Everything You Need to Know About Collision Damage Waiver

26th July, 2021, in Global Hire Advice

When you rent a vehicle overseas you may notice that the policy includes collision damage waiver protection as standard. However, in some countries, collision damage waiver insurance will need to be purchased separately. Typically abbreviated to CDW, collision damage waiver dictates how much a car hire company will charge for repairs should the vehicle become damaged in any way.

What does Collision Damage Waiver cover?

If you have an accident overseas that affects the vehicle’s bodywork, CDW will cover this. However, it is worth bearing mind that CDW will not cover damage affecting:

  • Windows and mirrors
  • The engine
  • Wheels and tyres
  • The car’s interior
  • Battery related issues
  • Personal effects
  • Lost keys
  • Towing fees

You may be wondering; how do I ensure that I am protected if my hire car is broken into? Or, what happens if I damage another vehicle whilst driving abroad? There are different coverage options that may or may not be included as standard in your car insurance policy when your hire overseas.

Loss Damage Waiver

Works similarly to CDW. However, it offers protection against loss or theft of your hire vehicle but only if you have not breached your rental agreement.

Supplemental Liability Insurance

With standard insurance policies on hire vehicles, you’re only protected on the car or van you’re driving. SLI covers you financially if you cause damage to any other vehicle on the road.

Collision Damage Waiver Insurance vs Car Hire Excess Insurance

It is worth remembering that CDW is often referred to as a type of extra insurance. However, this is technically not the case. Collision damage waiver will protect you against any costs if your hire vehicle is damaged. However, you will still be responsible for paying the excess. It is not uncommon for care hire companies abroad to charge a set excess fee, often between £500 and £2000. This means, if you have an accident overseas, the repair work charge will be waived. But, if you don’t have car hire excess insurance, you will be required to pay. You should also remember that CDW will only cover bodywork and nothing else.

Let’s put this into practice. Imagine you’re merrily driving overseas, and you misjudge the road and end up knocking off the wing mirror, smashing a window, and causing damage to two doors. Without CDW you’ll be expected to pay the excess or whatever is stipulated in your rental agreement.

If you’re covered by CDW you will still have to pay the excess for the bodywork repairs. Furthermore, because the wing mirror and window are not covered by your collision damage waiver, you’ll have to pay these out of your own pocket.

Now, let’s relive the same scenario but you don’t have collision damage waiver protection. However, what you do have is car hire excess insurance cover. You won’t have to pay a penny of the excess! Collision damage waiver and car hire excess, even better still!

How much does Collision Damage Waiver cost?

Just like any insurance or protection product the costs for CDW vary between car hire companies around the world. Some will include cover as standard, whereas others will charge a fee. In other scenarios you may have to source it yourself if your rental company does not have a recommended partner.

Countries, such as the US, do not typically offer CDW cover as part of a vehicle hire agreement. However, it can be sourced from other companies should you want to be protected.

Alternatively, for complete peace of mind, car hire excess coverage might be a suitable solution for you. With Direct Car Hire Excess not only are you protected from the high excess fees car hire companies charge, but we also protect you against:

  • Towing costs
  • Car key loss
  • Misfuelling
  • Serious injuries
  • Tyre damage
  • Window damage
  • Carjacking

These are just a handful of the different benefits you can expect depending on the level of cover you take out with us. With cover from just £0.12 / €0.14 / $0.16 per day and with 120 countries covered, you can rest assured we can give you extra peace of mind when hiring a vehicle abroad. We offer the following in Basic, Standard, or Deluxe coverage options:

We can offer protection for any overseas car hire. The best place to start is to get a no-obligation online quote from us – it’s completely free! Simply select your policy type, the country you’re travelling to, as well as the start and end date. It couldn’t be easier. However, should you want to contact us we are available via +44 20 8181 3815 or Alternatively, check out our FAQs for more information.

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