Rental Tips from CarrentalExpress.Com

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Expensive surprises when renting a car, especially the kind that cost the renter a lot of money can be avoided. In case of an accident, the absolute best way to prevent paying for the rental vehicle repairs is to make sure a “proper” insurance policy or a solid “Collision Damage Waiver” (CDW) covers the rental vehicle.

The CDW is an agreement between the rental company and the renter that guarantees that in the event of an accident, the rental company will charge the renter an agreed upon deductible. This can vary from $0 to the total value of the car. Typically, the deductible varies between $250 and $2500. It is very important to read the “fine” print before signing the contract. Some less than reputable companies will honor the CDW deductible only if the renter is not at fault in the accident, only if the renter does not drive out of the agreed upon area, or any one of a number of different conditions. So, for emphasis, read the fine print.

Many insurance companies will insure rental vehicles if the renter’s own insured vehicle is not being driven at the same time as the rental vehicle. The company will allow the renter’s own vehicle insurance to be transferred to another vehicle (i.e. the rental car). Or there are insurance companies that will sell rental policies separate from the renter’s own car insurance that covers the rental vehicle for an agreed upon number of days or weeks.

Why is the latter better? Because it is real insurance. The Collision Damage Waiver is only that, a waiver of the renter’s responsibility. Real insurance will cover the vehicle not the renter.

It is always worthwhile to explore the options. This should be done before the rental. Once in front of the rental agent, there is going to be a push to agree to the CDW. Why? Because the CDW is a large profit center for rental agencies. Renters should, for their own protection, explore insurance options with their local insurance broker before the rental. If this is not possible, the CDW option should be considered, read and understood.

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