Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI)

Here at we want to provide everything you’ll need to keep away from extra charges when you hire a car. In many countries around the world, it’s enough to cover the excess on your car hire. However, in some countries such as the USA, you’ll need slightly different cover in place. It can be a little bit confusing, so we’ve put together this article explaining exactly what you’re insuring yourself against with each of these different car hire insurance covers.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)/Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) Explained

CDW is not insurance as such. It’s actually the rental company agreeing to waive the costs of damage to your rental vehicle if it is involved in a collision. This "waiver" doesn't necessarily mean you won’t pay a penny in the case of a collision. The renter remains responsible for the first part of any claim. It’s also worth noting, there are a number of parts of the car which are not covered by CDW such as; the tyres, wheels, undercarriage, roof and windscreen.

LDW is the collective name for CDW and Theft Protection (TP) which also covers the costs of replacing the car if it is stolen. Normally the excess on Theft Protection agreements are the same or higher than for CDW alone.

If you hire in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa or most parts of the Middle and Far East, basic CDW/LDW cover will normally come as standard with a rental car or van. However, this will still more than likely have a large excess on it which you’ll be liable to pay in the event of an incident (that’s where our regular excess cover comes in). If the car hire comes with no CDW/LDW you can buy our Annual CDW Worldwide plus Excess policy from

Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI)

This insurance covers you for claims made by third parties for either physical damage to their property (say their car) or injuries they sustain caused by the rental vehicle even if it’s not your fault.

In Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and most parts of the Middle and Far East this cover is normally included within the minimum insurance that has to be taken from your hire company.

Most car rental agreements in the USA, Canada, The Caribbean, South and Central America only offer limited or no third party liability insurance (depending on the State) which can leave a car hirer exposed if they were involved in a serious accident and faced litigation. Rather than buying SLI from your US rental company you can buy our USA & Canada CDW/SLI plus Excess Worldwide cover from which will either top up the cover provided or act as primary cover where no SLI is provided with the rental agreement.

Note: If you rent a car in America through a UK based company or website normally (but not always) CDW/LDW/SLI comes within the package as the company will assume it is required for travellers from Europe.