The Americas – A Guide To CDW & SLI

If you’re reading this you’re probably planning on travelling to North or South America (that includes Canada by the way!). Whether you’re making your way through Route 66, taking in some spectacular sights at Niagara Falls or just kicking back in Cancun, if you’re hiring a car, there are some things you definitely need to know.

So, when it comes to hiring a car in the Americas, the rules around insurance are slightly different (versus hiring in Europe and some other countries around the world). Residents of each nation are able to use their own car insurance to cover them for rented vehicles. However, as a non-resident, this isn’t the case. Most rental companies will offer limited cover or no cover at all.

You will be able to purchase additional cover at the car hire desk however this can be a costly addition to the rental package. That’s where can help. In this guide we’ll explain the cover you’ll need whilst travelling across the pond and how our policy can provide that cover.

What cover might I need?

You’ll need three types of cover to ensure you are fully protected:

  1. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
  2. Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI)
  3. Excess protection insurance

Collision Damage Wavier - better known as CDW. This is a basic level of insurance that will cover the vehicle against damage and theft. Please be aware that an excess may apply.

Excess protection insurance - As CDW is limited, you will normally be left liable for the first portion of any claim. This can increase when no cover is provided for windows, tyres, undercarriage, roof and keys.

Supplemental Liability Insurance - better known as SLI. This is insurance that covers your liability against the third party for accidental bodily injury, death and third party property damage. As most third party liability cover is limited, and varies State by State, you may want to consider topping up your liability with SLI.

In California, the minimum requirement for individual bodily injury is $15,000, and it’s a mere $5,000 for property damage.

Can I get cover from if I’m travelling in the Americas?

Absolutely. At we have a policy that presses all three buttons. Not only will you be covered for CDW and SLI during your trip, you will also have the added security of knowing your excess is protected. In some cases, our policies even provide more cover than you’ll get from car hire companies and you’ll pay less.

Find out more on our USA and Canada car hire excess insurance page.

Top Tips for hiring a car in America (north or south)