Do You Buy The Loss Damage Waiver For Rental Cars?

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If you’re like me, you don’t rent cars very much outside of work. But when I do, I’m always of mixed emotion when it comes down to the inevitable question: Do you want to buy the Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)? It costs around $20/day, but it basically absolves you of any liability if the car becomes dented, breaks down, gets scratched, blown up, or whatever.

Your Existing Car Insurance Might Extend To Rental Cars
This is the most basic thing to know, but according to a survey by Progressive only about 25% of people bother to ask. Find out if your own insurance will act as your primary rental car insurance! My policy with State Farm does extended to the occasional rental car, but the deductible still applies.

But That Might Not Help…
I have high insurance deductibles, and I’m not worried about a full-on accident. I’m more worried about scratches and dents. If it was my own car, I’d never care about a dented bumper. But a rental car company can charge me $500+ for a new bumper, and also $75 a day that the car is unavailable for rental while they fix it (“loss-of-use” fees). Or they might just charge me $100 for a scratch because they want to squeeze every penny out of me… 2 months after I return the car.

In addition, your own auto insurance may cover collision (damage to the vehicle), but not other things like those “loss-of-use” or other administrative fees. Finally, making a claim on your insurance may jack up your future rates, which is partially why my deductibles are so high in the first place.

Credit Card Secondary Coverage To The Rescue?
The next layer of protection to consider is that offered by your credit card company. All of the biggies – Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover offer some sort of coverage. According a review of the policies done on Wikipedia:

The main difference among the four credit card companies listed below is that MasterCard and Amex cover collisions, theft, vandalism and weather; Visa covers collisions and theft, but omits vandalism and weather; while Discover covers only collisions. However MasterCard is not useful in areas with dirt or gravel roads [paved roads only].

However, details can still vary depending on the specific type (Classic, Gold, Platinum, etc.). Look for specific wording in the paperwork that they mail you with the tiny print on amazingly thin paper. Here’s an excerpt from MasterCard coverage:

MasterRental will pay for covered damages on a secondary basis for which you are, or any other authorized driver is, legally responsible to the rental agency.

Covered damages include:
–Physical damage to and theft of the vehicle, not to exceed the limits outlined below.
– Reasonable loss-of-use charges imposed by the vehicle rental company for the period of time the rental vehicle is out of service. Loss-of-use charges must be substantiated by a location- and class-specific fleet utilization log.
– Reasonable towing charges to the nearest factory-authorized collision repair facility.

If you have, or an authorized driver’s primary automobile insurance or other indemnity has, made payments for a covered loss, MasterRental will cover your deductible and any other eligible amounts not covered by other insurance.

Secondary insurance means that they will cover what your primary insurance doesn’t. Together, this seems like a pretty solid combination. Of course, I’ve never made a claim through any of these card companies so I have no idea how easy they are to deal with. (Anyone have stories?)

An Immature Reason To Buy The LDW
I couldn’t find the clip online, but I remember a stand-up act by Jeff Foxworthy or somebody about rental car insurance that went something like this…. “You mean for 15 bucks I can drive this car like a maniac? Heck yeah I want that insurance! Time to grab some airtime!” I must say that the only time I’ve ever been in a car that did a doughnut in a empty parking lot…. that was a rental car. Of course I don’t drive like that. However, I will admit that have tested to 0-60 times of a few of my rental cars. Too bad in a Chevy Aveo that’s about 38 seconds downhill…

In the end, I have gone both ways depending on my mood. I have bought the waivers on short rentals because I just didn’t want to deal with any potential hassles. Most times, I have refused. I am making another rental later this week, so that’s why I’m pondering this…

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  1. Another point worth mentioning is what is the best option for people who have no primary insurance? I don’t own a car, thus no insurance, as I use mass transit.

    I’ve only ever rented for business, and generally have added the LDW, but am about to rent for 1 mo + and decided to skip the LDW and only use AMEX. My understanding is that when there is no primary, credit card insurance will become the primary.

  2. For personal rentals: I tend to roll the dice and not buy the insurance on rental cars. I justify the decision by using a CC with rental car protection, but it’s still a risk and one that I am (typically) willing to take to save the money.

    For work related rentals: My previous employer carried their own insurance that covered rental cars, so we were not allowed to purchase the insurance, or if we did we had to pay for it out of pocket.

    My real disgust with the system is how much the rental car companies have inflated the insurance costs. That $20/day equates to approximately $600~ per month for insurance coverage. I certainly wouldn’t pay that for my own vehicle, so it’s hard to justify paying that much to cover their vehicle.

    For quick reference, here is a sampling of average insurance charges from the top rental car companies:

    Company — Loss damage waiver — Supplemental liability insurance

    Alamo — $10.50-$22.99 — $11.95-$12.95

    Avis — $9-$35.99 — $10.95 or $12.95

    Budget — $9-$35.99 — $10.95 or $12.95

    Dollar — $8.95-$34.99 — $8.95-$12.99

    Enterprise — $10-$15 — $10-$16

    Hertz — $9-$35.99 — $10.95-$12.95

    National — $10.50-$22.99 — $11.95-$12.95

    Thrifty — $8.95-$34.99 — $8.95-$12.99

  3. I personally use the credit card to for collision/damage coverage. However, I do purchase liability coverage if it’s not already covered by the car rental company.

  4. I’ve gone both ways as well. I don’t have car insurance (I don’t own a car), and my MasterRental agreement states that in the case of no primary insurance, MasterRental is the primary insurance. I haven’t had to file a claim, so I’m not sure how comprehensive their coverage would be in reality.

  5. For business, I get it every time and no one has ever told me to do any different. We have a corporate account and I never even see the bill.

    For personal use, I just can’t justify it. In many cases, I would prefer to have my own vehicle anyway and I’m covered by my own personal vehicle insurance policy, so getting additional coverage is redundant.

  6. Most of the credit cards companies do not cover trucks, only cars and Mini-vans. Because of how they define trucks, you may end up without coverage for many larger SUVs.

  7. I never purchase the optional insurance. My insurance company (Allstate) covers me and I always pay with a credit card for secondary information. Thanks for the info on different card brands, though. I usually use my Visa due to the higher cash rewards payout but I think I will use my Mastercard from now on for rental cars. Better safe than sorry.

  8. My guiding principle is to never buy insurance to cover a loss which I could eat without major hardship. My own auto insurance has a rather high deductible, but on the off chance I wound up paying Avis $500 for a bumper, it wouldn’t be a major loss. I’d bitch and moan about it, but I’m sure I’ve saved way more than $500 in today’s money by not buying LDWs in the past, and I don’t even rent all that often.

  9. After college I was a manager for a rental car company at a major US airport where we had thousands of cars coming through our lot. LDW is almost never a good deal for a renter if you have your own car insurance and a credit card that will help with coverage, just like you mention.

    Rental companies see rental insurance as pure profit and counter personnel are expected to upsell. In some cases we would have daily bonuses for the person with the most upsells. The company would almost never go after a renter unless the damage was major.

    The one thing that they will get you with every time is rims and tires. If you bang a curb and bend the rim and/or damage the tire, expect to pay.

    The best advice is to have a person in the lot document every ding, dent and scratch on the car before you leave. If you show them that you paid attention from the beginning, they’ll be less likely to come after you when you get back. And even if they have the bad spots noted when you’re inside signing the paperwork, have them go over it again outside at the car.

    If you get back to the lot and the person checking you in starts making comments about damage, immediately go inside and speak with the manager on duty. Handling the situation while you’re face to face is the easiest way out. If you just drop the keys and leave and they decide to come after you, you’re going to have a much tougher dispute on your hands because the higher ups in the main office will be the one handling everything. The manager on duty is more worried about making sure he/she has the cars available to cover the overbooked reservations.

    • For extended rentals (more than 2.5wks) the Damage Waiver may not be practical if you have insurance with a low deductible ($300/$500). However, if you are renting for 2-5 days, I think it is too risky to decline the Damage Waiver. At $17-22/day (Enterprise) it seems practical to spend around $60-80 extra for the rental period. You avoid paying the deductible from your insurance policy in addition to having to deal with surcharge points for several years. You can also cover additional authorized drivers under the Waiver that might not be on the renter’s insurance policy.

  10. There are other options available that might be worth considering, especially if you don’t want to turn in claims to your personal car insurance company.

    – Diners Club charge card and Citi Professional credit card both provide primary rental insurance. Diners Club has an annual fee though and Citi Professional is only supposed to be used for business charges.

    – Amex has a Premium Car Rental Protection plan where you pay $20 or $25 flat fee per rental when you bill the rental to an Amex card enrolled in the program – no annual fees. This is also primary rental insurance. If you happen to be a CA resident the fee is stupid cheap – $16 or $18 per rental. Either way this is usually going to be cheaper than the rental companies option – unless it’s just a 1 or 2 day rental.

  11. One other caveat – just because you have personal insurance doesn’t necessarily mean you’re covered in a rental.

    I recently purchased a 2nd car and bought insurance with a new company. They informed me that since I owned two cars but my first car was insured with someone else that the extension of coverage provision (that usually protects you in a rental) didn’t apply to me until I switched my other car over to them as well.

  12. had a friend that rented a car and did not take the insurance…was involved in an accident, increased the rental period for another few days and fixed the damage. He spent $800 fixing the damage but the rental company would have charged him over $3000 for that kinda damage.

  13. The best answer to this dilemma is probably found in the anecdotal evidence of drivers who did not take the rental insurance, relying on their personal auto policy and/or credit card coverage, and were involved in an accident. How well their insurers provided coverage, and how the insured’s rates were impacted, could make all the difference. Auto insurance, like medical insurance, can be deceiving, and policy holders can end up holding the bag no matter how the policy reads. Insurance providers of all stripes, in my experience, are more in the business of NOT paying claims fully and honorably than the business of paying them.

  14. A few years ago my brother came to visit me in Arizona during early spring. One thing he really wanted to do was rent a convertable and enjoy the weather. We got a Camaro and I did get the extra insurance coverage. As we were cruising around, a big river rock came off a truck in front of us. It hit the ground and bounced up perfectly to dent the hood and crack the windsheild.

    I turned in the car and asked the rental associate if the insurance covers the car if a rock hits the windsheild. He said “yah, let’s check it out.” He saw the car and just said “Oh” then turned around to go take the car off of availablity.

    The damage was totally covered… I was very glad to have bought the insurance.

  15. When traveling on business my company explicitly tells us to decline any additional fees like that. The company has its own car insurance policy that covers all employees traveling on business, so they don’t need to pay the rental companies more for it.

  16. If the company is paying: yes. If I am paying: no. And remember, (I can say this as a consultant who has traveled a lot and seen what happens to rental cars) NEVER EVER EVER BUY a previously-used-as-rental car. Ever.

  17. My girlfriend and I rented from enterprise from LA to SF over the weekend. We did not get the damage waiver ($11 per day). About 100 miles into the trip, a rock chips the glass and there’s a quarter sized circular rock crack on the windshield. We spent the entire time STRESSING over the trip. We went to a windshield crack repair place to get it fixed for $35. It was still partly visible. Luckly it was raining when we returned it and the rain hid the crack from view. We haven’t heard anything from enterprise since. Next time I think I’ll get the damage weiver for rock chips and other things.

  18. I also don’t have any auto insurance because I don’t own a car.

    I wouldn’t take the LDW either because I would rent using a Mastercard. However, I do take the liability coverage, which ends up being more that the LDW anyways.

    The last thing I want to do is get in any kind of accident, but I do want to have some protection against being liable for damages or personal injuries.

    The process worries me because it seems like filing any kind of claim with matercard masterrental can be a serious hassle.

  19. I was driving a rental car on a freeway when a large fist-size rock flipped up into the air thanks to a nearby semi. The rock hit my hood and caused a pretty good dent. I hadn’t purchased the extra coverage. Luckily I used an AMEX card that provided coverage.

    When I returned the car I showed them the dent. I had to fill out some type of accident report paperwork. I didn’t have to pay anything on the spot. The rental car company was supposed to contact the credit card company to resolve the issue. I let AMEX know that they would be contacted.

    Several weeks later I called AMEX to see what had happened. They told me they had never been contacted by the car rental company. I don’t know if it ever got resolved. Perhaps the car company thought the recovery amount would be too small to justify dealing with AMEX. But if I hadn’t used a card with coverage, I’m convinced they wouldn’t have let me out of the building without charging me on the spot for the damage.

    I use AMEX for every rental because of how smoothly this all went. To sweeten the deal, AMEX has a card that gives 2% cashback for car rentals.

  20. Yeah, it may be more expensive on a monthly basis, but think of how much more recklessly people drive rental cars, e.g. this article.

  21. My car was in the shop once for a recall service. They paid for an overnight rental (so my AmEx secondary coverage didn’t apply.) I also have very high deductibles on my insurance but it was for a short period and I wasn’t going far. As I’m checking out the guy doing the inspection made it pretty clear that he would find a new scratch if I didn’t buy the waiver. The car was pretty banged up and he wasn’t putting down any of the scratches I was pointing out (“oh, that’s just dirt” he would say to obvious plastic damage.) I felt violated but ended up paying for the waiver anyway. That’s the last time I will use Enterprise if I can possibly help it.

  22. I always bought the LDW for work as well, but that was because I had to per company policy, and they paid for it. So I really never had a choice there.

  23. If you to an other country, It could be mandatory to have this kind of insurance. Even if you cross the border with the car, you could need this kind of insurance.

  24. I just enrolled in the Amex program and it seems like such a no brainer. It is free to enroll and you only pay like 15 dollars when you rent a car instead of a daily charge the scam artist rental companies charge. Thanks for the info. Last time I rented a car we were in a rush to catch our plane and I made the unforgiveable mistake of not filling up the gas tank prior to drop off and didn’t even realize it until I was paying and there was an extra $75 charge! Most expensive gas I have ever purchased.

  25. For those who don’t own a car, a good insurance to get would be the ‘name – no owner’ insurance coverage from Geico. It provides liability coverage for $300/year and covers liability for all rental cars but NOT LDW. I guess if you combine the AmEx, Visa or Mastercard LDW coverage with a ‘name – no owner’ policy, you would be covering all bases!

  26. When it comes to worrying about damage to rental cars, some companies I trust, other I don’t. At Enterprise they always go over the car in excess before and after, I’ve heard accounts of them charging for mystery damage. Same is true with the other “discount” rental companies, Dollar, Thrifty, Budget, etc.. However, this never happens with Hertz (and I assume also true for Avis and National) a business class rental company. I’ve even scuffed some rims on a Hertzmobile and never got hassled about it. I think over time you’ll save money by renting from the big three over the “cheaper” alternatives. You’ll also save time as the “cheapo” companies usually have long lines of people who seldom rent cars and have no idea what they are doing, whereas Hertz will quickly and efficiently get you on your way. Using AAA CDP and various PC #’s I can usually get Hertz for the same price anyway.

  27. I’ve heard only good things about using AmEx Gold cards to cover the LDW. I never stress over it and just use the AmEx card. Even if they don’t cover a small fraction of damage, still cheaper than buying the LDW consistently in the long run. Of course, if you KNOW you’re a bad driver and have a high premium on your everyday car, it might pay to just buy the LDW from the rental company.

  28. I bought the insurance from Armada van rentals when I needed to transport a lot of people to an event. Going into a parking garage I hit the top of the van on the “height” marker of the parking garage and made a small dent on the roof. Guess what – in the fine print of their insurance contract the roof is excluded along with a couple of other items. Big hassle from them for over a year and a half with them trying to milk me of charges that my insurance carrier said were not legitimate charges. Moral of the story – Read the fine print if you get the insurance.

  29. I never buy LDW and have never had a problem, but this does remind me of two jokes:

    What is the best off-road vehicle in the world?

    A rental car.

    And what car can go 0 to 60 the fastest?

    Again, a rental car.

  30. Ha – your comment about a rental car being the only vehicle you ever did a doughnut in is the primary reason I wonder why ANYONE looking for a used car would ever buy from a rental car place.

  31. A data point for those wondering about making a claim with a credit card company:

    A few years ago I picked up a car late at night and stupidly did not check for damage. The next morning I noticed that the front and back bumpers were all messed up, with paint peeling and cracked, it looked terrible. When I returned the car I mentioned it to the return guy, and said I didn’t do it, and he said not to worry about it.

    Of course, a month later I get a bill from a collection agency working for the rental car company (Alamo). I went online, got the Mastercard form, and filled it out. I don’t have a car, so I also filled out a form saying that I don’t have regular insurance, so this made the Mastercard coverage primary. I told the collection agency people that Mastercard would be handling the situation from here on out. A few weeks later I got a letter saying the claim had been paid. I checked online and they paid everything but the “loss of use” charge, because Alamo didn’t give them enough evidence. Mastercard was excellent about the whole process, very quick to respond and deal with issues.

    Ever since then I have rented using Mastercard with no worries.

  32. I rented a SUV in Belize using my AMEX card. Back home I don’t have a car or insurance, so AMEX became my primary insurance 🙂

    A rock ended smashing into the hood which the rental car company wanted $500 to fix. I gave the charge to AMEX and a few weeks later, received a letter from AMEX telling me everything was resolved. Simple and easy. I highly recommend using AMEX (except in Australia where they have no coverage).

    I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned liability insurance. For people like me without insurance, its a must. The potential cost far outweighs the $10-15 charge from the rental company.

  33. I’m driving a rental right now while my car has body work done on it (I hit a deer). I didn’t get the insurance they offer. I booked the card on my business AMEX card and while I was at the rental place I called AMEX and asked them about their rental insurance to make sure I was covered.

  34. I had the awesome hard (HARD) sell last week on the insurance (“I just want you to be happy”) and even more so on the size (“it’s a 2-door aveo hatchback – have you ever seen one of those”). I asked if they needed to help a couple of people so they could conveniently run out (and upgrade me). I was assured that there was no way they would run out. “Only $10 more per day.” I walked out to the little shed where you get your keys and lo and behold, I had been “upgraded” for free.

    The Ford Focus strained a little carrying 5 adults with luggage a half hour away, but the Aveo would have been 2 trips.

    Don’t upgrade.

  35. LordOfTheManor says

    Interesting discussion here going on about AMEX *denying* coverage when coupons have been used

    Anyone else with a similar experience? I’ve always used my AMEX to cover this, but a little concerned now as I always use coupons too!

  36. I would not rent from Enterprise again:

    Declined the CDW at the time of rental. Used Amex. Have personal insurance.

    When I returned rental van the guy at the desk noticed a small dent on driver door side. I am not sure how it happened, it probably may have been there before. But it’s small dent that I wouldn’t fix if it were my personal car.

    Anyway yesterday got the bill for $500 +.

    Just filed a claim with Amex. The Amex rep says everything should be taken care. Let’s see how it goes. I will update.

  37. Here’s our rental car story:
    We were invited to a wedding on the west coast. We live in the midwest. So four airline tickets and a week’s stay was going to be costly. After many many hours looking for the best deal on a national hotel chain, we ended up about 20 minutes outside a major metro area for $20 less per day. We rented a car, didn’t take the insurance as our insurance agent had confirmed before we left that we would be covered. We had three days of good driving getting our way easily around the city. Then the weekend came.

    We were driving La, la, la, la, la BAM! The hood of the car was crumpled up so we couldn’t see out in front of us! Huh? What happened? Two cars avoiding debris cut right in front of us from the other lane as we were traveling on a busy four lane road going through the suburbs. (You see that’s how much space there was in front of us in our lane too.) Not having any time to stop, the car in front of us was hit by our car, and her car hit the car in front of hers. Our rental car took the brunt of the accident. Theirs had bumper dents. The whole front end of the rental was crumpled. Thankfully we including kids were not injured! We stood on the sidewalk for an hour talking with the other drivers, nobody injured. Just a hassle. Our insurance so far has taken care of the situation, paid the rental car company. Visa is going to pay our deductible after we turned in 10 documents. But, we’ve been briefly threatened with a lawsuit by the person we hit ! If we had taken the insurance the rental car company would have handled this without our involvement! Goodness knows we don’t want to spend the rest of our lives traveling out west for a lawsuit! Next time, I’ll pay $20 /day extra for the hotel downtown, manage without a car and rely on family members who got one.

  38. I had waived the insurance with AVIS on a recent rental; because it would have cost me double the amount of the rental car cost. I figured I was okay with insurance; because I have good car insurance and a MasterCard Platinum credit card with MasterRental. Well, I got into an accident and was found at fault by the insurance companies (no tickets were issued by the police).

    This is what I found out so far…

    MasterCard (Master Rental) will pay LOU (Loss Of Use); ONLY if they receive a Fleet Utilization Log from the car rental agency. I used AVIS. AVIS will NOT supply this documentation (Fleet Utilization Log) at all!!!!!! So MasterCard is refusing to pay for the LOU. (As stated above by MasterRental: Reasonable loss-of-use charges imposed by the vehicle rental company for the period of time the rental vehicle is out of service. Loss-of-use charges must be substantiated by a location- and class-specific fleet utilization log.) The only car rental that will sometimes give this document to the insurance companies is Enterprise; so I have read.

    Also; MasterCard will NOT pay for any administration fee costs. I have read that VISA will pay the LOU and Administration fees without the Fleet Utilization Log. So be careful with what credit card you use to rent a car from.

    So now I am in the process of working with MasterCard and Avis to get the LOU paid; but I will probably get stuck with the charges.

    On a good note: Because I used a PLATINUM MasterCard to rent my car; MasterCard paid for my deductible.

  39. Amy,

    I have rented a car yesterday and have taken only liablity and declined CDW Since my Master card is going to cover for it. Enterprise has asked me pay $250 deductible today. Can you tell me how can I get it reimbursed for Platinum master Select Card?

  40. Amy,

    I forgot to say… I dont have any other insurance since I dont have a car. I went to a dealer and hit a car parked over there while backing up.

  41. Reddy,

    You need to contact MasterCard Assist (800-MC-ASSIST). They may tell you that it isn’t covered and you will have to call your issuing bank and complain to them and they will get you over to the US offices of MC Assist. You may have better luck starting with your issuing bank (the number on the back of your card). Be prepared to deal with a lot of paperwork, also, you may not be covered if you rented an SUV.


  42. Thanks Jared. I have contacted Master Card on the number given by Citibank. They have asked me open a claim..asked lot of information for 30 minutes. I didn’t go to the Enterprise where I rented the car yet. I have spoken to them over phone and they said I have to fill paper work for report and pay $250 deductible.

    What do I need to do there? Will MC reimburse the deductible?

  43. Reddy,

    Mastercard assist has opened a case. They will send you out paperwork in a few days and ask you to basically repeat all of the information that you gave them over the phone. You will need to send in a receipt showing the $250 that you had to pay.


  44. Jared,
    Thank you for the information.

    We can avoid paying the deductible. I have asked them to talk directly to Master Card people. I got the number of a lady Angelie, who deals with Master/Visa cards. She called me today and told she will deal with Master card. I dont have to pay any deductible. COntact me if you need any more information.

  45. How come when I rent through Avis, I decline insurance and we move on… but when I rent at Enterprise, they say I have to get it or I can’t rent? Do I have to get it from Enterprise? Does Avis include something that Enterprise doesn’t?

  46. John,

    Enterprise made a big fool by making me to take CDW and Personal insurance even if I dont need it.
    Now, I dont accept and teach terms to them.

    1) If you have a personal car and full insurance(CDW+Liability), Dont accept any kind of insurance from Enterprise.
    2) If you are renting car on Master card or american Express, and yo dont have primary insurance.. Dont accept CDW. Just take liability.

    I do the same.

  47. “How come when I rent through Avis, I decline insurance and we move on… but when I rent at Enterprise, they say I have to get it or I can’t rent? Do I have to get it from Enterprise? Does Avis include something that Enterprise doesn’t?”

    No, no, no. You don’t HAVE to get it through Enterprise, unless they have something in their contracts about not having insurance on your own vehicle (if you don’t) that I’m unaware of. But you absolutely shouldn’t.

    It also probably has to do with the representative you’re working with. Both companies (if you’re working with corporate locations) offer their employees commission bonuses for selling LDW/CDW. But Enterprise tends to be pretty underhanded. It should say somewhere ON your rental agreement that you do NOT have to purchase the insurance… it definitely does on Avis’s.

  48. Laura,

    Enterprise forced even me to take the Collision Damage Waiver.
    If you have auto insurance for your car, you don’t have to accept any kind of insurance from anyone.

    Even if you don’t have existing auto insurance, rent the vehicle either on Master/Visa credit card. Most of them provide Collision Damage Waiver. You just have to take Liability if you don’t have auto insurance in this case.

    Show your insurance copy to the enterprise representative and tell her you know how the insurance works. otherwise, they try to bluff you and make you pay.

    They will say that you have to $500 deductible in case of any damage to the car and get it reimbursed from credit card company. BUT YOU CAN AVOID this. I told them that they can’t charge it and then they accepted.


  49. Friends,

    I have rented a car from Enterprise and declined the CDW since the Master card covers it.

    I have dropped the keys there. Today morning, enterprise staff called and told me there are scratches (or accident). I don’t know if somebody did this in a parking lot.

    I am scared that my car insurance premium might go up( I already have a speeding ticket and minor accident) if I claim it from Master card.

    I told them to give the assessment of the damage and planning to pay from my pocket instead of insurance claim, even though I didn’t do any mistake.

    No police case registered. If I claim it from Master Card, will it enter onto my driving history even if the police case is not registered?

    Please advise me.

  50. Hey,
    6 persons from Europe will rent a car from LA for almost 3 weeks. There are lot of information on this page but also confusing points. Should we take LOSS DAMAGE WAIVER? What are the things to consider before renting a car abroad. Should we ask something from bank at home about possible cover…?
    We want to be sure that we will be covered against every dent and scratch that might happen on the road?
    Thanks for advice!

  51. Steve Johnson says

    I have ALWAYS refused to take the CDW from Enterprise. They are very persistant, I will give them that. I never checked into seeing if my insurance will cover it. Howver I rented a car in Columbia, MO and took it to FL and my son wrecked it. Totalled the whole thing out. I called my insurance company when they informed me that my ins does not cover rentals. Most people think it does, but not every policy does. Now they are saying that I pretty much owe them for a new car. It was a 2009 Impala.

    I think that anyone that wont take it is stupid. All the headaches that I have to go through with this, and from what I can tell from everyone that rents with a credit card that covers them, its no cake in the walk either. Pay the $20/ day and be done with it.
    It might add up, but think about paying your $500 deductable and having your premiuims go up.

    And most people think that they wont get in an accident in a rental (like I did). Well think about the last accident you got in… did you think you were going to get in an accident then?

    like I said, anyone that doesnt take is dumb.

  52. Steve,

    I sounds like there are to reasons why you ended up with the bill.

    You probably have state minimum insurance that just covers the bare bones.

    You didn’t pay using Amex or a Platinum Level Visa/MC.

    Either of the two would have avoided this situation.


  53. Okay, it seems from one of the posts here that AMEX won’t cover a car rental in Australia, so what can we do? We have Platinum Master cards, if that helps.

    Surely there’s some way to get standard insurance that will cover you for damage done to a vehicle while you’re traveling? I mean, I’ll pay the rental companies exorbitant rates, but I really REALLY do have a moral objection to paying rates that are equivalent to $5,000 – $6,000 in American money. That’s just outrageous and pure profiteering.

    I thought our coverage with Allstate would take things in hand, but apparently not. There has to be a sensible way to do this.

  54. Hi,

    I’m car-less (so no car insurance) and Australian (and so very confused).

    I wonder if there are any insurance companies that sell specific policies for renters of rental car s in the US? I know from prior experience renting cars in Europe that there are companies that sell a specific CDW (collision damage waiver — which I guess is equivalent to LDW) insurance. These are much cheaper than the rates offered by the car rental companies.

    But I have not been able to find any policies offered in/for the US. Does anybody know anything about buying a LDW policy direct from an insurance company?

  55. I am a State Farm agent in California and I can tell you this – if you have full coverage through State Farm, you’re covered in a rental car. The damage waiver and the personal accident insurance are a rip off. Check with your insurance agent before you rent a car. Also, check the coverage provided by your credit cards and use the one that provides the most coverage to rent your car. But most importantly, drive it like you own it and avoid the problems! Just good common sense from a common sense agent in the Central Valley.

  56. I havea Visa Credit Card and checked with the Visa Card Member Services on the covergae when the Visa Card is used for the rental. It seems that Visa will cover all the deductibles (remianing to be covered by my insurance company – Gieco in this case. ) and a reasonable Loss of Use.

    So in a nutshell, if you have a GEICO insurance and you use your Visa card for rental, you dont really need the LDW or the Collision Damage Cover from Rental Company.

    Insurance should pay the collision damage beyond the deductible. (confirmed with them)
    VISA will pay for the deductible and Loss of use. Visa does not cover any medical damages.

  57. Will (Las Vegas, NV) says

    Guys, you could talk for hours about the car rental agency’s greed and how disgusting it is to cough up the extra money for the infamous LDW. Yet, not buying said waiver ( that’s what it actually is….NOT NSURANCE!!!!!!) could eventually be the beginning of your worst nightmare.

    Do not buy LDW and damage the rental vehicle… is what you are risking:


    Call them and hear what you want to hear. Yes, they cover a rental car. What did you forget to ask? Limitations………..which are:

    – it only covers up to the value of your own car, that is, if you own a 1998 Chevy Cavalier do not expect your car insurance to cover for a 2009 Chrysler 300!!!
    – come up with your deductible up front. They won’t even consider further coverage until you come up with the dough.
    – that ding in the bumper will put the rental car down for a week or two or three…, say, 40USD a day. Uhm, plus admin fees and colateral :dmage to your pocket”. Your car insurance company will pay for the damage, say, 500USD. How much was your deductible, you said????? Say 500USD, right?! So, your insurance company has not paid a penny yet, right? Now, who pays the 40USD a day? Did you ask your insurance agent?
    – come visit Las Vegas……good luck on that one!!!! Find out about “no-fault” before you decide to decline LDW…….
    – say you own a Chrysler 300 ’09 and rented a Cavalier… got stolen and your insurance company coughed up the money……for free????? Think twice!
    – did you forget about being at-fault…..that’s a good one….try it yourself….

  58. Well, you’re right about one thing, check with your insurance agent. IF you have State Farm not only are you covered, but your deductible is waived as well. Check your insurance!

  59. HHAHAH yeaaah trust a state farm agent. they are not a rip off at all (sarcasm)

  60. Ok so we rented a mini van, it was a new one, VW, with only 4,000 miles on it; a real beauty. I went over a curb and messed up the silver part on the wheel and scratched the front bottom bumper really badly. I freaked out and obsessed about what to do. We had used our credit card and I specifically called the company to make sure they offered the LDW BEFORE we rented, they said they did. When I called to ask the policy for a claim they told me card did not offer it! My husband didn’t want to claim anyway b/c he thought our insurance would go up. He returned the van and they said nothing, looked it over and gave him the closing paperwork, not a word said. Apparently as long as there is no dents or major damage they don’t seem to care….?
    P.S. If your credit card says they offer LDW please get the name of the associate, just in case.

  61. Pam, I dont understand why an agent would encourage their insured to decline the additional waiver. If by chance you were to have an accident in a rental, and had purhcased the coverages…..would’nt that eliminate the carrier to having PAY-OUT the claim????

  62. I am all about doing what is in the best interest of my customer. The coverages offered by the rental car companies are, by and large, a waste of your money. If you have State Farm, you are covered. And, if you carry rental car coverage with State Farm on any of your auto policies, the deductible is waived. So why pay for something you don’t need? If you really want to give your money away, find a good charity. But please, don’t just waste it.

  63. Pam, you still did’nt address my question. If in fact your customer were to have an accident and just so happened to purchase the coverages, would or would that not benefit the original insurance carrier by not having to pay out a claim??? That’s great that the deductibles are waived, but you failed to mention the possible premium and rate increases due to a claim. That’s more money out of their pockets on a montly basis. How is that in their “best interest”?

  64. Todd – I’m not sure what state you’re in so I’ll address California law with my response.

    True, if my customer were to have an accident and had purchased the coverages from the rental car company, then State Farm would not pay – the rental car company would. That would benefit ME (as my loss ratios affect me negatively) and State Farm as they would not be paying out any claims. However, that does not mean my customer’s premiums won’t go up.

    California law dictates that accidents resulting in $750 in damage or more must be reported and any accident resulting in bodily injury must also be reported. Any time an accident is reported, the drivers involved and their driver’s license numbers are reported as well. (There is no getting around this if things are handled legally.) If my customer were NOT at fault, there would be no increase in premium. If my customer were at fault, regardless of who paid the damages, there may be an increase in premium.

    So, encouraging my customers to buy the coverage from rental car companies would only benefit me and my loss ratios. That would be self-serving and not the way I do business.

  65. hi, I am just looking for more informations about LDW insurance from Thrifty. I had accident in middle of the night when I rented a car for one day. Of course, by accident I pumped diesel instead fuel. Car stopped and rental company left me without help. So, I had to get home on my own expenses than they overcharged me towing a car ($1,300). Now I wait to get a bill for change the engine ($4,000). I rented the car with this LDW , @ $24.99. Anybody can help or give me some advice? Thank you

  66. I have my own insurance and last year rented a car without taking any coverage offered.

    Well it was quite a hassle! Somebody slammed into the back of my car and although the other driver’s insurance paid for everything, it was a major hassle with lots and lots of stress on my vacation.

    I spent a good two days stressing with phone calls to the other driver’s insurance people, my insurance people.

    For a measly 20 dollars a day I am going to purchase the LDW for my next vacation, and it will give me peace of mind. That alone is worth the money, because if anything happens I’m just handing over the keys to the rental people and letting them do everything.

    When you have NOT had a car accident with a rental car, the advice that “taking the rental’s insurance is a rip-off if you already have insurance” makes perfect sense.

    If you HAVE had a car accident with a rental car, paying 20 dollars a day for the LDW is the most appealing thing to do when renting again.

    I rent a car at most once a year for a week or two. I am going to pay the “rip-off” charge for the LDW because I just want peace of mind on my vacation.

    Two days of my 8 day vacation were full of stress and worry. For the 20 dollars a day LDW I could have avoided the worry.

  67. Buy the insurance – don’t trust AMEX to cover it – had an accident with a Hertz car, reported to AMEX and Hertz, sent paperwork to AMEX, AMEX reps assure me they will handle.

    Next get angry letters from Hertz taking me to collections – they lost the paperwork I sent them, and never contacted AMEX. AMEX apparently never contacted them – what a nightmare, if it’s Hertz at least, get the LDW (or don’t rent from them).

    I should be able to resolve by re-scanning and resending the approx 9 lbs of paperwork to all parties and then following up every few days to make sure no one ‘loses’ it this time. With my time, I’m out alot more than I saved on the LDW.

  68. Frankly, the credit card should have to warn you of the side effects when they say to decline LDW –

    warning- an actual accident will result in lots and lots of paperwork for you, which we may lose.
    Meanwhile, an aggressive rental car company may seek to ruin your credit while also losing your paperwork

    Truth in advertising – the LDW + the daily rental and all fees should be expected rental cost, credit card companies should not be able to advise you to decline it, and rental car companies should include LDW in their standard fees, and both sides should stop scamming customers with this…

  69. Carinsurance says

    This coverage is only for use of a rental car while on a trip. “Trip” means a period of round-Trip travel away from home home to a destination outside the Insured’s city of residence; the purpose of the Trip is business or pleasure and is not to obtain health care or treatment of any kind; the Trip has defined departure and return dates specified when the Insured applies; the Trip does not exceed 180 days; and the Insured’s destination is not to another home.

  70. I had a car accident when I rent the car from AllDay RentACar, I was hit by the other guy from the back, the police said is the other guys fault, but I was still charge by Allday RentACar, because they said they will deal with my insurance company only, I have 500$ deductable. Finaly my insurance company pay 100% damage from the car, that mean AllDay RentACar has to pay me pack the deductable fee, when I call them, they just change the mind, they said 500$ is for lost of use, so they won’t pay me back, they ask me to claim from other guys insurance company for the money, I call the other guy’s insurance company, they said I can’t claim from them, I have to told my insurance company about this.
    I think I was stupid to let AllDay RentACar charge me 500$, they shouldn’t charge me anything about damage. They told me about lost of Use, but they never claim from my insurance company about it. For the other thing is that, when they charge my 500$, they said it is for deductable, but when my insurance company pay for them, they should told my insurance company that I already paid for deductable.

    For other thing is that, when I call them after I came back from vacation, they always ask me hold 10min, and then tell me call back next day at given time, bacause he is not the guy who deal with damaged car of their company. When I call them back next day at time being told, they would say I have call them back other time again. I have been call them for at least 20 times, still did not reach that person. It been 4 months already.

    Nor they change mind said they charge me lost of Use, I realy frustrate about this case. Does any one have this situation before, could you just give me some suggestion? I will really appreciate!

    If I will ever go to Miami again, I won’t rent the car from AllDay RentACar, it really not good experience to deal with such company. If I will have vacation somewhere again, I will buy the damage waive, so I don’t need to deal with such hassle case.

  71. droptheworld says

    Got a small crack in an enterprise rental’s windshield. I didn’t get the DW. From the post above, can I say this happened on my way to work then be OK? Does anyone know of any good products I could use to fill the small crack?

  72. I work for a rental car agency, no names. We don’t get paid comission on CDW or waiver sales. Our performance is based on customer service and renting cars!!!!! We would rather your insurance pay for the repairs to the car then have the money come from waiver fee’s not used (by the way, waiver fee’s hardly cover the repair costs…think about it….3 day rental, 60 bucks waiver fee, one bumper ding on 200 cars in the fleet = 1000 dollars AT LEAST!) and that is minor damage! One total wreck of a car is like 25,000! You’d have to collect waiver fee’s all the time on every car and not wreck one of them to make it profitable. Saying its a money grab is stupid customers being cheap. We offer it for your peace of mind! How upset are you when you rent a car for a weekend of fun, have some damage happen and end up stressing out, ruining your weekend and having to pay hundreds of dollars extra when you could have just paid 60 or 100 bucks, and said thanks for the rental, sorry I crashed it up?

    Credit card companies and insurance companies are in the business to make money. I rented a car from work. Did not take DW because I have personal insurance and was using my AMEX platnium card to pay for it for air miles. I’m in the friggin parking lot talking to a co-worker and some moron backs into me. Damnit I hadn’t even moved!!! So AMEX pays my deductible, 500 bucks. My insurance pays the rest. Next time my insurance policy renews my insurance goes up 150 bucks a month. No fault of my own that this happened, someone hit me. What was my fault was that I didn’t pay the 60 bucks. So now my insurance company sucks thousands of dollars more out of me over the next few years compared to the money I could have spent getting the DW from my work. Talk about feeling stupid.

    The only time I think the DW isn’t worth getting now is if I’m renting for 3 weeks, because 25 bucks a day x 21 is alot of money, but then again your in the rental for that long its just 21x more likely that something is gonna happen.

  73. Interesting says


    I agree with you 100%. LDW should be considered part of the cost of renting a car. The CC company said they’d cover everything but they never covered LOU. It was only $700 dollars or so.

    Plus we were the ones co-ordinating things with the rental company, insurance and the CC company. A total nightmare. I even had the guy (from Canada) from the rental company calling me at work and leaving angry voice mails. CC company pulled the fleet utilization log scam, which the rental company would not provide.

  74. I use Emerald Club with National Car Rental, it includes Full Loss Damage Waiver, and then use my Visa credit card for the rental.

    The normal cost for rentals is around $40 with my emerald club card but I have been called “The Boss” by National employees because of this status. I have also found that National has weekend deals for about $20 a day which I still have full Loss Damage Waiver, so I usually wait until I can see the weekend deals if I need to rent that weekend. I also get to pick the car out of the “Emerald Aisle”, so there are a lot of perks. You can also earn free rental days. I don’t know how Hertz Gold Club or other rental companies clubs deals are but I have been happy with National. You also don’t have to wait in line… which once I had to wait in line at Budget rental for 1 and 1/2 hours. My work provides me with the Emerald Club membership, so check out your work’s perks, you might be in luck.

  75. Farran statement is full of misinformation. First of all, rental car companies have insurance policies for each of their cars. So to say the waver fee does not pay for the $1000 bumper is seriously misleading. Its not about one fee paying for one damage, its about the collective fees paying for the collective damages. Yes, rental car companies make money on the Loss Damage Waiver fees, otherwise they would not offer it.

    Second point, if Farran’s insurance company jacked up his insurance rate because someone else (supposedly, clearly I don’t believe this story) backed into his rental and he had to pay a $500 deductible too, he needs to find better insurance coverage. I don’t have top of the line insurance, but I know my policy and insurance company.

    Third, Farran’s whole post is textbook selling scenario. Whose fault is it when you don’t buy their service… of course, its yours… right?! And you should feel stupid… right?! For example Farran writes:

    “What was my fault was that I didn’t pay the 60 bucks. So now my insurance company sucks thousands of dollars more out of me over the next few years compared to the money I could have spent getting the DW from my work. Talk about feeling stupid.”

    Bottom line, be critical of what you read 😉

  76. Farran’s statement is actually 100% accurate. When in a rental, the renter is responsible for any damages that incur while the vehicle is on rent. If the other party’s insurance chooses not to reimburse the renter is on the hook.

    As far as the companies making money off of LDW/CDW, if the vehicle comes back damaged and the renter has taken out LDW/CDW the rental car company may actually LOSE money because some rental car companies (such as Enterprise) are self-insured. Being a self-insured company means they have no insurance coverage. No umbrella policies, etc. They are 100% financially responsible for their vehicles. No one to fall back on.

    At least in terms of short-term rentals, not taking the LDW/CDW is just outrageous. Why risk your 250/500 or 1000 deductible when you could have avoided it for less than $20/day. No brainer folks!

  77. This was the most helpful Web page I found on the topic thanks to the real life examples from everyone. It seems declining the protection would make sense only if you had lots of time (to research your own insurance etc. ahead of renting, to go over the car thoroughly at the lot, and to deal with paperwork and phone calls if there is an incident). But if you could put that time into your business or profession or pleasure and get more out of it than the money that would be saved, you might rather spend the money to buy that time.

  78. cheekymonkey says

    This page has been very informative, and I thank everyone who has contributed with their own personal stories.

    I am about to rent a car for the first time in almost twenty years and I have been on the fence about purchasing LDW. I think I’m going to go ahead and bite the bullet, and purchase it. I want to ENJOY my vacation and, God forbid something should happen, I don’t want the hassle. An extra $215 for eight days’ worth of peace of mind is a price I’m more than willing to pay, especially since I don’t plan on renting again anytime soon.


  79. I always get the extra insurance you just never know when you are going to need it. I had some one hit the car in the parking lot of the supermarket and just take off, and thankfully there was that extra coverage and did not have to report this to my insurance an my primium did not go up.

  80. Just a heads up – if you’re planning to claim on your credit card, be aware that they may require you to report the claim within 30 days of the “date of loss”. My husband returned a car with some scratches on the bumper to Avis and had to fill out an accident report. However the rep told him the damage was minor and that they may not end up charging him for it. So he never bothered calling our credit card company (platinum Visa signature card used to rent). Lo and behold 3 months later, we just got all the claim paperwork in the mail, and when I called Visa they said it’s too late to file a claim. The damage was $375 – less than our $500 deductible with geico – Visa would have paid that for us. Now we have to pay out of pocket. So whether you think they’ll charge you or not – if in doubt at least notify the credit card company right away!

  81. It’s funny people say not to buy used rental cars because rental companies are responsible for the purchase of roughly 1/3 of most major manufacturers new vehicles for use as their rental cars. When they’re done being used as a rental, they get sold via the rental company, if they don’t sell there most get sold back to the dealerships and the dealerships sell them as certified pre-owned vehicles.
    And they don’t have to tell you it was a rental, and you’ll pay more than you would buying it from the rental company. Most used cars on a dealership’s lot were previously rentals, and you’d never know it unless you saw the car fax.


    The comedian insurance quote is at the end of this clip.

  83. Do not use credit card insurance, because this is how it works— they will charge your cc the cost of the damage while the clai is processed (takes about a year, sometimes longer). So depending on your credit limit for the card you may be charged over limit fees and for the entire year pay interest in the cost of the damage.

  84. It’s funny reading some of these comments, as someone who works for a major rental car company I can tell that some of these people who are saying they buy the LDW are infact employees of a rental company themselves and are trying to convince the real customers visiting this site to spend money when they may not have to. The rule of thumb here is to always check with your insurance provider to see if you’re covered and what is not covered, if you are, don’t go for any optional coverages.

  85. I work for a rental car company and I will tell you that the charge for the LDW is 17.00 a day. No we are not paid commission on the sale. Yes you are promoted on your sales. I will say this about the LDW though, if you are rental for five day or less bite the bullet and get it. Why do through hassles? For an extra 80 dollars someone is letting you borrow their 30000 dollar vehicle and saying you can just drop it off if it is damaged. Get the waiver folks. I have seen the faces of people who have returned vehicles that did not even when they had insurance.

  86. I rented a car and purchased the LDW for a piece of mind. It turns out my rental card was sideswiped bad and the driver of the other car took off. After getting the police out on scene I returned the rental car and was told by the rental agent glad you did’nt get hurt,good thing you had the LDW, Have a nice day, and that was it. That said, next time I rent a car LDW is for me.

  87. I’m going to be renting a minivan for 29 days next month and I just found out that my VISA card won’t provide coverage for a vehicle rented for more than 15 days (yes, I thought about renting for 15 days then renting again for 14 more days… however, It is actually cheaper to rent for 29 days then it is to rent for 15 days…. check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me).

    Anywho… I also won’t have full coverage insurance on a vehicle of my own since we are relocating from overseas and won’t have a vehicle on my insurance at the time (therefore, no rental coverage as it only provides the coverage that is on your existing insured vehicle).

    So, I suppose LDW is the only way for me to go.

    Does anyone know of any credit cards that will cover rentals over 15 days?

  88. Barry David says

    As someone who doesn’t own a car and has to pay for insurance every time I rent, I always resent this part of the rental car process, but as I tend to be a worrier I get the LDW whenever I feel like I can afford it (sometimes airports charge a ridiculous amount, way over $20/day, and in those cases I’ve sometimes refused it.).

    Here’s a case in support of buying it, at least for me: On my honeymoon my wife and I went on a road trip from SF to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons using a rental car for which I got the LDW. Somewhere in Nevada, towards the end of the trip, a sudden strong gust of wind blew the driver’s side door wide open just as I got out of the car at a gas station. The door hit a post near the gas pump and got a massive, obvious dent in it. It was nice knowing this wouldn’t be a problem, and I felt carefree as I returned the car to Hertz with a massive dent in the driver’s side passenger door.

    On the other hand, I refused LDW on a trip to Hawaii, and a slightly cracked windshield (which might have been there before I picked it up) came up in my mind quite a bit during the trip.

    Either I need therapy or LDW, and I think LDW might be cheaper, at least in the short term. Maybe, though, therapy on this issue would save me from LDW and I could just rely on my credit card!

    I do have a MasterCard and a Visa, but in the future I may use the Master Card instead of the Visa to replace LDW after reading this article.

  89. Great article. I’m in the niche site business myself, and it’s satisfying to me to find a site that answers my question about rental cars, and see that it’s also a monetized niche site doing well. Newbie game recognize varsity game.

  90. I never take LDW and I rent cars 4 times a year. I last rented from Budget rent a and the sales preson says it’s wise to take the LDW and you dont have to worry. Well I did. That evening I had a hit and run. I called the police and made a report then called Budget. No questions ask they delivered another car to my hotel with no additionl cost. You must file a report with the police w the rental company will ask for a copy of the police report.
    Hassel free Vacation for $20.00. You cant beat that.

  91. I am new in the rental industry and my manager told me to check out LDW forums online to see what people say about them, the good and the bad. I’ve only been in the business for a few months but it is amazing at how misinformed many people, not all, are about the LDW. Every rental company is different and every state has different laws for rental companies. For instance, the state I live in requires rental companies to offer protection plans to every customer. It’s not a sales gimmick, it’s the law, you can look it up for your state to find out.
    As for checking with your insurance company for coverage, I see this a couple times a week; the customer calls their agent and says “Im renting a car, am I covered” and that’s it. Of course the agent is going to say yes, even if they have sold you bad protection, they won’t admit it. I’m all for the customer calling the agent, but make sure you ask the right questions. Make sure you let them know you will be driving a $25,000 car. Give them a situation like hail damage and ask what exactly will be covered, your deductible, and also if loss of use for the rental is covered. One thing many people don’t consider is that if the car is damaged and unrentable, you will be charged for every day it is out of rotation which insurance does not “normally” cover.
    I have seen a couple less than intelligent comments from people saying the LDW is only good if you damage the vehicle which is like saying oxygen is only good if you want to breathe. You take a risk every time you are on the road, for the people checking out these comments, you are probably a more aware person therefore a better driver, but it’s the other person you need to worry about; and lets not forget mother nature.
    Yes rental companies do make more money off rentals with LDW that come back undamaged, that’s common sense. I work in rental office in a small town, I have reviewed the documents of damaged vehicles, and we only have a couple since the beginning of 2013 and it is mid november but the damages add up to over $30,000; we have not taken in even half of that in LDW “profit” so that is over $15,000 out of our pocket, as we are a self-insured company.

    Personally, I do believe the LDW is a good thing, and I will recommend it to every customer but I don’t push it. You should know what’s in your best interest.

  92. Well said Cody! Completely agree.

  93. I have rented a car from AVIS and I got a huge dent on the left rear side of the car. I thought I was in trouble for that day and I was worried if I will be charged a huge amount of the money by rental company. I have returned car a day later and I tried to get a quote for the damage. The guy who checks in the returned car said that I have Loss Damage Waiver and he told me not to worry a thing. I am still waiting on AVIS’s official letter that says that I am free to go. However, after reading this post, I think I am really good to go.

  94. lee fournier says

    I currently am renting for 48 days from Thrifty. The Condo parking space is separated by wooden post of which caused minor but noticeable fender damage . I didn’t take LDW because my Insurance Co.said I’m covered(???). I also have a VISA signature or Platinum MasterCard too. Which Card should I use to cover any unforeseen rental car charges? This site has eye opening helpful comments about rental car companies.

  95. Rented an SUV in Belize thru AQ Belize. Vehicle lost power, a couple of times & then the oil light came on. Pulled over and realized we were out of oil. Put 2 quarts in and realized it was coming right back out at the bottom. Called company who arranged for tour company (Pacz Tours, awesome!) to pick us up & they would switch out for a new SUV. End of rental, they claimed we bottomed out & seized the engine due to damaged oil pan. I checked the oil pan and there was indeed a 3″ hole right where the plug would go, but the hole was uniform & not jagged like you would expect. Then they claimed our insurance (thru them) was void due to negligence. Then they decided it was OK to pay the insurance deductible of $1000. Very fishy, all of it. We used our HSBC credit card to pay for it, but their literature says that their ins Is void if we purchased ins thru the rental agency. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  96. Get hold of an amex card – any one of their cards, even the non-prestigious/cheap versions – and you can purchase primary vehicle insurance (CDW AND loss of use charges) on a per rental basis for really cheap. Do this especially if you already have car insurance since you don’t want to make a claim in case of damage occurring and have your personal insurance jack the rates up 5-10x (common occurrence when making collision claims).

  97. If you’re like the commenters above and simply have no liability insurance, please consider taking out a cheap Touring Policy or Non-Owner Automobile insurance policy. An annual touring policy with USAA in my case costs less than it would take to cover liability two days a year on rentals, and allows you to continually demonstrate your low-risk status, helping to buy and control costs of future automombile insurance policies.

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