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Whether you are flying with BA, Virgin, Thomson, Thomas Cook or any other fly drive holiday provider the answer is yes!
Policies including Collision Damage Waiver and Supplementary Liability Cover are available through the MoneyMaxim car hire insurance comparison service
If you are hiring a car in the US or Canada, it is important to be aware of the insurances that you will need. Unlike in Europe, residents of these countries insure themselves for driving and not their car. This means that they can use their own insurance to cover car hire.
For this reason, if a car is rented directly from a car hire firm in the Americas, the base price often does not include full insurance. It can come as quite a shock to turn up at the desk and find that you only have very minimal cover and feel compelled to purchase expensive cover at the desk.
In order to be legal on the roads, the hire car must come with 3rd party liability insurance but this need only be a minimum value set by each state and does not cover damage. A few states including California and Florida now have no state minimum liability insurance so cars may come with no primary third party insurance at all.
If you want to know just how basic that mandatory cover is, read our state by state guide on our USA Canada Car Hire Insurance page.
Whilst it's not mandatory, without Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) you are fully liable for the cost our your rental car if it's damaged, vandalised or stolen.
CDW covers damage and usually has theft cover included. It is a waiver that usually costs about $25 - $50 a day from the hire company. If you buy this and have an accident the car-hire firm takes no action to take any money from you (exclusions apply - including damage to the tyres, wheels, underbody and glass).
If you are responsible for an accident which is even moderately serious you are likely to run out of the mandatory cover provided and then are personally responsible for the additional costs - this can put your house at risk, if there are large legal or hospital bills, as a result!.
Alternatively you can opt for SLI. This is Supplementary Liability Insurance that usually tops up the cover from the state minimum to $1 million or more.
Please Note These will only 'top up' if there is some primary liability insurance provided with your car hire. Very few will offer a reduced figure of cover should they have to act as your primary insurer (and this is at the insurer's discretion). Most will offer no cover at all if you do not have primary liability insurance in place
If you hire the car through a UK or European car hire broker or website these insurances are often included in the price quoted because these sites recognise that those travelling from this continent will need the cover.
However, if you intend to hire locally when you visit the US or Canada or the car hire is included in a fly drive package deal and does not include more than the minimum insurance, then you can consider buying independent insurance.
Independent car hire insurance packages are available through the MoneyMaxim car hire insurance comparison service and these can provide either CDW cover or CDW and SLI.
A point to mention is that the claims procedure with these policies is different to the process if you buy the car rental firm's cover.
Unless any damage is significant you would be expected to pay for the repair and then claim this back from the insurer using this policy.
You will also need to print your insurance documentation and show it at the rental desk - so they can record details of your insurance coverage.
Different policy suppliers provide different additional benefits to these policies so it is important that you look at the terms of the policy to know exactly what you will be covered for.
This content was last reviewed on 16/10/2023