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Sally Wilson

Sally is a key member of the MoneyMaxim editorial team. She is a frequent hire-car user and often goes on holiday with her family. With an interest in getting great value for money, Sally shares her hints and tips for travelling and insurance.

Holiday Car Hire in the USA - What Insurance do you need?

We take the confusion out of USA car rental insurance

When you run a quote for car hire insurance in the USA with MoneyMaxim you are offered three different choices of cover. But how do you know which one you need?

excess cover

Vehicle Hire Excess Insurance

When would you need it?

If you have CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) and Theft Protection (or LDW) but want to cover the excess. You would also need to have an adequate level of liability insurance (third party) also included in your rental agreement. Most hirers are comfortable with $1 million.

What does it cover?

These policies can reimburse the excess for both CDW and theft should you be charged. Even if you do not have an excess, they provide cover for areas that are often excluded from the CDW or LDW. These areas include glass, tyres and wheels, towing, lock out and lost keys.

Excess and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) Insurance

When would you need it?

If you have a satisfactory level of liability insurance but do not have CDW or LDW. In other words, there is no cover for the vehicle you are driving in the event of damage or theft. Without CDW you would be liable for the whole cost of the car.

What does it cover?

This would waive you of having to pay for any damage to the vehicle if you had an accident and it also covers the cost of the car if it is stolen. There are no excesses on these policies so your excess is also covered. You are also protected for the additional areas such as wheel and tyres mentioned above.

Excess, CDW and Supp. Liability (SLI) Insurance

When would you need it?

If you are hiring a car in the USA and it comes with just a low level (often the state minimum) of liability insurance and no other cover or waivers. The state minimum can be as low as $20,000 which in the event of an accident which causes damage or injury is likely to be insufficient.

What does it cover?

This provides CDW and Theft cover with no excess. It also covers the additional areas such as wheels, tyres, glass and towing. The low level of primary liability insurance you have with the car would be topped up to $1 million.

What if my US car hire comes with no insurance?

If you have no insurance at all then it would be best to get in contact with us. Your options will be limited but we can give you further information.

Are additional drivers covered by these policies?

Yes, additional drivers can be covered. They must be listed on the rental agreement as a permitted driver. Please list the additional drivers and the correct number of drivers if requested by the insurer when you purchase the policy.

You must be driving within the terms and conditions of your car hire for these policies to be valid.