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Car Rental Insurance… To Buy or Not To Buy

Renting a vehicle comes with a lot of decisions.  What company to rent from?  What size vehicle?  For how long?  By the time people step up to the rental counter, the last thing they want to think about is… do I need additional insurance for a rental car?

Before you can answer that question, it’s important to understand not only what your options are but what needs you have regarding coverage.  Rental insurance is actually  not insurance at all.  Instead, it’s referred to as a Damage Waiver  and is completely optional.  There are three different types; which vary in cost and coverage.  While all three are optional, knowing the difference between them is vital when deciding if it’s necessary for you to fill in any gaps in coverage if the unfortunate happens.

Loss Damage Waiver – LDW

Purchasing a Loss Damage Waiver protects the renter from incurring costs repairing the vehicle should the vehicle be damaged.  This type of coverage protects against any physical damage to the vehicle; including an accident with another vehicle, theft, vandalism, a chip in the windshield, hitting a deer, a natural disaster, etc.  It covers 100% of the cost to repairing the damage to the rental vehicle.  A Loss Damage Waiver also provides coverage for loss of use, or the money the rental car company is out from not being able to rent the vehicle while it’s being repaired.  It does not, however, provide protection for liability, personal injury or property damage.

Collision Damage Waiver – CDW

Collision Damage Waivers provide coverage only in the event of an accident with another vehicle.  Unlike a Loss Damage Waiver, it does not provide protection against natural disasters or striking an object other than another vehicle.  It also does not offer coverage for liability, personal injury or property damage.  Collision coverage is particularly important in states, such as Michigan, that are considered no-fault accident states.  In these states, the law does not take into account who is at fault for the accident when considering who is liable to pay for damages. Meaning, even if the accident is not your fault, you will still be held responsible to pay for repairs on the vehicle you were driving.  Just as Loss Damage Waivers, Collision Damage Waivers provide protection against loss of use.

Partial Damage Waiver – PDW

Partial Damage Waivers protects against loss of use and covers up to $1000 of the deductible on your own personal automobile insurance.  Purchasing a Partial Damage Waiver means you are electing to use your own personal automobile insurance in the event of an accident.  Therefore, any claim needing to be submitted for repairs, would go to your insurance company and possibly raise your insurance premium.  Personal automobile insurance policies can vary greatly and it’s important for you to realize you’ll be assuming liability if your insurance company denies your claim for any reason or if you do not have enough coverage.


Understanding Your Risk

Before renting a vehicle, we recommend talking to your insurance agent about your coverage and whether they suggest you obtain a damage waiver.  If you have comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, you may already be covered in a car rental.  While your personal insurance policy may in fact extend over to a car rental when driving one for personal use, it’s important to know specifically that yours does. In addition, if you are utilizing a car rental for business use, you should clarify that to your agent to ensure that you are still covered.  And even if you have asked before, we highly recommend talking to your agent before deciding to rent a car out of the country, which may actually change your coverage.

Besides talking with your car insurance agent, we also recommend checking with your credit card company.  Some offer as a perk various amounts of coverage at no additional charge if you pay for the car rental using their credit card.  It’s important to note that coverage may be secondary to your personal policy or not offer adequate coverage so it’s vital to know heading into your reservation where you are at with both.  Often times, you must book the rental car under your name with that credit card to receive these benefits.  As always, a phone call ahead of time can help you truly understand your needs.

Damage waivers can vary from company to company and from location to location.  It’s important to read the details of coverage and the specific rental conditions each time you rent a car.  Take special care to avoid violating any of your rental conditions, which could void your damage waiver and create unwanted liability for yourself, so make sure you understand the agreement before signing it.  Opting for or against purchasing a damage waiver  is an individual decision and should be decided by each individual, based on their specific needs and insurance policy.


If you’re questioning whether your vehicles is as road ready as you’d like for a long drive or are just looking to get into a newer vehicle, check out our extensive inventory of reliable used vehicles that come backed by a warranty.  At Broadmoor Motors, we specialize in finding the right used car, minivan, truck, or SUV to fit your personal or business needs, all while giving you the best deal we can on both your purchase and trade in.  Our family has been in the car business for over 60 years and continues to be family owned and operated in both our current Caledonia and Hastings locations (NEW Wayland location coming soon!!) with financing available to those who qualify.  We will find you the right vehicle to fit both your budget and your needs.

Let Broadmoor Motors save you time and money when buying your next quality, Pre-Owned Car or Work Truck and on your next Car Rental.  Whether you need a short term car rental, long term car rental, a replacement while your vehicle is getting serviced or simply need to replace your car, minivan, truck or SUV with a great used vehicle, we can help you out.  Broadmoor Motors is here for all your Car Rental, Car Sales, and Auto Service needs in the greater Grand Rapids and Barry County area.  Give us a call at 616.698.9595 in Caledonia  or 269.320.6304 in Hastings to see how we can get you back on the road!

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