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Do I Need to Purchase Collision Damage Waiver Insurance for my Rental Car?

how much collision insurance do i need

By Nancy Parode. Senior Travel Expert

Nancy Parode's travel and cultural articles have appeared in print magazines, such as Military Spouse and Northern Virginia. and on several websites, including Sixty and Me,, The World & I Online and Nancy also blogged about military life for, the website of Annapolis, Maryland's The Capital newspaper. named Nancy's Senior Travel blog here at a Top Travel Blog in the Senior Travel category, and's Senior Travel website made Discover Corps ' list of Best Baby Boomer Travel Sites for 2105.

Nancy has been featured on NPR affiliate WRVO Public Media's "Take Care" radio show and BlogTalkRadio's "Transformed Travel" show. She has been interviewed by The New York Times' Frugal Travel writer Seth Kugel,'s Margaret Manning, The Amateur Traveler's Chris Christensen and consumer advocate Christopher Elliott.

What Is Collision Damage Waiver Coverage?

The amount varies by location and type of rental car. Taking (and paying for) CDW coverage can add 25% or more to the total cost of your rental. In some countries, such as Ireland, you may be required to purchase CDW coverage or

provide proof of alternative, equivalent coverage in order to rent a car.

If you do not purchase CDW coverage and something happens to your rental car, you could end up paying the rental car company a great deal of money. The deductible on your rental car could be quite high – in some cases, well into the thousands of dollars – and you may also have to pay for "loss of use" of that car while it is being repaired.

You will need to read your entire rental car contract and carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of paying for CDW coverage when you select your rental car.

Collision Damage Waiver Coverage Alternatives

Credit Card Companies

Your credit card company may offer CDW coverage, provided you pay for your rental with the credit card and decline your rental car company's coverage. If you choose this option, be sure to read your credit card company's terms and conditions before renting a vehicle.

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Some credit card companies offer coverage only within the United States, while others exclude specific countries.

Travel Insurance Providers

Category: Insurance

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