This information is for customers renting a car in the United States. For information about car rental insurance in other countries, see the following links: Australia, New Zealand, Canada and United Kingdom.
Please be sure you fully understand the US Car Rental Insurance requirements. VroomVroomVroom wants to make sure you're covered and have created this straightforward guide to assist you.
How do I know if I have rental car insurance?
Car rental insurance is sometimes covered by:
- Personal car insurance for your home vehicle
- Credit card providers in the US
- Personal travel insurance providers (see below paragraph*)
You'll need to find out if you already have car rental insurance from one of the above sources. If you discover that you don't have one yet or you're not sure, you can purchase insurance at the rental counter.
*Reminder:If you purchase travel insurance before traveling to the US please take your time to read the fine print. Travel insurance usually refers to the excess of a rental car and not the car insurance itself. This means you may need to purchase insurance to have an excess level. Otherwise, your rental will not have any excess limit which would deem your travel insurance worthless.
Types of Car Rental Insurance (These may differ from supplier to supplier)
CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) and LDW (Loss Damage Waiver)
This relieves you of financial responsibility for a rental vehicle damaged by an accident, vandalism or theft. It usually costs between $9 and $20 per day. Note: Although the sale of CDW was formerly prohibited in New York state, recent legislative changes now allow it.
SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance)
This provides excess liability coverage up to $1 million. It usually costs between $7 and $9 per day.
PAI (Personal Accident Insurance)
This covers you and all passengers in your vehicle for any medical expenses. It's not necessary for most renters already covered by personal health policies or travel policies. It usually costs between $3 and $5 per day.
PEC (Personal Effects Coverage)
This provides coverage for theft of or damage to personal items inside the rental car. Again, it replicates coverage already provided to many renters through their own insurance policies. It usually costs between $2 and $5 per day.
Car rental companies often make these options even more confusing by combining two or more into insurance packages. You could evaluate each product separately.
Steps to take regarding car rental insurance
- First, determine if you have a need for the service
- Verify if you are not already covered by your credit card or personal travel insurance
- Finally, comparison-shop the costs of each car rental company. Note that in some travel hot-spots, the cost of taxes, fees, surcharges and optional insurance can easily exceed the daily base rate of the car rental itself.