Do you need to purchase extra insurance from an auto rental company?

UPDATED: Jul 6, 2011

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UPDATED: Jul 6, 2011Fact Checked

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Asked July 6, 2011

1 Answer


Depending on the type and amount of insurance you have on your own car, you may not need to purchase additional coverage for a rental car. You should read the details of your insurance policy or call your insurance company for confirmation, but many insurance companies extend the coverage for your personal car to rental cars. However, the rental car company may not accept minimum insurance coverage for a rental car, preferring full coverage with collision insurance.

If your insurance policy does not include collision coverage, the rental company may require you to purchase a special type of insurance, called a Collision Damage Waiver, or CDW. This insures the rental vehicle against collision damage, vandalism and theft. CDW insurance has specific restrictions to what it will cover, including that the insurance is void if you are speeding, intoxicated, or violating other driving laws. Some rental companies may require you to purchase CDW as part of the rental price, and doing so is within their rights as the actual owner of the car you are renting.

Car rental companies prefer you to purchase insurance on the specific car, but if your personal car insurance will cover a rental, and many do, it would be more economical to use your own insurance as long as it contains sufficient coverage for the make and model of vehicle you are driving. Before you pay an excessive amount for rental car insurance, contact your own auto insurance company to find out what you can do, such as adding a rider to your own policy for the increased rental car value.

Answered July 6, 2011 by Anonymous

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