Collision Damage Waiver, often referred to as CDW, effectively covers the full market value of a rental vehicle in a similar way to how a comprehensive motor insurance policy would protect your own private vehicle. In Europe, rental companies will generally include CDW as standard with the rental vehicle, meaning that if the vehicle is damaged, you will usually only be liable to pay an excess.
CDW Insurance is usually included as standard when hiring a car in Europe, however it is always worth checking that this cover is in place before booking your hire vehicle. When renting a car further afield, it could be the case that CDW is excluded from your rental agreement, so you may be faced with a choice whether to purchase it or carry the risk of being liable for the full cost of the vehicle in the event of damage or theft.
You can purchase CDW from the rental company, however this can often be more expensive and less comprehensive than buying from a specialist provider. It’s also worth noting that vulnerable parts of the rental car, including tyres, wheels, roof, windscreens and undercarriage, are sometimes excluded from the rental companies’ CDW cover altogether. This means that if anything were to happen to these parts, you would be charged a fee by the rental company. What’s more, theft is sometimes excluded from the standard CDW cover provided by rental companies
LDW works in the same way as CDW, with the difference being that Loss Damage Waiver also protects you against the theft of your rental vehicle. You may often find that the rental vehicle comes with combined CDW/LDW cover, however this is again not always the case, so it is worth checking with the rental company what eventualities are covered and the extent of your liability should the worst happen.
CDW cover is included in both our USA & Canada and Worldwide Plus policies and covers you for up to €100,000 in the event your hire vehicle being damaged or stolen. What’s more, these policies cover excess fees up to €7,500 – so regardless of whether your vehicle is lightly damaged, written-off or stolen, you’ll have protection.