By America we mean the continent, so as we mentioned above that’s hiring a car in the USA, Canada, The Caribbean, North America, Central America and South America. (Some countries like Cuba, are not covered but you can check the full list on our Worldwide Plus page).
When it comes to hiring a car in America, the rules around car hire 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 insurance4carhire can help. In this guide we’ll explain the cover you’ll need whilst hiring a car in America.
You’ll need three types of cover to ensure you are fully protected:
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI)
Excess protection insurance
A Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is not exactly insurance. It applies when a car hire company waives their right to claim back the full cost of damages to their hire vehicle if it is stolen or damaged during a rental.
Supplementary liability insurance or SLI cover, is insurance to cover liability of the driver of the rental car, against claims from third parties for accidental bodily injury, death and third party property damage. As most third party liability cover is limited, and varies State by State in America so you may want to consider topping up your cover with SLI.
In California, the minimum requirement for individual bodily injury is $15,000, and it’s a mere $5,000 for property damage.
As CDW is limited, you will normally be left liable for the first portion of a car hire claim, the excess. Excess protection insurance covers this excess and a reimbursement basis, so in valid cases those with excess protection insurance are able to claim their excess back. It can also cover instances when the car hire firm provides no CDW, this usually applies to the windows, tyres, undercarriage, roof and keys.
Absolutely. At insurance4carhire 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 Worldwide Plus car hire excess insurance page.
Book before you go - If you can’t contain your excitement and would like to plan early, you can purchase car hire insurance cover up to 364 days in advance. Always best to reserve your rental prior to arriving at the desk, this can save you money and time and ensure you avoid unwelcome charges.
Never assume. Check what’s included in the package before you buy- Your car hire cover may already include CDW, third party cover (SLI) or both.
Prepare yourself for the sales pitch - naturally the hire company will have their own policies and procedures in place, but it’s not necessary to purchase their insurance if you are already covered elsewhere.