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Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) & Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) are types of car hire insurance. As the names suggest they cover you in the event of collisions, damage, loss or theft of your hire car.

Usually they are included in all hire car agreements in the UK, Europe and Australasia, but often not when hiring a car in the USA and Canada.

Road to Mount Fuji, Japan

What is CDW & LDW Car Hire Insurance?

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) are types of car hire insurance that cover you against damages & theft to your hired vehicle. It is common practice for vehicle hire companies operating inside Europe, Africa and Australasia to include this cover as part of the rental agreement, however, outside these continents, it is not as common and should be bought separately from third parties or by the hire company as an add-on. Such countries include USA and Canada.

There are three important things to remember about collision damage waivers.

  1. This policy covers damages to the vehicle, not physical injury and thus medical cover is not included in the policy.
  2. More often than not, easily damaged car parts are not included in this policy. Such parts include wing mirrors, tires, wheels, roof, windscreen wipers and undercarriage.
  3. This policy almost always comes with an excess fee which must be paid before any claims for damages are settled. These excess fees usually range from £500-£2000 depending on many factors including the company providing the policy and type of vehicle.

Our USA and Canada policies cover you for excess charges arising from a claim on a CDW/LDW policy and, if you take our Worldwide Insurance (including USA & Canada), then you are covered for up to £100,000 for damage, loss or theft.

CDW Car Hire Excess Insurance Cover (only required for USA & Canada)

The purpose of our car hire excess insurance is to provide you with cover for losses you may be liable to pay when renting a car. This can be both the excess and additional costs over and above the amount you are covered for under the terms of your car rental agreement. Our excess insurance includes:

  • CDW/LDW cover up to £100,000
  • Excess for damage, fire, vandalism and theft up to £6,000 per incident
  • Any damage to windows, undercarriage, roof, tyres
  • Lost, stolen or damaged car rental key cover up to £500 per claim
  • Towing costs from breakdown or accidental damage
  • Misfueling cover
  • Out of standard hours charges due to a delayed flight
  • Annual policies – number of rentals per year of up to 30 days at a time
  • You and anyone named on the car hire rental agreement are covered
  • Available to everyone aged 21-85 with a valid UK driving licence
  • USA & Canada policy covers hiring a car in USA, Canada, Caribbean, South America and Central America

CDW Car Hire Excess Insurance Exclusions

  • This policy gives you cover for an unlimited number of rentals within the period of insurance provided no single car rental agreement lasts longer than 62 days
  • Policyholder and all insured persons must be between 21 and 85 years of age
  • Not available if you have already collected your rental car
  • Policyholder must be lead name on rental agreement
  • Cover only applies to drivers named on the rental agreement
  • Maximum retail value of hire car £60,000
  • Maximum retail age of vehicle 20 years
  • Claims arising from operation of the rental car in violation of the car rental agreement
  • Claims arising from mechanical or electrical breakdown – other than towing cost

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What are the benefits of being covered by collision damage waiver?

Our CDW and LDW policy for the USA and Canada protect you against costs of up to £100,000 resulting damages or theft to your vehicle, for which you would be otherwise liable to pay directly. This means that although you will have to pay an excess, you are not liable to pay the full cost of these damages or theft. Thus if you are not covered by a collision damage waiver or loss damage waiver and you have an accident and damage your car or your vehicle is stolen, you will be liable to pay the full cost of damages.


As mentioned, CDW and LDW is usually covered unless you are travelling to USA or Canada, when it often is not included. Our Worldwide (Including USA & Canada) excess insurance is designed specifically for driving a hire car in the USA. So you can relax and enjoy the open road.

What should I look out for when buying a CDW policy?

Many standard excess waiver insurance policies may not cover some portions of the car. These tend to be areas such as the roof, the undercarriage, the windscreen or the head lamps. It also happens that these very same portions are those that can easily become damaged or otherwise broken during the rental period. Should these not be included within an existing policy, it may be wise to purchase additional CDW insurance. This is even more relevant if you are travelling great distances or you plan on city driving (the chances of damage can be higher within urban and metropolitan areas).


It is clear to see that there are some situations which could require an additional loss damage waiver in order to financially offset what could very well prove to be extensive financial obligations.


Our Worldwide (including USA & Canada) excess insurance includes CDW/LDW cover damage to the windscreen, undercarriage, roof and headlights.

How does excess insurance function?

Let’s assume that in the terms and conditions of your insurance policy, your insurance provider states there is an excess fee of £500 before any claims are settled. Now let us assume all of the windows of your hired vehicle are broken. You make a claim and the total cost of repairs amounts to 1,200 pounds. Before the claim is settled by the insurance company you will need to pay the excess fee.


You make a claim and the total cost of repairs amounts to 1,200 pounds. Before the claim is settled by the insurance company you will need to pay the excess fee. In theory, you have paid £500 towards the damages (the excess fee) and your insurance company has covered the remaining £700.


There are many factors that will determine how large your excess fee is including type of vehicle, the age of the driver, how many years experience the driver has and whether they have any past insurance claims.


To make sure you don’t get stuck with that £500 bill, a car hire excess insurance policy will cover that excess fee in return for a daily payment of around £5 a day for as long as you are renting the vehicle.


This small daily payment will ensure that if you do have an accident or are the victim of a crime, and need to make a claim, you will have to pay nothing, giving you peace of mind on your travels.

Policy Documents

The world offers so many opportunities for great driving holidays. Whether driving along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia or skirting along the Garden Route in South Africa there is no shortage of asphalt to pound.

Our policies offer coverage for accidental damage, fire, vandalism and theft as well as covering you for damage to the windows and tyres. However, before buying and travelling you should familiarise yourself with all the details and exclusions our worldwide policy offers by carefully reading our policy and key fact documents.

Single Trip Policy Wording

Annual Policy Wording

Key Facts - Policy Wording

Car Hire Excess Around the World


Our UK and European insurance policy is perfect for family driving holidays or weekends away in the countryside in a hire car. If you are planning on making multiple trips to Europe this year or are planning on hiring a car for more than 17 days then our annual policy will work out cheaper for you.

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If you are traveling to Australia, South Africa or somewhere else far flung then you’ll need our Worldwide excess insurance policy. If you are planning on hiring a car for three weeks or more then you should get our annual policy as it will work out cheaper than our 21 day daily policy.

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Traveling to USA, Canada, Mexico or South America? Car hire insurance is slightly different in these places as it does not include Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) in the policy, commonly included in the UK and Europe. Our policy has you covered with CDW included in our USA & Canada policies.

UK & Europe: Single
UK & Europe: Annual
World (ex. USA): Single
World (ex. USA): Annual
World (inc USA): Single
World (inc USA): Annual

All prices include IPT