Accident Liability Insurance/ALI or LIS). Feel free to email us if you're unsure about what your policy includes. At the time of writing we do not sell Liability Insurance.
Most countries in Africa require drivers to have their own third party liability insurance. This provides coverage to drivers if they are involved in an accident with another vehicle or pedestrian. Importantly, third party insurance is legislated within distinct African regions that include several countries each. A "liability" card (i.d. third party insurance certificate/policy) will insure you for a specific region (i.e. the policy works across borders). The regions are:
Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) for Injuries to Yourself or Your Passengers
PAI (Personal Accident Insurance) insures you and your passengers for accidental medical costs, emergency care and accidental death during your rental trip. Some companies will sell extra PAI coverage as an optional add-on, and this will provide much better coverage if you or a passenger is injured.
This is a summary of the main products offered by the rental companies for travel in the USA. In the US it is not mandatory for car owners (i.e. the rental companies) to insure hired cars nor is it mandatory for them to insure the drivers against third party personal & property damage (this is called "Liability Insurance" or "Supplementary Liability Insurance"), nor personal injury to the driver (called "Personal Accident Insurance"). Those responsibilities fall to the renter. This is not the case in the EU, Australia, NZ and most other countries so it is important that you understand the options and purpose of each insurance product that you will be offered by the rental companies! The other main difference to other countries is that the rental companies do not offer "Super CDW", "Super LDW" or equivalent "premium" insurance products. When sold in Europe and most of the World, these products are designed to reduce your excess towards zero from an amount that is usually between €/£/$1,000-4,000. In the US all rentals are sold with either the renter being liable for the full amount of the vehicle, or there is zero deductible excess: there's nothing in between! Our "Extra Cover for USA" fills the considerable "out of pocket" costs that still remain even when there is no deductible excess.
From March 2016 onwards, RentalCover.com will be selling CDW for US residents from AON. When you purchase CDW from the rental companies it is usually called "LDW" if it includes theft protection, so our policy is equivalent to LDW. The only difference between a CDW offered independently by us versus the policy offered at the rental desk is that your insurance company (AON) will handle the payments to the rental company for any damages, whereas there is no reimbursement/recovery process if you purchase the rental company's CDW/LDW.It is important to know if your booking contains CDW or LDW! If it doesn't have it already and you are a US resident, you can buy it from RentalCover.com. If you are not a US resident, we always advise that you make sure your car booking includes CDW/LDW from the rental company.
1. For international drivers, the vast majority of websites will automatically include CDW or LDW. If for some other reason CDW or LDW is not automatically included, it will be available at the rental desk. Please read carefully when booking and check your car confirmation!
2. If you book from within the US or are a US resident, CDW/LDW will not be included by default. You can buy a policy from RentalCover.com and save approximately 50% or add it at the rental desk. Sometimes you can add it on the website at the time of booking. Most US domestic travellers can rely on their credit cards or personal motor insurance, however the excess on those policies often outweighs the cost of rental vehicle repairs.
SLI (Supplementary Liability Insurance)
Rental companies also offer insurance for third party property and third party personal that is usually called SLI ("Supplementary Liability Insurance") or LIS or simply, "Liability". SLI provides coverage for claims relating to third parties, namely third party property and third party injury. These policies have coverage limits so you should be conscious of how much is reasonably needed in the event of a major accident and/or negligence. Given the potential liability we always stress to drive carefully in the US and always purchase SLI from the rental company.
At the time of writing, RentalCover.com does not sell SLI.
Please also refer to our "What is SLI?" FAQ
Theft Cover is also called Theft Protection and it may or may not provide coverage to arson and vandalism, depending on the policy. There will always be limitations surrounding negligence. We encourage you to read the relevant terms to check if your policy includes theft. Note also that RentalCover.com's "CDW" and "Extra Cover for USA" policies include theft, arson and vandalism.
PAI (Personal Accident Insurance)
PAI provides coverage to you and your passengers for personal injuries up to a certain limit. PAI might be automatically included when an international driver books a car on either the rental company's website or via the website of an agent/airline/price comparison service. Please check the coverage limits on your policy if you have or intend to have personal accident insurance to determine if the cover is adequate. Check out our "What is PAI (Personal Accident Insurance)?" for examples and further detail.
RentalCover.com's "Extra Cover for USA" policy includes free Roadside Assistance and it provides coverate to related costs such as callout fees, towing, fuel topup, tyres, windscreen repair, etc., plus the considerable out of pocket costs that you might incur (such as impound storage fees, key loss/replacement, headlight/battery repair/replacement, fire and theft, "relocation fees" to get the vehicle back to its intended destination, card fees that are applied along the way, administration/processing fees for accidents, and "loss of use" fees that are charged while the vehicle is off the road being fixed).
As outlined in the USA FAQ, the insurance options for the USA are different to most of the UK/EU and Australia/NZ and Asia. Because US rentals sold to international travelers generally include zero deductible (i.e. no excess payable in the event of an accident), you will be offered optional roadside assistance at the rental desk.
Our roadside assistance provides coverage to every type of cost that you would incur including towing, impound fees, key replacement, battery and windscreens/tyres/light repair or replacement and of course, the call out fee and any other repairs. You can also claim any unused portion of your travel caused by an early termination of your rental. We also provide coverage to extra costs that are applied by rental companies as a result of your incident, mainly credit card fees, "administration"/processing fees and "loss of use" fees (the rental companies recover any income lost while the vehicle is off the road being fixed).
Important: Roadside Assistance
RentalCover.com's roadside assistance partner is Urgently, the #1 rated roadside assistance network in North America. Please follow the instructions carefully - if you don't use Urgently then you risk overpaying. We pay Urgently bills ourselves whereas the rental company's roadside operator will charge you then you would make a claim and get reimbursed for those costs and any other "out of pocket" costs.
Extra Cover for the USA is a comprehensive policy offered by RentalCover.com for non-US residents. It provides coverage for all type of damages as well as multitude of "out of pocket" costs that you will incur in the event of an accident or breakdown.
It is also useful to understand how our roadside assistance works. If you follow the instructions in our confirmation emails you might see that some callouts are performed by our preferred roadside assistance network Urgently. Urgently have won numerous awards and are considered "Uber for Roadside Assistance". There's no phone calls needed, just click the link and a vehicle comes to see you and best of all, we pay Urgently's bill on your behalf. For some types of callout, including mechanical breakdowns and collisions, you will be redirected to the rental company's roadside assistance service. You would then pay your rental company and submit a claim for those costs to be reimbursed by RentalCover.com. It usually takes us less than a day to receive, process and pay Extra Cover for USA claims.
Our Collision Damage Coverage plan is for US Residents and has a $0 deductible. As it's primary coverage you do not have to make a claim against your auto insurance. Additional drivers who are on the rental agreement with you are covered free of charge and it's a zero deductible plan.
As outlined in our general overview of car rental insurance in the USA, the insurance options are different to the rest of the World. The US is a zero deductible market, so there's no repair costs to pay if you have Collision Damage Coverage. The only costs to pay are collision-related fees that are charged by the rental companies such as "loss of use", relocation and administration fees (all are included in our Extra Cover product).
All other countries have a deductible (called "excess" outside of the US). There are consequently two policies to be aware of:
1. CDW: Outside of the US, Collision Damage Waivers (also called Loss Damage Waivers if they include Theft Protection) provide coverage up to the full value of the car, but they also have a deductible/excess. Depending on the country and rental company the deductible can be between US$500 and US$5,000.
2. SCDW: Outside of the US, Super Collision Damage Waivers (which have multiple other names that are designed to confuse renters) reduce the deductible/excess towards $0. They do not exist in the US because the US is a zero deductible market. With SCDW, the more you pay, the deductible/excess gets closer to $0, and there's less exclusions such as windscreens & tires.
Please see our FAQ entitled "What to do at the rental desk in Latin American countries" and there's more details in our rental guides for US, Europe, Australia/NZ, Canada and Africa.
AON handles claims on your behalf once you file a claim or inform them of the incident (check your Policy Wording or confirmation emails for details). For travel outside of the US, you would may be required to pay the rental company and then AON will reimburse you. If you are unable to pay, AON will step in to pay on your behalf. Read on for more information about claims for "Collision Damage Coverage".
The amount payable in the event of an accident is usually called your "excess" or "liability". Rental companies all offer multiple options to reduce your excess. In some countries such as the USA, Canada and Mexico, suppliers do not include any insurance in their basic price, so your excess is actually the full value of the car. In some countries such as Australia and NZ the rental companies are not permitted to pass on this level of risk to customers. In other countries such as UK and most of the EU it is uncommon to see cars without some level of reduced excess.
The product that reduces excess from the full value to a lower amount (usually €/£/$1000-2000) is usually called "CDW" ("Collision Damage Waiver"). Policies that reduce your liability from that level towards €/£/$0 are most commonly called Super CDW (also called "Excess Reduction" in Australia/NZ, Damage Liability Fee and many other names that serve the same purpose). CDW that includes theft coverage is called LDW ("Loss Damage Waiver") while Super CDW that includes theft is called Super LDW.
At present, RentalCover.com offers cheap alternatives to Super CDW/Super LDW and covers all types of damages caused by an accident.
In some countries (including UK, EU, Australia, NZ & most of Asia) it is compulsory for the car owner (i.e. the rental car company) to obtain third party insurance. In the US the responsibility falls on the car driver. There are also some differences between third party property (damages to another vehicle) and third party personal (injuries to another driver or their passengers) from region to region. Lastly, there is often confusion in Australia and New Zealand because rental companies decut third party damage costs from the excess that is payable in the event of a multi-vehicle accident.
In Europe third party insurance (usually called "civil liability") is compulsorily held by the car owner and it provides coverage to damages to other vehicles and injury to other drivers. Without it, a rental company cannot place a vehicle on the road. It is consequently not sold by the rental companies, nor is it offered independently by RentalCover.com.
Read this FAQ for more information on the European insurance options.
In the US and parts of South America, third party responsibility lies with the driver of a rental vehicle. In those countries you will be offered Supplementary Liability Insurance (called SLI or LIS) at the car rental desk and sometimes you will be offered SLI online from the rental company's website. SLI provides coverage to car drivers who cause injuries to drivers or passengers of another vehicle (called "third party injury" or "third party personal"), and other vehicles that are damaged by the accident ("third party property"). Some US states mandate that all cars including rental car companies include SLI however the state minimums are usually quite low for third party injuries so you may consider purchasing an SLI policy. At present RentalCover.com does not sell SLI policies.
In Australia and New Zealand it is compulsory for vehicle owners (i.e. the rental company) to have insurance for third party injuries so a rental vehicle cannot be registered or rented without it. In NZ third party personal injuries are settled through a government program called ACC which does not ascribe "fault" to either driver.
Regarding third party property (damage to other vehicles), some motorhome rental companies charge their customers for "third party" damages but they are just discretionary excess charges, i.e. it is a way for them to increase your damage costs. RentalCover.com policies do not discriminate between one type of excess charge and another, all are insured. So yes, third party damage costs are insured. But we suggest you read our detailed explanation of "third party" charges by motorhome rental companies in Australia and New Zealand.
The amount payable to the rental company in the event of an accident is called your “excess" or "liability” or (in the US) "deductible". Rental companies offer Collision Damage Waivers (CDW) which reduce your excess from the full value of the vehicle in the event of an accident. CDW reduces your excess to €/£/$0 (this is typical in the USA and Canada) or to approx. to €/£/$1,000-€/£/$3,000 (this is the case in Europe, Australia/New Zealand and all markets except North America). To get that remaining excess down to €/£/$0 the rental companies sell "Super CDW", "Super LDW" (includes CDW & theft). There are lots of different names (e.g. in Australia & NZ it is called "excess reduction") but they serve the same purpose.
RentalCover.com offers cheap alternatives to "Super CDW" and "Super LDW" and covers all types of damages caused by an accident.
The following information is US customers only, for information relating to other regions please refer to the country specific FAQs
Supplementary Liability Insurance insures you for injuries to other drivers and their vehicles. In some countries this "third party" insurance is compulsorily provided by the vehicle owner, i.e. the rental companies. However most states in the US do not require the vehicle owner to have mandatory third party liability, meaning the driver is potentially liable for injuries to other people and their property
If you are driving in one of those states you will be offered SLI (also called Accident Liability Insurance/ALI or LIS) by the rental company, which will normally provide between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 coverage. As a general rule, if SLI if offered by the rental company, we advise you to take it.
How much coverage is normally provided?
In the USA each state has different rules regarding whether or not third party coverage must be provided, and often the minimum level of coverage required by law will be quite low. Despite this most SLI providers will generally insure you in the range of $1-2 million, though in some cases coverage may extend up to $10 million.
|Minimum legal coverage|
|State||Individual||Multiple Persons||Property||Supplier SLI Coverage|
|New York||$25,000||$50,000||$10,000||$1-2 million|
|Other||$10-50 thous.||$30-100 thous.||$5-25 thous.||$1-2 million|
Am I insured if I am not at fault?
Generally no. In most cases you will only be able to claim third party damage or injuries if you were the driver at fault. The only exception to this would be if you were deemed by a court to be responsible for a third party accident even if it is not caused by you directly, though this will vary depending on your policy terms.
How Does the Claims Process Work?
To make a SLI claim you will need to contact the rental company's insurance provider and deal directly with them. You will be asked by the insurers to fill out a statement of claim, and to provide some form of documentation relating to your insurance and the claim being made (usually a certificate of insurance, receipts of payment, copies of invoices and police reports as well as other details from the third party showing evidence of damages or or injuries sustained).
The following information is for US customers only, for information relating to other regions please refer to the country specific FAQs
Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) insures drivers of a rental car and their passengers for accidental medical costs, emergency care and accidental death during your rental trip, up to a certain limit. Please check the amount of coverage on your policy if you have or intend to purchase personal accident insurance with your rental company to determine if the coverage is adequate.
RentalCover.com policies don't cover Personal Accident Insurance (PAI).
What is the standard level of coverage?
The following table provides an overview of the standard levels of coverage provided by insurers in the US:
How does the claim process work?
If you or a passenger are injured as a result of driving your rental vehicle, you will need to contact your rental company's insurer directly to place a claim. This will normally involve filling out a claims form, and you will be required to provide the details of your insurance, a receipt of the premium you paid and invoices for your medical costs (hospital and ambulance). In the case of death, the next of kin can place the claim with the insurer and provide details of the accident.
All RentalCover.com policies provide coverage for theft, fire and vandalism. Most rental companies will offer you a product called "Theft Protection" either online or at the rental desk, which insures you up to a fixed amount for loss and damage in the case that your rental car is stolen. This will generally be offered as a standalone product in the US and parts of Europe, or as an inclusion in a "premium" coverage product in Australia, NZ and the rest of Europe.
Some rental companies also include Theft Protection with your CDW purchase, in which case the policy is known as a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). You will need to check your policy wording or contact your policy supplier to find out exactly what is included in your coverage.
If your question isn't answered by the above please fill in the below form or give us a call: