last Updated on October 25, 2021 by Jonathan
You ’ re standing at the car rental counter, and the agentive role is giving you his best hard sell. unfortunately, the indemnity package costs more than the rental itself. Do you cross your fingers and decline the coverage ? Or do you play it safe and pay for policy that efficaciously doubles the cost of your rental car ?
here ’ s a quick lead to help you cover your bases confidently when renting in the United States .

Car Rental Insurance, the Easy but Expensive Way

In general, the priciest but safest choice is the rental company ’ randomness Loss Damage Waiver ( LDW ). This is sometimes called Collision Damage Waiver or CDW ).

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At $ 20 to $ 30 per day, the LDW can feel like a huge heist. Some states—most notably California and New York—have laws limiting the price of LDW. But in most of the country, you can expect to pony up double-digit dollars every day .
eminence besides that a new law in California regarding rental car LDW will go into effect in January 2022. rental car companies will be able to charge up to $ 25 per day for over-the-counter collision indemnity. ( previously, collision policy for economy and covenant cars were capped at $ 11 per day, while average, standard, and full-size were capped at $ 17 ) .
If you take the LDW and the rental cable car is stolen or you have an accident, you ’ ra covered. The rental company will waive repair costs, provided that the rental agreement was not violated. An LDW will waive other costs, including personnel casualty of use, diminished measure, administrative fees, towing charges, and more. These administrative fees can add up quickly, and there is rate in not having to worry about them .

Alternatives to Ponying Up for Car Rental Insurance

Paying through the nose for the lease car ship’s company ’ mho collision policy international relations and security network ’ t the entirely game in town. here are some other options :

Coverage Through Your Personal Auto Insurance Policy

If you ’ re hazard antipathetic, it can be easy to default to the rental party ’ second LDW. But consider that you may already be covered. If you have personal car insurance, the policy will normally cover rental cars. Check with your insurance supplier. If your policy extends to rental cards, then a LDW would duplicate coverage .
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On the other hired hand, if you get in an accident after declining the LDW, you ’ ll have to pay the deductible. In addition, filing a claim might drive up your insurance bounty .

Coverage Through Your Credit Card

many agio credit cards provide car rental indemnity if you pay for the lease with that card. It ’ s significant to realize that not all coverage is created equal .
Most cards offer “ secondary coil ” coverage. This means that the credit tease company will entirely pay out after your personal car insurance policy has been exhausted. You distillery have to file a claim with your car policy company. Your credit circuit board would pick up only the deductible. ( Some credit tease policies may include their own deductible. )
other credit cards provide primary collision coverage. In this event, the credit card provider will pay out without involving your car policy company at all. One caution is that credit cards often have many conditions on when they will pay out. For case, some won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate cover SUVs, vans, or luxury cars. Some exclude rentals in certain countries. many won ’ metric ton cover cable car rentals longer than 15 days. Often extra fees such as loss of function, diminished value, and administrative fees aren ’ thymine covered, either. In other words, citation menu companies like to stack the deck so they don ’ t have to pay out .

Premium Coverage from American Express

American Express offers Premium Car Rental Protection for its cardholders. Every time you rent a car, your Amex card is automatically charged a categoric $ 24.95 ( $ 17.95 for California residents ) .
Unlike most credit cards, American Express ’ s agio protection is primary coverage. That means it kicks in before your personal car policy policy. There ’ south no deductible to pay, and coverage limits are much higher than a typical citation wag policy. Most vehicles are covered, and you can be covered for up to 42 consecutive days for a single $ 24.95 tip.

Amex ’ s Premium Protection is besides more generous than most other cards ’ coverage ( including flush Amex ’ s own spare, secondary coverage ). The $ 24.95 price point covers most rental vehicles up to $ 100,000. It even covers bombastic SUVs and vans, and Amex has a repute for beneficial customer service .
On any rental of more than two days, Amex about surely beats buying LDW from the rental company. The lease party ’ second coverage is a daily fee. Amex ’ s Premium Protection is a unmarried tip regardless of the duration of the rental .
You can add primary coverage to any Amex calling card you presently own. even if you have a personal car policy policy, the Amex coverage will provide an extra measure of protective covering. That manner, you can keep your indemnity company out of the loop should anything happen .

Third-Party Car Rental Insurance Coverage

You can besides buy an cheap policy policy from a one-third party. AutoSlash partner sulfur with certain to provide cheap collision coverage for less than you would pay at the rental counter .
early change of location insurance companies, including Allianz and Travelguard, besides sell policies for half of what most rental companies charge. Often you ’ ll see these types of policies offered by the major on-line booking sites .

Don’t Forget Liability Insurance

All of the above cover your rental vehicle. But what about the inauspicious situation where you damage person else ’ s vehicle or hurt person ? That ’ s where supplementary indebtedness policy comes into bid .
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happily, rental companies are legally required ( except in California ) to provide a minimum liability coverage in the basic rate. ( note that it ’ s secondary to your own indemnity in many states. ) The badly news program is that state minimum coverage requirements are generally pretty low .
State minimums may cover fender benders. But in a more good accident, you could be sued for more than you ’ re covered for. That can leave you financially exposed if you don ’ t have an car insurance policy that ’ ll step up to the plate. Between property wrong and expensive hospital bills, a big accident can total up thousands of dollars in losses .
At the rental buffet desk, you can opt for Supplemental Liability Coverage ( SLI or SLP ). For a tip of $ 10 to $ 15 per day, SLI will supplement the state-mandated coverage, typically up to $ 1 million. Your own personal car coverage is on top of what the lease company offers as criterion. If you don ’ t have a personal car policy, or you want the extra security, then SLI may make common sense .

The Challenge of Finding Other Liability Insurance Providers

It ’ sulfur practically unheard of for a credit card to include liability coverage. Travel insurance and third-party rental car collision indemnity products don ’ thyroxine by and large offer it, either. even American Express ’ sulfur visualize Premium Car Rental Protection doesn ’ triiodothyronine contact liability, only damage to the rental car .
If you don ’ thymine own a car ( or your car liability indemnity doesn ’ thyroxine carry to rental cars ), you ’ rhenium limited to a non-owner policy. It ’ south baffling to find an policy carrier that will issue these. Some names we ’ ve hear mentioned in the diligence are GEICO, Progressive, and Allied Insurance. An freelancer insurance agent may be able to shop about and help you find the best policy and rates. We ’ ve heard good things about New York-based Campbell Solberg, which appears to be very companion with non-owner policies.

If you live in Europe, there are lots of dear deals on bundle lease car insurance. Some Europe-based travel agencies like Expedia UK offer across-the-board rates with indemnity ( both LDW and SLI ) at discounted prices. For Europeans who ’ d like to take advantage of AutoSlash ’ s discounted rates, companies like sell policies in the US .

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