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Thread: Car Insurance

  1. Default Car Insurance

    Hi Guys

    Now I know there are various threads on the hazards of rental car insurance in the US (which I have looked at!) but if someone could put my mind at rest by telling me whether I've got the right end of the stick that would be much appreciated!

    We are coming to the US on 18 April and spending 3 weeks driving around California, Arizona and Nevada. We are planning to rent and drop off the car at LAX. Anyway- this is how we see the insurance situation:

    1. Our travel insurance covers us to drive any vehicle for which we are licensed to drive in the UK and gives us medical and legal expenses coverage if we suffer injury, but importantly not liability insurance.
    2. Therefore we think we need
    (a) Supplemental Liability Insurance which should cover us if we hit someone and cause damage/injury (the rental companies we have looked at eg Budget include this and the coverage is 1 million dollars); and
    (b) Collision Damage Waiver in case we damage OUR rental car or it is stolen which means that we don't have any liability (providing there is no excess with whichever rental company we go with).

    We have been looking at Budget rental company and the SLI and CDW is included (which seems like a good deal). Can someone tell us if this is all we need to have piece of mind that we will be covered in the event of an accident? Please note that we do NOT have vehicle insurance in the UK (as neither of us currently has a car) and our UK credit cards don't seem to offer any coverage as in the US.

    Thanks very much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia



    My travel insurance, like yours, covers any car I am legally licenced to drive. I double check with my travel insurance company (in writing) to make sure that it will cover any and all expenses which could possibly come up in the case of a mishap whilst driving in the USA.

    The only cars I have rented in the US have been from Budget Rent-a-Car, and after telling them that I do not need insurance, since it is covered by my travel insurance, they have always accepted it.

    Make sure you carry all documentation which mentions that you are fully covered, as they will want to photo copy it and attach it to your rental agreement.

    Fortunately, I have never had to use any of it.

    Lifey in Melbourne
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 04-03-2009 at 02:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default sounds right

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you've got a good handle on what you need for insurance, but I would suggest checking with your travel insurance company just to get their thoughts. They likely will have some recommendations about what they think is important and they might even be able to offer you additional coverage for less than the rental agency would charge. I would also recommend looking at this thread, which has a good summary of the other types of coverage your rental agency will likely offer.

  4. #4


    Must admit I’ve scratched my head a few times trying to get these things right.

    Giving and taking specific advice on insurance, especially on a forum, is fraught with danger because getting it wrong can have serious consequences for an individual.

    It’s only when things go wrong, fortunately doesn’t happen too often, that you find out what the product is really worth. The bottom line is you have to satisfy yourself with your own best research and counsel.

    When in the USA these are my car rental insurance principles:

    Three essential requirements:

    * Third-party liability

    * Collision Damage Waiver, also know as Loss Damage Waiver

    * Theft Protection

    Essential top up:

    * Supplementary Liability Insurance (Extended Protection)


    * Supercover. Reduces excess to nil. Normal exclusions on car rental policies can catch people out, windscreen, wheels, tyres, roof and undercarriage are not covered. There are specialist firms in the UK, such as for one, which many recommend and use.

    Travel Insurance. My travel insurance covers “Personal Accident Insurance” which some car rental firms can include automatically at extra cost when not necessary. So check you are not paying twice for this cover.

    UK car insurance. Totally disregard my UK car insurance as it offers no cover whatsoever on any USA car rental.

  5. Default

    Hi guys! Thanks for all your replies. I guess the best option is to speak to our travel insurance provider to double check our options.
    And as you say fingers crossed that we will not have any need to call upon our insurance.

  6. Default

    I think it's worth mentioning that the most of central and eastern european insurance does not cover anything with cars except maybe when one is injured while in the car.

    There are a lot insurance companies, which say that they cover one's responsibility for damage, but I haven't seen one insurance, which would not exclude motorized vehicles from it. I think this insurance is useless unless one has a habit of spilling liquids on someone's fancy expensive handhelds ;-)

    Therefore, I think it is a must to have insurance when renting cars in th US by people from my region.

    I have always used Budget (except of one time when Budget wanted me to wait for an hour, so I used Enterprise) with these insurance coverages:
    Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) - protects against third-party bodily injury and property-damage claims for which you are legally liable
    Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) - option that relieves renters of financial responsibility if the car is damaged or stolen while under rental contract

    That's it. Supposing your travel insurance covers you also while in the car.

    However, there are certain insurance coverages (e.g. Work and Travel participants) that don't. Then you can buy(I would say you have to buy):
    Personal Accident and Effects Insurance (PAE) - protects you and your passengers against accident, injury, and loss to certain personal property being transported in your Budget car.

    If you don't have any insurance at all, you can choose PAE and:
    Emergency Sickness Plan (ESP) - provides international renters visiting the U.S. with coverage for medical expenses resulting from sickness. other liability protection available to the renter from any source will be primary, and will apply first in the event of an accident.

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