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So you are at a car rental counter after a six-hour flight, talking to a guy at the counter who presents you a pile of paperwork and some "irresistible" pitches. Indeed, most of said pitches that we get from various sources every day are nothing but garbage, and some also happen to be straight-up scams. In the case of rental cars, this may include a pass for the toll-road service fee or a tank full of fuel pre-paid. Before or after you accept any of these pitches, the counter rep will also present you with a car rental insurance offer possibly implying that if you decline this golden offer, you may end up wasting money!
By now, you may already be hesitating to say no. After all, it does look pretty good. However, often there is no real need for rental car insurance. It is true, though, that if you are renting a particularly expensive car, there is a likelihood that your credit card will not provide enough coverage.
Apart from that, there are several downsides of buying rental car insurance. We have listed the major ones in this article so that you can decide better for yourself.
More often than not, most CDWs (collision damage waivers) are extremely overpriced, typically starting at $30 for a single day and However, as high as $50 per day or more depending on location and the type of car. Sometimes car rental insurance fees even work out higher than the base rent. Since agents tend to get a very big commission by selling you such CDWs, it's no surprise that they will push it very hard. It's a very profitable business.
Even if you end up buying an overpriced car rental insurance, chances are that the company can still charge you for the damage in some exceptional cases. Overall, the company surrenders all its right for a charge in the case of damage. However, many companies also conveniently state that the damage to tires or damage from gross negligence will not be covered. At the same time, the terms of CDW vary. Hence it is not the same for every car rental company. So it's very important to read up all the terms of the car rental insurance properly (in case you do decide to buy it after all).
In case you already have collision insurance on your car(s) at home, chances are that it may already cover rental cars too. So first of all, check if your insurer provides collision insurance beforehand. There is still a chance that you may have to pay for all the damages upfront. After that, you have to file a claim for reimbursement. So no matter how banged up the car is, you must have some cash on hand in order to walk out of the situation.