What does US expert travel industry advice have to say about Rental Car Insurance?

U.S. Federal Law

The Truth about Rent Car Insurance You Need to Know!

To better understand consumer experiences with Rental Car Insurance, we have searched for expert US travel industry advice to provide some context.

This blog article by industry expert Ed Perkins titled "The Truth about Rental Car Insurance You Need to Know" is dated 20 September 2023 and appears "on point".

"Consumer advocate Ed Perkins, the founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, has been writing about travel for more than three decades."

The introduction to the blog article is extracted below:

"No matter how often I cover the problems that come with collision damage under car rental insurance, consumers continue to share their frustrations.
A reader recently emailed me:
'I'm interested in finding a complete bumper-to-bumper, 'drop off the keys at the counter' car rental coverage when I travel. I recently thought I had complete coverage though a credit card, but when my car suffered a small dent, the car rental company flat-out refused to document that it actually lost income from having the car rental in the shop (which took three weeks to repair a small dent). I was left with responsibility.'
This experience is uncommon, but not unique.
Car rental companies desperately want you to buy their collision damage waiver, or CDW (sometimes also known as loss damage waiver, or LDW), and will go to great lengths to make you pay for even the smallest damages if you don't.
Here's what you need to know before you shell out for car rental insurance on your next vacation ..."

The detailed "What you need to know" part of the article includes the following headings:

The 1-way to drop your keys and forget it!
CDW Insurance is ridiculously overpriced
You'll pay up-front for all damage
Damage is more than fixing a dent
You need General Liability Protection
Alternatives to Rental Company Collision Damage Waivers
1️⃣ Pay with your Existing Car Insurance;
2️⃣ Use Credit Card Benefits;
3️⃣ Third-Party Car Rental Insurance;
The Uncertainty Principle

key takeaway

"The takeaway from all this: No alternative source of collision damage coverage-your auto insurance, your credit card, or a third party-completely isolates you from risk. Lots of travelers successfully rely on lower-cost alternatives to CDW without encountering any problems, sure.
Occasionally, however, your own insurance, credit card, or third-party policy may not cover an unusual charge a rental company might impose.
If you're unwilling to accept any risk at all, you might want to buy that overpriced CDW. For most travelers and circumstances, credit card or third-party coverage is sufficient, and primary coverage is a lot better than secondary."

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.