When you go to rent a car, the attendant (or website) will likely ask if you wish to purchase a Collision Damage Waiver. Many people find themselves having to make a panicked decision in the moment because they either a) don’t want to accidentally be liable for an accident or b) aren’t sure what their own auto insurance covers.
Therefore, before you decide to take out a damage waiver for a rental car, make sure you understand what that waiver covers and when it makes sense to get one.
It’s important to note, to start with, that collision damage waivers are not insurance, and are not legally allowed to be advertised as such. The waiver is the rental company’s waiver of their ability to make the renter responsible for very high deductibles. The CDW does not have any insurance for property damage not done to the rental car or for any personal injury claims.
There are a few advantages and disadvantages of these waivers:
- They put most vehicle damage costs on the rental company instead of you
- They often pay out the full value of the vehicle should damage occur
- They’ll typically cover the rental company’s loss of use of the vehicle
- You will still be responsible for any injuries that occur
- The rental cost will go up significantly when purchasing a CDW
You should first check through your own insurance coverage, as a CDW could just represent a significant overlap in coverage you already have. Depending on the kind of credit card you have or travel insurance policies you have, you might also have coverage through them for rental cars.
For more information about when you should or shouldn’t seek additional rental car coverage, contact a trusted Bradenton, FL car accident lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernadnez & Walsh.