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In Europe, Australia, New Zealand and most of the Middle and Far East Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Liability Insurance is invariably provided with your car hire. In this case you may wish to buy Car Hire Excess Insurance which will protect the excess (the first part of any claim which you would have to pay for, normally between £500 and £3500) and items excluded from the rental firms insurance cover such as the wheels, tyres, glass (including lights and mirrors), roof and underbody.
If travelling to the US, Canada or Caribbean and are buying through a company which targets European travellers you will often also find that CDW and Liability Insurance is packaged in. Providing you are comfortable with the level of liability cover (it can be as low as $10,000 in some locations so do check your agreement) you may find excess insurance is all you need (providing you are liable for an excess).
If your car hire comes without any Collision (Sometimes called Loss) Damage Waiver or the third party liability is too limited you can buy a full Collision Damage Waiver policy and in addition one which covers Supplementary Liability Insurance, which will 'top up' your locally provided Liability Insurance to US$1m.
So policies sold through the MoneyMaxim car hire insurance service can cover the car rental insurance excesses or provide full CDW (Collision Damage Waiver)/LDW (Loss Damage Waiver) where it's needed. This will cover damage, loss of use and theft of the rental vehicle' Finally SLI (Supplementary Liability Insurance) - which covers third parties can be added if required.
The added advantage of these policies is that they also cover items not covered at all by many car rental firms, such as the vehicles wheels, tyres, windscreens and undercarriage, and many policies offer extra cover for belongings, lost or stolen car keys, restitution and more.
Alternative cover is available from car hire companies, but can be up to 10 times more expensive, so if you are planning to wait to get to the desk before buying we would highly recommend you check with your rental firm what they will charge you before you are in a position where you have no option but to take their offer!
This content was last reviewed on 27/10/2014