Collision Damage Waiver and theft insurance releases the client from full financial responsibility for the vehicle in case of an accident or theft. In most cases, the client will still be responsible for a deductible of some sort when collision and theft are purchased. Most car rental suppliers will offer insurance locally which can reduce the collision and theft deductible if the client wishes to do so.
With the exception of Italy, CDW is optional and a client always has the right to refuse it. If your client does not wish to purchase CDW at the time of pick up, please advise that they sign their initials on the "Decline CDW" box on the European Rental Agreement. If they refuse the CDW in order to use the coverage their credit card or personal insurance policy offers, please consider the facts below:
Credit Card Coverage
Some credit cards only offer coverage for certain car types. Exempted with most cards:
- Vehicles valued at over $50,000 (Mercedes-Benz 320, BMW 730, etc.)
- Exotic cars or antique cars (over 20 years old or have not been manufactured in 10 years).
- Off road or 4x4 vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, cargo vans, full sized vans and camper vans
Other credit card coverage concerns:
- Coverage is limited to rentals under 30 days.
- Some credit cards do not offer coverage for car rentals in Ireland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Australia and travel into Eastern Europe.
- To extend coverage, additional drivers must be listed on the european rental agreement.
- Most credit cards will file a claim with the client's personal insurance company before they reimburse the deductible. This could affect your client's personal driving record and premium.
- Most credit card companies require the repair bill paid directly by the client and have a specific time period for the client to submit documentation.
- Most credit cards will not cover rentals if the card was issued outside the united states.
Personal Automobile Coverage
- Coverage may be limited to the value of the car your client owns, not the rental.
- Some policies will not cover a rental car unless it's due to the client's own personal car needing repairs.
- The insurance premium could be raised because of the claim. The client could be put in a "high risk" bracket and their insurance policy could be canceled.
- Most policies does not cover damage or theft of personal possessions, third party liability or medical costs.
It is the client's responsibility to check with their credit card company or insurance carrier to determine their coverage.