We all like to think that we’re safe drivers, but accidents can happen. When you rent a car, you’ll be given the option to take out additional cover such as collision damage waiver insurance, otherwise known as CDW. This protects you if you’re involved in an accident that causes major damage or results in the vehicle being written off.
So should you take out collision damage insurance? Do you really need it or is it just a scam? It’s definitely worth taking out CDW, in addition to some form of car excess insurance to cover the total amount of any repair bills if you’re hiring a car. But you’re better off buying an affordable stand-alone policy than expensive cover from the rental company.
In Europe, Africa and Australasia, CDW is included when you hire a car, but you’ll need to go over the policy with a fine tooth comb to check that you have sufficient cover. In Ireland, you’ll be expected to have collision damage insurance in place or you won’t be able to hire a car. If you’re travelling in the USA and Canada where this type of cover isn’t included in a rental, you’ll want to cover yourself against risk. Here are 5 great reasons why collision damage insurance is a must-have for your next trip.
1. You can drop your car off and forget it
One of the many benefits of collision damage insurance is that your car rental company no longer has the right to charge you for damage except to tyres and windscreens – and you can cover those too. It’s the most comprehensive and convenient cover available and it means that, however beaten up the car looks, you can drop off the keys and walk away.
2. You won’t need to worry about huge credit card bills
If a rental car is damaged, your car hire company will demand payment immediately. That’s why they ringfence the excess on your credit card and won’t hire to customers using a debit card or credit card with a low credit limit. Buying CDW insurance means that you won’t suddenly find all the credit on your card is blown and you’re paying back thousands.
3. You won’t be paying for a car you’re not driving
If you don’t have collision damage waiver insurance in place, then you’ll find that you can be charged for more than damage to your car. You can also find yourself paying for towing charges if you can’t return the vehicle to base and all the admin fees for processing the claim.
But the nastiest surprise is that you may be charged for ‘loss of use’ which is the revenue that the hire company misses out on while the vehicle is repaired. You’ll end up paying for the full rental hire of a car you’re not even driving, even when the company has other cars available.
4. You could end up buying the rental company a new car
In addition to ‘loss of use’, you may also find that you end up buying the hire car company a new car if you don’t take out CDW insurance. Your rental agreement may see you paying the full price of a replacement, so protecting yourself against paying out for a new car for the rental company makes sense.
5. You’ll have complete peace of mind
There are plenty of reasons why drivers can feel nervous when it comes to hiring a car. You may be newly qualified or drive infrequently. You may never have rented a car before or you may have had an accident when you hired a car before. All the more reason to cover yourself fully so you can drive risk-free and with full confidence.
If you need collision damage waiver and hire car excess insurance for your next trip, why not try Excess Buddy. We have a comprehensive range of low-cost policies that keep you fully covered.