Weighing Up the Risk - Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver Insurance Explained

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One of the most confusing parts of booking a hire car is the issue of Collision Damage Waiver Insurance (referred to as CDW Insurance). This article outlines CDW cover including the possible pitfalls.

Poole, England, October 05, 2009 (PressReleasePoint) -- One of the most confusing parts of booking a hire car is the issue of Collision Damage Waiver Insurance (referred to as CDW Insurance). This article outlines CDW cover including the possible pitfalls.

Car rental contracts may offer a range of insurances, these can vary from "full insurance" (or Super Insurance), CDW insurance or basic 3rd party insurance.

Full insurance should cover everything and includes CDW Insurance cover. It may cover additional items not included in the CDW cover such as tyres. This type of insurance will vary from company to company.

3rd party only insurance is usually the legal minimum, and does not cover the cost of all the damage to your own hire car. There is usually an excess figure to the vehicle which you will be liable for in the event of accident or theft.

So what is Collision Damage Waiver Insurance?
Basically CDW Insurance covers the damage to your own vehicle (including fire and theft), and may or may not be included in your car rental agreement. Even if it is included, there is likely to be a small excess figure for which you will be liable.

The following questions should be asked to your car rental company:

If you do NOT take out CDW Insurance...
How much are you liable for in the event of an accident or theft of the vehicle?

If CDW Insurance is included in the standard rental agreement...
Is there an excess figure, and if so how much?
(there is still likely to be an excess for which you are liable in the event of an accident)
What is NOT included e.g. tyres, windows, etc.

If CDW is sold as an optional extra...
Is there an excess figure? (many policies include a lower excess even if CDW insurance is purchased separately)
What is NOT included e.g. tyres, windows, etc.

Rute Oliveira of Blue Valley Car Hire explains "we provide online booking for car hire at Malaga Airport Spain and car hire at Faro Airport Portugal. The issue with some of the cheaper rental companies is the excess figure when you don't take out CDW Insurance. Many of the companies offering very cheap hire cars have high insurance excess figures if you don't take out separate CDW cover. Also you must check what is not included as this aries from company to company.

There are also some unscrupulous companies who make additional income by charging for damage which wasn't noted on the vehicle check sheet.

Search on the internet for reviews about the company that you are thinking of booking with. There are great sites like Trip Advisor and Travelsupermarket.com where you can find reports from customers who have good/bad experiences with a particular car hire company.

There is more information on the website Blue Valley Car Hire

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