2022 The most complete American car rental insurance selection and recommendation (car rental insurance type + insurance premium + precautions + accident handling process)

Whether traveling to the United States or studying in the United States, it is very common to rent a car. After all, the United States is so vast and sparsely populated that if you want to go to the supermarket, you have to drive. When it comes to renting a car, buying car rental insurance is a must. When renting a car in the United States, insurance is essential. Whether it is the damage to the vehicle you drive or the damage to the other’s vehicle or personal injury caused by your responsibility, if you have the corresponding insurance, it will be an important guarantee. You need to know that if you don’t have insurance, the payout for a traffic accident in the United States is a lot of money. Therefore, you must purchase the necessary insurance before renting a car. So what types of car rental insurance are there in the United States? Which insurances are mandatory and which are optional? Is car rental insurance in the US expensive? How much is it about a day? How to distinguish the insurance provided by the car rental company? Here is the most complete American car rental insurance strategy in 2022, avoid getting into the pit, and be sure to take a look before renting a car!

 Types of Car Rental Warranties in the United States

Liability Insurance Supplement

Liability Insurance Supplement, referred to as LIS, liability insurance, equivalent to domestic compulsory insurance, commonly known as semi-insurance, is to insure others. In the event of an accident, indemnify the damage caused to the other party’s vehicle or personnel due to its reasons. According to US law, it is against the law to go on the road without purchasing Liability insurance. Therefore, in the United States, people who generally do not want to spend too much money on full insurance will choose to only buy Liability insurance.

The cost of purchasing liability insurance is generally $10-20 a day. The amount of liability insurance coverage varies from state to state. If you want to know more, you can refer to liability Laws.

Collision/Loss and Damage Waiver 

If we break it down into:

  • Collision Damage Waiver (car damage insurance), CDW for short: the most common insurance in rental car insurance, after buying this insurance, if it is your responsibility to cause the vehicle to collide and damage the rental vehicle, this CDW Collision insurance covers the loss of your vehicle. In summary, if the traffic accident is your responsibility, LIS liability insurance pays the other party, and CDW collision insurance pays you.
  • Loss Damage Waiver (LDW for short): If your car is stolen, vandalized, or subjected to force majeure factors such as floods, earthquakes, hail, etc., the insurance company will pay for these losses.

To be precise, CDW/LDW is not insurance, but an exemption product. Usually, CDW insurance includes LDW insurance, and the insurance premium for this part is about $20-30 a day.

Note: Some car rental companies will sell CDW/LDW as a package, while others will sell them separately. For example, Hertz’s LDW includes both CDW and LDW; Avis will list the two separately, and you can choose only one of them for purchase.

Other value-added insurance

Personal Accident Insurance

Personal Accident Insurance, or PAI for short, covers the driver and passengers and costs about $8 a day. Generally speaking, accident insurance is already included in the medical insurance and travel insurance purchased at ordinary times, so there is no need to purchase it separately. But be sure to check if accident coverage is covered by your insurance.

Personal Effects Coverage

Referred to as PEC, if personal items are stolen in the rental vehicle or damaged due to a traffic accident, this insurance can cover the corresponding loss. However, there is a certain limit to this benefit. Generally speaking, personal accident insurance (PAI) includes personal property insurance (PEC).

Additional Third Party Liability Insurance

This insurance, also known as Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI), maximizes the number of third-party claims covered by the insurance.

The Extended Protection (SEP) of some car rental companies is similar to this insurance. It includes medical and liability insurance, which is used to protect yourself in the event of a claim by the other party and also to ensure that you and your passengers will be protected in the event of an accident by the other party. Medical expenses are incurred when running away or when the other party is not insured.

Super Collision Damage Waiver

In the event of damage to the vehicle, this insurance will cover the cost of repairs and all loss of use without any financial loss to the lessee. Some rental car companies call this coverage Super Peace Of Mind Cover (SPOM).


This is a supplemental insurance plan that includes CDW vehicle collision coverage, theft coverage, and third-party liability coverage, and greatly reduces overages. It does not include personal accident insurance or glass/tire waivers. Usually charged daily and subject to applicable taxes. FULL COVER is a limited guarantee, and the downtime fee, taxes, and handling fees due to accidents are generally not covered by the guarantee; SUPER COVER is a comprehensive guarantee, and all vehicle losses and related taxes and handling fees caused by accidents are guaranteed.

Roadside Assistance

For example, your rental car has a flat tire, lost keys, or broke down on the road. This insurance can cover the cost of your request for assistance.

Car Rental Insurance by Credit Card

Image from pixabay.com, copyright belongs to mohamed_hassan

In the United States, some credit cards will cover car rental insurance, but it is clear that credit card car rental can only provide CDW/LWD (car damage insurance), and does not provide Liability Insurance and any other insurance. Some high-end credit cards may offer Roadside Assistance. 

Credit card rental car insurance is divided into Primary and Secondary :

  • Primary Insurance (priority insurance): When the vehicle is damaged or lost during the rental period, the insurance of the credit card company will pay first. If the renter with the card has other insurance, these insurances only need to pay for the part that the credit card company does not cover. There are relatively few credit cards that offer Primary Rental Insurance.
  • Secondary Insurance: It means that the renter’s additional insurance must be paid first, and the credit card company’s insurance only pays for the part that is not covered by the other insurance, such as the deductible. This is the case with rental car insurance provided by credit card companies unless otherwise stated.

So obviously, if the car rental insurance provided by the credit card can provide compensation directly after an accident, it is Primary priority insurance; if you need to contact your own insurance company first, the credit card company will continue to provide compensation when your insurance limit is exhausted. , or if you don’t have another insurance agreement that provides benefits, it’s Secondary Insurance.

Below are some common credit cards that offer Primary CDW/LWD:


Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Reserve 

Chase Ink Cash

Chase Ink Preferred

Chase Ritz-Carlton

Chase Southwest Premier Business

Chase UA Explorer

Chase UA Explorer Business

Chase UA Club

Chase UA Club Business

Among them, the terms of commercial credit card car rental insurance require that the rental car is for business purposes. If it is not a commercial rental car, it is best to avoid using these cards, so as not to argue when claiming compensation.


Citi Thankyou Premier

Citi AAdvantage Business

The rental car insurance provided by all Citi personal cards is secondary, and the primary insurance is provided by business cards.


Discover Escape 


All Amex Credit/Charge Cards


  1. Credit card rental insurance does not cover motorcycles, vans, and premium models (models over $50,000).
  2. This card is required to pay for the entire rental car.
  3. Only suitable for short-term rentals, usually no longer than a month.
  4. The time to report an accident is also limited, so if there is an accident, you should contact the credit card company as soon as possible.
  5. Credit card companies sometimes let you pay for your car to be repaired and reimbursed later, rather than take over.

Car rental company routine

At present, there are dozens of common car rental companies in the United States, including Hertz ( up to 4% Extrabux rebate ), Avis ( up to 2% Extrabux rebate ), Enterprise ( up to 1% Extrabux rebate ), Alamo ( up to 2.2 % Extrabux rebate) %Extrabux rebate ) and so on. The characteristics of each company are different. If you are still struggling with which car rental company to choose, you can refer to the following article:

The 6 best-rated foreign car rental websites in 2022 are recommended (with overseas car rental precautions)

With the improvement of living standards, more and more people choose to…

 The insurance coverage offered by each company is roughly the same. Compared with the profit on the rental car, the insurance and other services purchased by the customer can bring more profits to the rental car company. Therefore, whether it is a car rental website or a counter, it will recommend you to purchase its insurance! Many people spend a lot of money on insurance because they can’t stand the temptation. Next time you rent a car, you can choose the insurance you need according to our introduction.

Money-saving tips:

After registering on the Extrabux rebate network ( what is Extrabux rebate network? ), you can get super value cash rebates (supporting various withdrawal methods ) when you rent a car at major cooperative car rental websites in the United States through the Extrabux link. In addition, there is a $20 welcome bonus for new user registration. Great gift package!

If you invite new users to register and successfully place an order on any website that cooperates with Extrabux, you can also get a $5 reward back to your account. Major e-commerce companies at home and abroad have cooperated with Extrabux. Friends who love online shopping, don’t miss it, you can get it for nothing Up to 30% rebate ~~ such as buying home appliances, handling broadband, shopping in supermarkets, and so on.

US car rental insurance form options

Now that you know the main types of insurance, it’s time to decide how to get coverage. Friends who have bought insurance from a car rental company may all know that car rental insurance is sometimes higher than the cost of the car rental itself, so choosing different forms of insurance according to different situations can save you a lot of money while having peace of mind.

no car, no credit card

If you do not own a car in the US (that is, do not have your car insurance) and do not have any of the above credit cards, then if you want rental car insurance, buy it from the rental car company. In case of an accident or other unforeseen circumstances, it will not be out of your pocket.

no car, no credit card

If you don’t own a car in the US (that is, don’t have your car insurance) but have a credit card, you can save a lot of money. Liability coverage must be purchased from the rental car company, and any credit card will not include Liability coverage. But if you use any of the credit cards we mentioned above, whether it is Primary or Secondary, it includes CDW/LDW, and no need to buy it from the rental car company. In this case, Primary or Secondary doesn’t make any difference to you.

car, insurance

  1. Have a car, have Liability insurance but no CDW/LDW. Then you have any of the credit cards we mentioned above, whether it is Primary or Secondary, your credit card company will give priority to compensation in the event of an accident.
  2. If you have a car, you have Liability insurance and CDW/LDW, which is commonly known as full insurance. If you do not have a credit card or use the above-mentioned credit cards to rent a car, your insurance company will compensate you for the accident. If you want to avoid the increase in insurance premiums, you can only purchase additional rental car insurance from the rental car company.

the third party insurance company

If you rent a car from an agency website (such as Expedia, Priceline, etc.), you can choose to buy third-party car insurance provided by them. I read a few websites, all of which only provide collision insurance. Several major Websites have chosen the insurance company Allianz to cooperate with. During the online reservation process, there will be steps for you to choose whether to buy or not. This kind of insurance will be much cheaper than the rental car company, about ten dollars a day. People who often rent cars on agency websites can consider it, but the efficiency and service are not clear.

Finally, a summary:

1. When renting a car, at least CDW+Liability is required. If you are a car owner in the United States, you have your car insurance and other various insurances. CDW, Liability, PAI, etc. can be covered. But in the event of an accident and you use your insurance, you face two questions: How much do you have to pay first? How much will the premium increase in the second year? This is why some people are willing to spend money to buy CDW and Liability from car rental companies.

2. Before signing the rental car, be sure to check the car. If you find that the car has been scratched or damaged, please explain to the rental company immediately, and ask to indicate the original condition of the car on the rental agreement to avoid being fined when returning the car. . Before driving out of the car, you should also check whether the oil is full, and familiarize yourself with the performance of the car. Fill up the oil before returning the car, otherwise, the oil price calculated by the rental car company will be more expensive.

3. If the rented car will be driven by someone other than you, you need to inform the car rental company in advance, and you will be asked to pay a few more dollars per day, but the advantage of this is that in case the rented car is in If there is an accident on the way of other people driving, as long as you have insurance, the insurance company will pay, otherwise, all losses may be borne by you.

US traffic accident handling process

In the United States, in the unfortunate event that your car is hit by someone else, just follow these steps:

1. Please first confirm whether your car is parked in a safe place to avoid another accident.

2. Determine if you or your passengers are injured. If you are injured, please call 911 immediately.

3. Take pictures of the scene with a digital camera or mobile phone, look for witnesses, ask if you are willing to testify, and record the contact information of the other party.

4. Exchange driver’s license and insurance information with the other party in the accident, please do not pursue the attribution of responsibility. Unless it’s a small accident that the two sides want to settle privately, please don’t apologize to the other party or ask for compensation, so as not to face huge claims in the future.

4.1 Write down the person’s name, driver’s license number, driver’s license address, phone number

4.2 Write down the name of the other party’s insurance company, insurance agent (Agent) name, phone number, Policy Number

4.3 Write down the model, manufacturer, year, license plate number, VIN of the car

5. Find the police to make a report and ask the police for the police report number. The police report is usually released days or weeks after the accident. Please check the content of the report carefully. If there is an error, please correct the police who wrote the report immediately.

6. Please immediately report to the insurance company where the accident occurred and the location of the accident, and provide the other party’s information.

7. Collect and organize any information related to the accident, such as the content of the call, the name, phone number, time, and other information of the caller, so that the information can be provided when facing legal proceedings in the future.

8. If you feel that your rights have been violated, you should seek a lawyer first to ensure that your rights are not affected.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *