CDW Insurance Explained: What is CDW in Car Rental and Do You Need A Collision Damage Waiver?


When you slide behind the wheel of a rental car, you are responsible for it. If you are in an accident or the vehicle is stolen, you will be on the hook for the cost to repair or replace it.

One way to limit your risk when renting a car is to pay for a Collision Damage Waiver or a Loss Damage waiver which caps how much your will have to pay out of pocket if the rental vehicle is damaged or stolen during your rental.

While a CDW or LDW lowers your risk, it still comes with an excess or deductible that you will have to pay which can run between $500 and $2,500 or more depending on the rental car company as well as the type of vehicle you are renting.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about CDW or LDW protection for rental cars.

See How Much You Can Save on Your Car Rental Insurance

Get Started
Damage to rental car

Damage to rental car

What is Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)?

A Collision Damage Waiver or CDW is protection you can purchase when renting a vehicle that caps your financial obligation if the vehicle is damaged in a collision. It should be noted that a CDW is not insurance. While there are a few additional protections you can add to your rental agreement, a CDW is by far the most common.

A CDW will cover the cost to repair your rental vehicle as well as cover any loss of rental income for the rental agency if the vehicle is damaged in a collision. However, it should be noted that a CDW only covers the bodywork of the vehicle, excluding other sections of the rental car.

CDW comes with an “excess” or “deductible” that must be paid by you before the policy will cover the balance of the repair. Basically, with a CDW you are purchasing a cap on how much you will have to pay out of pocket if the rental car is involved in an accident.

While it can vary by car rental company and the type of vehicle you rent, the excess or deductible will usually range between $500 and $2,500 but it can be much higher in some cases.

Man Filing Insurance Claim Form

Man Filing Insurance Claim Form

What damage does a Collision damage waiver cover?

A CDW is designed to only cover damage to the body of the vehicle, it doesn’t cover the interior or mechanical parts. It covers items such as side panels, doors, bonnet, back panel, boot cover and wing mirror housings.

What does CDW insurance not cover?

A CDW comes with a long list of exclusions. While exclusions can vary by policy, in most cases, the following are not covered by a CDW:

  • Any liability coverage: There is no liability coverage for either bodily injury or property so if you injure a person or a person’s property (their car for example) there is no coverage.
  • Risky driving: Any vehicle damage that is caused by risky driving, off roading, drunk driving or even speeding will not be covered.
  • Loss or theft: If you lose the vehicle or it is stolen, there is no coverage.
  • Glass: This includes all the windows, lights, mirrors, and windshields.
  • Tyres: The tyres and wheels are not covered by a CDW.
  • Personal belongings: Any personal belongings in the vehicle that are stolen or destroyed in an accident are not covered. This includes the boot and glovebox.
  • Keys: If you lose the keys to the vehicle you will have to cover the replacement.
  • Battery: If the battery goes flat or is damaged in an accident there is no coverage.
  • Interior: The entire interior of the vehicle is excluded, this includes seats, steering wheel, carpet, stereo, and any other items in the interior of the vehicle.
  • Additional equipment: Child seats, GPS units, ski or bike racks are all excluded.
  • Towing: A CDW does not cover towing charges.
  • Gears/motor/transmission: The components that move the vehicle, the engine and transmission are excluded from coverage.
  • Agreement violations: If you violate the rental contract and are involved in an accident, the damage would not be covered.
Documenting damage to rental car

Documenting damage to rental car

How expensive is a collision damage waiver (CDW)?

Adding a CDW is affordable and in most cases will add between $10 and $30 to your daily rental costs. The cost can vary depending on the type of vehicle you are renting, the area you are renting in as well as the rental firm.

See How Much You Can Save on Your Car Rental Insurance

Get Started

What is Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)? 

A loss damage waiver or LDW is another layer of protection you can purchase when renting a car. Some rental car companies only offer an LDW, eliminating the CDW entirely. A LDW provides additional loss and theft protection not available with a CDW, including coverage for the vehicle if it is destroyed or stolen. Basically, an LDW is a CDW with the addition of theft protection.

What does loss damage waiver cover on a rental car?

A LDW typically covers the following as long as the terms of the rental agreement have not been violated:

  • Theft of rental car
  • Vandalism damage
  • Collision damage
  • Fire damage
  • Damage caused by acts of nature

What is excluded from an LDW?

An LDW will cover damage to your rental vehicle in most situations but if you have violated the terms of the rental agreement coverage will be denied. These policies do not offer any liability coverage, they only cover the rental vehicle from damage. The following exclusions are typical with an LDW:

  • Any damage that is caused due to the rental agreement terms being violated.
  • Third-party liability or coverage for another person’s injury or property damage.
  • An LDW also comes with many of the same exclusions as a CDW such as windows, the interior, as well as any personal items in the vehicle.

How expensive is a loss damage waiver?

Cost of LDW also depends on factors like the car rental firm, type of rental car, and the place of rent.  LDW also falls in the same price bracket as CDW and will cost you $10-$30 per day. 

Avis Damage to Rental Car - Mr. Levkovich

Avis Damage to Rental Car

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) Vs. Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)

In a straight up comparison of these two rental vehicle products, in most cases, an LDW is the better option since it offers theft loss for roughly the same price. In addition, the exclusions on both are very similar so you get more bang for your buck with an LDW.

Should you purchase a CDW or LDW when renting a car?

In most countries, a CDW and LDW are optional, they are not included in the price of renting the vehicle. Whether or not you should add this protection to your rental agreement is up to you but here are a few things to consider:

  • If you are not carrying this protection, you may end up having to cover a huge bill to repair or replace the rental car if you are involved in an accident or the vehicle is stolen.
  • If you are assuming your personal car insurance (for your own vehicle) will extend to a rental vehicle, this is not always the case, particularly if you are out of your home country. Always check with your agent when determining whether your policy extends coverage to rental cars.
  • While many credit cards offer damage protection for rental vehicles, this is not always the case, and the coverage can come with many exclusions. Be sure you understand the details of this coverage and any exclusions that apply if you are depending on a credit card for coverage.

What is Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) and Super Loss Damage Waiver (SLDW)?

If you want to take the protection for your rental car to the next level, you may want to consider a Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) or a Super Loss Damage Waiver (SLDW).

These products typically up the coverage, protecting more than just the bodywork of the vehicle. Coverage will vary by rental car company so be sure to read the agreement and fully understand what is covered and what is still excluded from coverage.

In addition, a SCDW or SLDW will lower the excess or deductible that you are responsible for if the vehicle is damaged. In some cases, it may even lower your excess or deductible down to zero. The exact amount you will have to pay will vary by car rental company so check the agreement.

A SLDW will often added additional coverage for items such as replacement of the rented car after an emergency or while it is being repaired.

Damage Waiver Insurance from

Unfortunately, an SCDW or SLDW can be very expensive, in some cases, doubling the cost of your rental and with a standard CDW or LDW you are still looking at covering an excess payment that can range up to $2,500 or more.

A third part party car hire excess waiver insurance will cover the cost of your CDW or LDW excess or deductible payment if you damage your rental vehicle. Third-party car hire excess insurance can be purchased for daily rental hires or you can purchase an annual policy which will cover all your rentals over the year. Rentals are limited to 45 consecutive days.

Car hire excess insurance is very affordable with a CarInsuRent European annual car hire excess insurance policy costing just US$ 89.90 or US$ 115.90 for Worldwide coverage. This policy will cover your excess or deductible cost up to $2,500 on any of your rentals over the year. Daily trip excess insurance is also available.

Amazing service. always efficient, friendly, responsive. i got my payment within days of submission. Bill is warm. A pleasure to work with them. highly recommended. I feel safe with them.

See How Much You Can Save on Your Car Rental Insurance

Get Started


What is collision damage waiver insurance for car rentals?

A collision damage waiver is optional protection that you can purchase from a car rental agency when you are renting a vehicle. It covers damage to the bodywork of your rental vehicle as well as any losses the car rental company experiences due to their vehicle having to be repaired.

A CDW is not an insurance policy, it simply limits your out-of-pocket costs if the vehicle is damaged while you are renting it. While it varies by rental car company in most cases, your excess or deductible will be limited to $2,500 or less but it can be much higher in certain situations.

What is an LDW?

A loss damage waiver or LDW combines the benefits of an CDW with theft protection. It offers all of the protection of a CDW but will also limit your out-of-pocket costs if the rental vehicle is stolen.

Is it possible to purchase annual collision damage waiver insurance?

No, a collision damage waiver is only offered by rental car companies for rental vehicles, it’s not an everyday car insurance product. CarInsuRent does offer standalone annual multi-trip or daily car hire excess waiver insurance which will cover your CDW or LDW excess or deductible costs.

What is the loss damage waiver for a rental car?

A Loss damage waiver (LDW) is additional protection for your rental vehicle that you can purchase when renting a vehicle. An LDW will limit your out-of-pocket costs if the vehicle is damaged, lost or destroyed due to theft, vandalism, a collision, or natural forces.

Is Collision Damage Waiver the same as car insurance?

No, a CDW is not insurance, it is added protection that rental car companies (who cannot legally sell insurance policies) offer to their renters.

A CDW is designed to cap your out-of-pocket costs if a rental vehicle is damaged while in your possession. Instead of having to cover the entire cost of repairing the vehicle as well as any losses the rental car company experiences while the vehicle is being repaired, you will only have to pay the agreed upon excess or deductible outlined in the CDW which typically falls between $500 and $2,500.

About the author:

Mark Vallet have over 15 years’ experience writing about insurance and automotive subjects. Mark have written for,,, and is also a regular contributor to, and His work has been published online at MSN, Yahoo Autos, Fox Business, Business Insider Australia and more.

Facebook Logo Linkein Logo Twitter Logo


90 Responses

  1. Penny says:

    Greetings! I’ve been reading your website for some time now
    and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood
    Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the good job!

  2. DJ says:

    The forms don’t work + I have to enter my phone/email in order to get a quote. Bad

  3. Coleman says:

    Incredible points. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the great

  4. Shawnee says:

    Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?

    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

  5. Julieta says:

    Hi! I understand this is somewhat off-topic but I needed to ask.
    Does operating a well-established website like yours require a large amount of work?
    I’m brand new to writing a blog but I do write in my diary everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and thoughts online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for
    new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

  6. Lovie says:

    whoah this blog is fantastic i love studying your articles.
    Stay up the good work! You understand, lots of persons
    are hunting around for this info, you could help them

  7. Heather says:

    This is frequently achieved with things like deals with and also dog playthings.
    If you wish to invoke some instantaneous revulsion, simply
    think about the words “damp” and “dog.” You understand precisely what repellent scent I’m talking around,
    as well as you recognize equally as well that couple of points annoy the
    olfactory nerves as much as a the scent of a damp dog.
    With its keen sense of smell and excellent sight,
    the bloodhound succeeds at this task as high as it did searching video game pets.
    Insurance for dogs, as well as various other house pets can run as reduced as
    $20 a month, yet that price can accumulate gradually.
    Since we enjoy pets, we are in this sector! They are versatile working dogs, extremely intelligent, sharp and capable of
    discovering a good deal, but they’re likewise independent thinkers.

    It’s best to begin them early when they’re still small and also knowing.

    You will likewise discover how to deal with
    him in ‘reality’ scenarios, such as learning taking care of
    skills during walks, and also practising recalls around various other dogs and people.
    Myers, like much of us, bears in mind seeing her first Borzoi
    in the Disney film traditional “Lady as well as the Tramp” as well
    as was excited to find out that this stylish, lanky dog with the lengthy
    nose was genuine and perhaps one she might earn!

  8. Yukiko says:

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to
    say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  9. Fabian says:

    What’s up, every time i used to check blog posts here in the
    early hours in the dawn, because i enjoy to find out more and more.

  10. Victorboasy45678 says:

    I need to to thank you for this very good read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I have you book marked to look at new things you post

  11. Airport Transportation Rosewood Baha Mas says:

    Very nice piece of information. If you are travelling to the Bahamas and not renting a vehicle I recommend Bahamas Premium Transfers – proud to serve private transportation from Nassau Airport to Rosewood Baha Mar with professional chauffeur.

  12. rwfqqkxkej says:

    That’s very helpful to understand everything you need to know about car rental CDW Insurance

  13. graliontorile says:

    You have brought up a very wonderful details , thankyou for the post.

  14. Alvenwoupe says:

    Lovely post, Cheers!

  15. AaronInhax says:

    Very interesting- You actually summarized this very well!

  16. Charleskeync says:

    Thank you. Lots of useful content!
    essay writing steps

  17. Alvenwoupe says:

    You summarized it nicely.!

  18. AbrahamSon says:

    Terrific stuff, Thank you!

  19. AbrahamSon says:

    Thanks, A lot of informative great stuff and advice for saving money on car hire insurance!

  20. Alvenwoupe says:

    You actually said it very well. It was very helpful.

  21. Helen says:

    Heⅼlo, Neat pօst.

  22. Shelby Celius says:

    Thank you ever correspondingly for you article post.Really thank you! keep writing.

  23. gzfjwhotp says:

    Everything You Need to Know About Car Rental CDW Insurance

  24. vggtgoiolb says:

    Indeed – this is “Everything You Need to Know About Car Rental CDW Insurance”.
    Thank you for the helpful guide

  25. codeiherbVOF says:

    Thanks for posting this informative article

  26. zoritoler imol says:

    Good website! I truly love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  27. Stacie says:

    Your style is very unique compared to other folks I’ve read stuff from.

  28. Clemmie says:

    I’m gone to say to my little brother, that he should also pay a
    visit this blog on regular basis to obtain updated from latest information.

  29. christiano ronaldo says:

    This is an Excellent & great post. I LOVE this article!

  30. Anthony Freddie says:

    I read a lot of posts. But the topic you covered in this is the most comprehensive & helpful. I LOVE this article!

  31. Code Herb says:

    Very clear and supportive opinion

  32. Sali S says:

    I was reading some of your blog posts on this internet site and I conceive this website is very informative! Retain putting up.

  33. Larue says:

    I’m really impressed with your writing talents as well as with the format to your weblog.
    Is this a paid topic or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to peer a nice blog like this one nowadays..

  34. LouisHow says:

    My friends and I are happy we came across this site. I’ve been looking for this info for days and I will be telling my bro to hop by. The other afternoon I was blazing through the search engines trying to secure the right solution to my persistant questions.
    Moreover, I just want to thank you deeply for such solid answers.

  35. Zachary Tomlinson says:

    I never knew that car insurance could cover some of your vehicle’s repairs after a collision. I’ve always wanted to help my aunt with her big car purchase so she could visit lakes during her retirement. I think it would be a good idea for her to invest in insurance before finalizing any car purchases.

  36. David says:

    Thanks fоr finally talking aЬοut Everything You Neeⅾ to Know About Car Rental CDW Insurance; Loved it!

  37. Lidia Vergo says:

    Kudos for the wonderful blog!

  38. HectorSeems says:

    Appreciate it, Plenty of advice.

  39. HectorSeems says:

    Useful material. Thanks.

  40. HectorSeems says:

    Very useful. I value it!

  41. TimothyThype says:

    interesting post

  42. Hector says:

    You’ve made your position very nicely.

  43. TimothyThype says:

    very interesting

  44. Hector says:

    Thanks, Awesome stuff.

  45. David says:

    + for the post

  46. HectorSeems says:

    Nicely put, Kudos!

  47. HectorSeems says:

    Nicely put. With thanks!

  48. Hectar Seems says:

    Appreciate it. Plenty of useful information!

  49. Hectar Seems says:

    Many thanks, Numerous information!

  50. Solomon Ecode says:

    Appreciate it! Ample content.

  51. Hector Seems says:

    Thanks, Numerous info!

  52. Hector Seems says:

    You have made your point extremely nicely..

  53. Solomon Ecode says:

    Really loads of excellent tips!

  54. Timothy Bus says:

    interesting post

  55. Andrew Biasy says:

    You actually explained it fantastically.
    Thank you for featuring the article.

  56. Lilly R says:

    Thanks for the useful information

  57. Goldmann J says:

    What’s up mates, its great piece of writing concerning cultureand fully explained, keep it up all the time.

  58. Rick says:

    It is not my first time to go to see this website, I am browsing this site daily and take fastidious data from here everyday.

  59. Stephen Riz says:

    You actually revealed it adequately!

  60. Carl K says:

    I do consider all the ideas you’ve introduced for your post. They’re very convincing and will certainly work.
    Thank you for the post.

  61. Ezra Goldman says:

    Hi there, I simply became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative.
    A lot of other people can be benefited out of your writing.

  62. Stephen Riz says:

    Many thanks, Helpful information.

  63. Shlomo Sasson says:

    Respect to post author, some fantastic information

  64. кейтеринг в Москве says:

    Thanks for sharing such a good opinion.
    The article is fastidious, thats why i have read it fully

  65. Mandy Madera says:

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Very well written!

  66. Ori Alperovitz says:

    May I just say what a comfort to discover someone that really knows what they are discussing on the web.
    You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    A lot more people need to look at this and understand this side of the story.

  67. Kayla K says:

    Cool, the ins and out of CDW. Well explained.

  68. Steven Drirl says:

    interesting and informative.

  69. Stephan K says:

    Cool, I’ve been looking for this one for a long time

  70. EsbeImild says:

    interesting for a very long time

  71. Charleselexy says:

    Hey, I visited your site and I think that your content is amazing! It is really engaging and original.
    Thanks for posting

  72. Ronaldreata says:


    Nice piece. Good luck 🙂

  73. atensina vrij verkrijgbaar in België says:

    An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little research on this.
    Thanks for spending some time to discuss this issue here on your blog.

  74. Deneen says:

    I’m gone to say to my friends, that they should also pay a quick visit this web site on regular basis to take updates before renting a car

  75. 비아그라 구매 says:

    This article is genuinely good.

  76. Demetria Gregson says:

    It’s hard to find experienced people in this particular subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

  77. Daniel Krieger says:

    Touche. Great arguments. Keep up the amazing effort.

  78. Grant T says:

    Thanks for the post

  79. AluminSwads says:

    Thanks for posting this useful information.
    It is definitely a wise choice to obtain additional excess waiver coverage.

  80. AluminSwads says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  81. سئو/ بهینه سازی فنی says:

    Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better!
    Looking at this article reminds me of my previous
    roommate! He always kept preaching about this.

    I am going to forward this information to him.
    Fairly certain he’ll have a great read. I appreciate you
    for sharing!

  82. خرید بک لینک says:

    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my
    zynga group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really
    appreciate your content. Please let me know. Cheers

    • Gil Farkash says:

      Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
      Feel free to share our content with your audience.

      The CarInsuRent Team

  83. سئو سایت یعنی چه says:

    I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. This article has truly peaked my interest.
    I will bookmark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week.

  84. Darwin says:

    I wish to say that this article is amazing,
    nice written and come with almost all important infos.

    I’d like to see more posts like this .

  85. درک نحوه کار موتور های جستجو says:

    Rental car insurance is tricky and complex.
    This is very informative, you have touched on some important factors here.

  86. says:

    Nice article!
    Thanks for sharing the valuable information

  87. Serena says:

    This is really interesting and informative.
    I look forward to seeking more of your excellent post.
    Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Travel Tips and Guides

Super Collision Damage Waiver: A Must-Read Guide

Gil Farkash

Verified writer Read More

Rental Car Theft Protection Insurance Explained

Gil Farkash

Verified writer Read More

Essential Guide to International Car Rental Insurance: Coverage and Costs

Gil Farkash

Verified writer Read More

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I buy a plan for just one day?

Yes. Insurance for a single day is available.

Can I buy a plan for part of my rental only?

No. We provide a single journey plan. You are covered from the time you pick up the rental car up to the time you return it or on the last date written on your Certificate of Insurance, whichever comes first.

Can I buy a plan when I pick up my rental car?

No. You should purchase a policy before starting your travel.

Find the answers you’re looking for to the most frequently asked car hire insurance questions as well as other questions relating to our products and services.

Visit the FAQ page