Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is a type of rental car insurance often offered by rental car companies. It is important to understand what CDW covers to make an informed decision about purchasing this optional coverage.

Protection against damage

CDW typically provides coverage for damages to the rental vehicle resulting from a collision, regardless of who is at fault. This means that if you are involved in an accident while driving the rental car, the CDW can help cover the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle.

Exclusions and limitations

It is essential to review the terms and conditions of the CDW policy, as there may be exclusions and limitations. For example, CDW might not cover damages due to reckless driving, driving under the influence, or off-road use. Additionally, there might be a deductible, which is the amount you are responsible for paying before the CDW coverage kicks in.

Additional benefits

Some CDW policies also offer additional benefits such as coverage for theft or vandalism of the rental vehicle. However, these benefits can vary depending on the rental car company and the specific CDW policy.


Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) provides coverage for damages resulting from a collision while driving the rental car. It is important to review the policy’s exclusions, limitations, and deductible to understand the full extent of the coverage. Considering your driving habits and the value of the rental car can help determine if CDW is necessary for your rental car experience.

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