Almost every time you rent a car you are faced with the decision of whether to buy the loss damage waiver (LDW), or collision damage waiver (CDW) as it is sometimes called. Where do you turn for an answer to this question? You will probably call your insurance agent and you might also search the Internet. You might also call your credit card company to find out whether it provides any coverage and if so, what that coverage is.
If you ask me as your insurance agent, I will tell you that if you will be renting a certain type of vehicle in a location that is covered by your policy and you are carrying physical damage coverage on at least one vehicle, you will have some coverage. I will also tell you that, depending on the type of credit card you will be using, there might be some coverage there. At the same time, I will tell you that there are a number of fairly large expenses that you might possibly incur if you have not purchased the LDW and I would advise you to give serious consideration to purchasing the LDW.
If I were you, I would probably not read beyond this point because I wouldn't want you to be bored to death. However, in case you're really interested in this kind of stuff, I will give you a few specifics that support my recommendation.
In conclusion, a rental car loss damage waiver is expensive, but probably worth buying.
Jim Moore is the president of James E. Moore Insurance Agency. Established in 1954, it has become one of the most trusted independent insurance agencies in North Carolina. The James E. Moore Insurance Agency is a family-owned business and offers homeowners, automobile, life and health, employee benefits, and commercial insurance products. For more information, call 910-256-5333 or visit the agency’s website at www.jamesemoore.com.
- You might find yourself in a position where you have no coverage at all. For example, you might be renting the vehicle outside of the United States, where your personal auto policy will not provide coverage. Or you might rent a type of vehicle that your policy does not cover.
- The damage to your rental vehicle could result in diminution of value. In other words, the rental car company would be paid less when it goes to sell the vehicle because of your damage. You would probably be held liable and your policy would provide no coverage.
- The damage to your rental vehicle could be extensive and it could take a long time for the repairs to be made. This could result in a significant loss of income for the rental car company and you could be held liable for that. Once again, this is an area where your personal auto policy would not provide coverage.
- There are a number of other pitfalls, but I’ll spare you and just mention one more. The rental agreement may require immediate reimbursement for damages and the rental car company might charge your credit card immediately for all the damages.