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Blog Car hire tips Car hire tips | Car hire insurance (excess, SCDW, CDW ...)

Car hire tips | Car hire insurance (excess, SCDW, CDW ...)

Every new or existing car hire user will at some point meet CDW, TP, SCDW, EP or SLI -  abbreviations that sound as something heavy will hit your wallet. Vehicle Rent wants you to have a safe and affordable journey, so it’s essential for you to understand their meaning before you pay for anything.
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Many among us do not like the word insurance, as it seems we ‘have to’ buy it with every product or service and, quite frankly, its price often seems over the top. It’s not a surprise that we’ve all learned to be critical about insurances, as, well, taking ALL of them would leave us penny-less. But still, sometimes, this cautiousness makes us vulnerable to much greater expenses.

Genuinely, Vehicle Rent customers take car hire insurance matter seriously, thus our customer support provides detailed information about car hire excess insurance to them, daily. But if you still need to call the shots, read below the essentials about car hire insurances.

Collision damage waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection (TP)

In almost every country, it’s CDW and TP that sum up your ‘basic insurance’, which is required by the law to be included in your rental price (except domestic rentals in US, Canada, and Latin Amerika). In other words, you can’t get a car hire quote without these two insurances.

  • Collision damage waiver or CDW covers you in case of an accident or collision,
  • Theft Protection or TP covers you in case of theft,
  • (Or sometimes you may stumble upon LDW – a combination of both CDW and TP.)

Bear in mind, that with these insurances you are not covered 100%. The amount that you are liable to pay should you be in an accident of if your rental car is damaged is called Excess. Cover or Excess Reduction Insurance is designed to protect you against any excess that you might have on your rental car. It also usually corresponds to the security deposit that the car rental agency will block or charge on your credit card upon pick-up.

Excess Insurance

The excess amount is not at all a fixed number – it goes from 300 EUR and up to 3000 EUR. The price depends on the vehicle you’re renting, the car hire agency, the location, and the age of the client. Very often clients get surprised, and even shocked, about this high amount. But remember that you’re driving a valuable car, worth over 10,000 EUR. Therefore, you really need coverage that will protect you from the unfortunate costs.

TRAVEL TIP: If you truly want a peace of mind, choose Relax package (coverage of the excess included). It’s a customer-friendly coverage that you can buy prior to your trip and is affordable to everyone.

However, there are other liabilities that occur in the USA (and Canada, The Caribbean, South, and Central America), where you might have to take up extra coverage, especially referring to third party insurances. In the USA, this means that often SLI or EP insurances are not being included in the rental price. Supplementary Liability Insurance insures you for injuries to other drivers and their vehicles. This coverage is sometimes also referred to as EP or Extended Protection.In some countries this "third party" insurance is compulsorily provided by the vehicle owner, i.e. the rental companies. However most states in the US do not require the vehicle owner to have mandatory third party liability, meaning the driver is potentially liable for injuries to other people and their property.

To eliminate any liability and not to face huge extra costs, due to damage or theft, it’s the additional insurance that will keep your rainy fund untouched.

SCDW insurance

SCDW is what car rental agents offer on spot, as a full protection for your car hire, so (usually) no excess applies. Less conveniently, it means an extra cost for your budget. But don’t get too excited.

Strictly speaking, SCDW does not provide complete protection of your vehicle as certain important parts of the vehicle are not even included in this coverage. Meaning? For tires, undercarriage, and glass you will be offered a second insurance cover, and yes, this means another cost.

With some car rental agencies, you might be offered a Premium SCDW, a combination of the collision and theft protection + tires, glass and undercarriage protection. This option is incredibly expensive and will double your total car hire cost at the least!

TRAVEL TIP: Insurances are a complex topic, but extremely important. So, take your time before the trip and check your options wisely. If you need any help in understanding this matter, don’t hesitate to call us and we’ll help.

Your own insurances

OK, now that we have the basic car rental insurances covered, let’s talk about insurances from other parties. You might:

  • have a car hire excess insurance on your credit card
  • you might buy ‘Premium Coverage’ from a booking engine
  • take up a car hire excess policy online from a third party

ALL these coverages function as follows: you remain liable for the excess, you pay for the damage to the rental agency, and you claim your excess back from the insurance provider after the rental. Our clients have at some point experienced troubles when trying to get refunded by these providers. Therefore it's crucial you understand your personal car’s insurance does NOT cover you for your car hire.

Vehicle Rent’s Super Excess Refund

This is not an ad, so we’ll stick to the facts. No fine print.

With this ONE cover you have: bodywork, glass, tyre, windscreen, and locks protected. On top, as you are our very appreciated client, we will assist you professionally, skilfully and on time. If something goes wrong, you have our full support.

Time to weight it down!

Answer these questions below so you can quickly get the real picture of your future trip and that’s the biggest favour you can do to yourself – and your budget!

  • Are you having a longer rental, where you plan to do hundreds of kilometers?
  • Are your friends or family accompanying you?
  • Are you a relatively young or inexperienced driver?
  • Will you be driving in specific weather conditions, in the wintertime?
  • Are you renting a car in a big city, or driving in a country known for its hectic drivers?
  • Is the car you are renting a bigger, luxury or multi-seater car?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you are likely to encounter distractions while driving, troubles on road or face sky-high reparation costs.

Whereas in many situations insurances seem redundant, car hire is not such case. You are involved in a complex social experiment called traffic, full of unpredictable situations. Furthermore, driving in an unknown area puts you (unknowingly) under a different sort of stress.

Vehicle Rent has learned from close-up about the needs and wishes our clients had and the circumstances they faced. That’s why we could develop coverage that really stands behind its name. Super Excess Refund has you covered always, especially when you really need it.


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