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Is CDW Insurance Worth the Extra Cost?

Just wondering about the extra insurance (CDW) to cover the cost of any damage to a rental car. I normally get the CDW just for piece of mind in case of anything that could go wrong.

I got an offer of 20/euros a day for an economy car without CDW. The agent said the extra coverage will be 3 euros per day with an excess of 600 euros which means I pay the first 600 euros for any damage. However, the CDW doesn't cover damages of the glass (headlights/windshield etc.) or damages to the under part of the vehicle (oil pan/exhausts etc.)

So that would mean the CDW would only cover damage to the car itself and not the above items.

Is it worth getting the CDW?

Posted by
5098 posts

There are plenty of companies offering car rental insurance that negates the need to purchase expensive coverage from the companies themselves. I've just bought an annual worldwide cover for £59 which covers the excess plus all the glass, tyres etc. Considering this will cover at least three rentals that are booked within the forthcoming year it is considerably cheaper than taking out separate insurance with the rental companies.

Posted by
3079 posts

Tommyk5-be sure to go to your local AAA office to pick up an international Driving Permit, no test or membership required. Bring 2 passport photos with you to save a few dollars. Understand that if you buy a 3rd-party supplemental insurance plan to cover any problems your credit card will still be charged for the damages and it will be up to you to justify your claim 'after the fact' to a 3rd-party claims adjuster. I think it would be wiser to purchase your extra coverage from the rental car company.

Posted by
7815 posts

I would also suggest looking at your credit card that you plan to use to pay for this rental. Many credit cards offer rental car insurance as a free benefit, but you want to read what your card offers specifically. Most credit card car rental insurance only covers if you decline CDW, so be sure to read what your plan covers and how to use it if you decide that it will meet your needs.

Posted by
3256 posts

I'm not a driver, but have been party to car rentals in Greece at least 7-8 times; almost always we have taken the rental company's CDW. One consideration about relying on coverage provided by a credit-card company -- if there's an accident, your US insurer is on a time-schedule 7 - 10 hours different from you, no one available quickly to interact with the rental company. In such a case you'd perhaps be faced with having to "front" the whole cost & then get it reimbursed by the CC company. If there was considerable damage, that could be major €€€, Something to consider.

Posted by
6813 posts

Your reasonable question actually opens a huge can of worms. One issue is whether such a low daily quote indicates a company that makes money from Extras and will engineer it so that you really have to take the Extras. Many companies, big and small, now demand written proof of non-Their Own insurance. Did they offer an option to cover the 600 Euros? Nowadays there are often a host of CDW options, with separate charges for wheels and tires, glass and windshields, even for swapping of the car if it breaks down!!!! Do you have collision insurance on your home car? Does it cover every car you drive if it should be needed? Would you WANT to make a claim against it if it increases your rates at home for the next five years? Are you over 25?

I've never driven in Greece, but last time I was there people in Athens parked on the sidewalk. That indicates to me a sort of Wild West of driving (another example is Naples, Italy.) How little coverage do you feel comfortable with?

Edit: You write later that you've never caused damage to a car in Greece. Isn't a major reason for CDW what other people might do? Even in a parking area when your car is not moving or occupied?

But since you have indicated that you only want the answer to specific question, I would say that a 600 Euro deductible gives the rental company no incentive to overlook the tiniest blemish they might find when you return the car. No, I don't recommend a CDW that only protects you against financial catastrophe, but not against normal risks of car usage.

Posted by
1112 posts

I have my International Driver's License and I have driven on a number of Greek Islands so am aware of driving conditions. I would never drive in Athens and know how the traffic is the city. It's not even safe crossing a street let alone driving a car!

However, on most Islands once you get away to more rural areas there is virtually no traffic (October when I go, anyway) so usually the only thing you have to be aware of are goats and driving over a cliff as you gawk at the scenery!

The agent who I have corresponded with is highly regarded and recommended so I feel he is honest and won't be taking advantage of me.

Just wanted to get other thoughts about the CDW insurance which for 3 euros extra is not a big cost but I still have to pay the first 600 euros to start and damage to most things that get damaged when driving, glass, headlights, under carriage areas, etc., that is not covered by CDW. I have never caused any damage to a car rental when in Greece but there's always a first time.

Posted by
396 posts

We've gotten 'super CDW' or similar on the last cars we rented in Italy and UK; 3 euro/day is very inexpensive in comparison to what we paid for in other countries. I suppose it's so cheap due to the $600 deductible and because it isn't covering parts of the car that have a high probability of occurrence and relatively low expense, like scratches, damaged hubcaps and cracked windshields. I believe in Greece we couldn't buy CDW insurance to take our liability down $0, even with Avis - it simply wasn't offered. I would look at what your liability would be without the CDW; likely it will still make sense to purchase it. We've also purchased CDW from Travelguard as part of trip insurance, and it has been less expensive than insuring through the rental company, but we're not as keen about working with a third party if there is a claim. Simply walking away from any damage at the end of the rental is our goal when possible. We haven't damaged a car yet either but we're willing to spend a bit more for peace of mind.

Posted by
1112 posts

The owner of the rental agency in Ikaria who has been very helpful and quick with responding has offered me the CDW at no extra charge . . . FREE! because of a member of another forum who recommended me to him and for the length of time I will be renting the vehicle. The other forum member is a regular visitor to Ikaria and we have PM'ed numerous times and we have gotten to know each other a a bit via emails.

I guess I'm good to go . . . but whenever renting a vehicle, especially in another country it's best to make sure of what you are getting.