Collision Damage Waivers and Supplementary Liability Insurance (CDW & SLI)

In many countries around the world, car rental insurance includes CDW and SLI as standard. However, often car rentals in other countries, and particularly America (including the USA, Canada, South and Central America), may require CDW and SLI on top.

What is a Collision Damage Waiver?

CDW is not insurance as such. It’s actually the rental company agreeing to waive the costs of damage to the rental vehicle in the event of a collision. The renter remains responsible for the first part of the claim in the form of the excess but the rest of the cost is waived. 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 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 cover it on our Annual CDW Worldwide plus Excess policy

What is Suplimentary Liability Insurance?

Supplimentary Liability Insurance covers car hire 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 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.