An Introduction to Collision Damage Waiver

A Collision Damage Waiver is a type of coverage that protects a driver from paying for damages to a rental car during their rental period. Depending on where you are, it may be included in the cost of your car hire, or you may need to make an additional payment for this.

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What is Collision Damage Waiver insurance?

Collision Damage Waiver insurance means that the driver of a car hire does not have to pay anything towards damage from a collision. This also generally extends to vandalism, acts of weather and may or may not extend to theft, although this kind of waiver is sometimes specifically called a Loss Damage Waiver.

CDW differs from car hire excess insurance which covers you from the excess fee that car rental firms may charge for damage. It is typically calculated as an additional daily fee.

Who to buy coverage from?

Drivers in Europe, Australia and New Zealand will find that it is automatically included in their rental charge. However, drivers in the USA and Canada will need to purchase this additionally, either from the rental firm, your own auto or travel insurer, or a specialist insurer. Buying this kind of coverage directly from the car rental company is the most expensive option.

You can have this added to your standard car insurance or travel insurance, which will give you peace of mind whenever you hire a car. This is a good option for drivers who hire cars regularly, but can be costly for those who rarely hire cars. For most people hiring a car in the US, one-off purchases of CDW from a third-party insurer, like, is the most cost-effective way to ensure you have this essential cover.

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Collision Damage Waiver insurance can save a lot of potential charges, should the car you rent get stolen, vandalised or end up in an accident. Unfortunately for US and Canadian drivers, this necessary payment is not included in car hire charges. Wherever you are however, it is important to read the policy, as some CDWs do not cover for every eventuality.

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