It’s easy to be confused by jargon when you’re hiring a car. So if you don’t know your CDW from your CWP, here’s a handy jargon buster to help you make sense of all those acronyms so you don’t end up paying for something you don’t need.
CDW or LDW
Collision damage waiver, also known as loss damage waiver, will cover the cost of repairs if your hire car is involved in an accident. This type of cover is generally bundled with your car hire in Europe, Africa and Australia but may need to be purchased separately in the US and Canada.
You can also purchase SCDW or super collision damage waiver cover which will cover the excess if there is an accident, meaning you’re not out of pocket if the worst happens.
ALI, LIS or SLI
These are all types of liability insurance, so if you simply see the initials LI on your hire agreement, make sure you clarify what type of insurance is included.
ALI or Additional Liability Insurance is also known as SLI or Supplemental Liability Insurance. This protection provides third party cover if you’re involved in bodily injury or property damage if you’re involved in an accident.
This type of insurance is bundled with car hire in Europe but needs to be purchased separately in other countries. Just to confuse you further, it’s usually known as LIS or Liability Insurance Supplement in the US.
One thing to look out for are the limits on ALI which can be low – in which case you may want to purchase separate LIS to top up.
TP, STP and THW
TP or theft protection usually comes bundled with CDW to offer more comprehensive protection if your rental car is stolen or damaged as a result of theft. Opt for STP or super theft protection if you don’t want to have to pay any costs as this will cover the excess but that extra cover often comes at a high price.
THW or theft waiver is just another name for this type of theft protection.
PEP or PEC
PEP means Personal Effects Protection and is the same as PEC or Personal Effects Cover.
Both offer cover for your personal belongings which could be damaged or stolen. The protection includes the baggage and personal effects of anyone travelling in your rental car.
While you’ll want to have this kind of insurance, always check what’s already covered by your credit card and travel insurance so you don’t end up paying out for cover you don’t need.
CHEI or CREI
Car Hire Excess Insurance or Car Hire Rental Insurance is an additional insurance you may be offered at the rental desk. It does exactly what it says in the tin, by covering the excess if your rental car is damaged in any way.
If you’ve ever experienced a nasty surprise when you got your credit card bill after a trip, you’ll know how expensive car hire excess can be. And worse still, you can be charged for even minor scrapes and scratches, often to the undercarriage or other inaccessible places.
For peace of mind, buy car hire excess insurance before you travel. You can pick up single trip or annual policies for Europe or Worldwide for just pennies a day. It’s much cheaper than opting for the ‘Super’ CDW or TP and the coverage is far more extensive than the policy offered by your rental company.
How to get the best deal on your rental insurance
If you want to get the best cover at the best price, make sure you buy your top-up policies and standalone insurance before you travel. Just a few minutes spent comparing quotes on the Excess Buddy site can save you hundreds and give you complete peace of mind. Want to really bust the car rental jargon? Then buy a complete policy before you hit the road.