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How does rental excess/CDW work in Europe? What are my waiver options?

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 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 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.'s "Zero Excess Rental Cover" is a cheap alternative to Super CDW/Super LDW and covers all types of accidents and damages.

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How to make an informed choice when you get to the rental desk - your insurance options explained.
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Annual Plans

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How do claims work for "Extra Cover" (for USA & Canada)?
How do claims work for "Zero Excess Rental Cover", "No Excess Rental Cover" & "Rental Vehicle Cover"?
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Am I insured if I have more than one accident?
How do I report a claim for "Collision Damage Coverage" (for US Residents)?

Country: Asian Countries

What should I do at the rental desk in Asian Countries

Country: Australia/NZ

How does Excess Reduction & Third Party Insurance work in Australia and New Zealand
What should I do at the rental desk in Australia/NZ?

Country: Canada

How does rental excess & CDW work in Canada? What are my options?
What should I do at the rental desk in Canada?

Country: EU/UK

How does rental excess/CDW work in Europe? What are my waiver options?
What should I do at the rental desk in EU/UK?

Country: Latin American Countries

What should I do at the rental desk in Latin American Countries

Country: Namibia/Africa

How does rental excess & CDW work in Africa? What are my options?

Country: United States

What are the insurance options in the USA? How does the US differ from most other countries?
How Does The Free Roadside Assistance Work for USA Policies?
What is Extra Cover for the USA? What do I say at the rental desk?
What should I do at the rental desk in the US?
What should I do at the rental desk if I am traveling abroad with Collision Damage Coverage (for US Residents)?

Country: Worldwide

What should I do at the rental desk: Introduction

Damage Waivers (CDW, LDW, Super CDW, Super LDW)

What is "excess", "CDW", "LDW", "excess reduction", etc? And what is
How much do I pay if there's an accident?
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Managing/Cancelling/Modifying Policies

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I have several rentals over a period of time. Do I need a policy for each rental? What if I have several countries to visit?
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Personal Accident Insurance

What is PAI (Personal Accident Insurance)?

Supplemental Liability Insurance

What is SLI (Supplementary Liability Insurance)?

Theft Protection

What is Theft Protection?

Third Party Cover

Is "Third Party" included?
Why do rental companies charge a large excess when the repair cost is small? What happens if I'm "not at fault"? Will I get my money back? When?

Types of Vehicles & Types of Rental (Peer To Peer etc)

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