USA is an ultimate destination for travelers and they often hire cars to either travel for pleasure or business. Before you hire a car, you need to understand that car hire insurance process in the USA is different than any other country. If you are covered already, this is not something that should bother you.

We often feel buying a Collision damage waiver insurance (CDW) is unnecessary. Well agreeably so, but do you know how life saving it becomes at such times when you don’t have any primary insurance in place? 

Read further to get a hang of what the insurance process looks like in the US territory and how it can make your life simpler. 

The best way to move around while on vacation in the United States is with a car. If you are visiting for a short period, hiring is your best option; hence insurance should be taken seriously. This article offers insight on the major insurance needed when hiring a car in the USA.

Collision Damage Waiver

Collision Damage Waiver is like a loss damage waiver, typically sold by car hiring companies, it covers you financially; from damage and theft. 

It’s not compulsory to purchase this insurance, but, it is useful. For instance, say your credit card rental insurance already covers for collision damage; getting claims will take a longer process because you will have to pass through your auto insurance company first. However, with Collision Damage Waiver you’ll engage in a direct transaction. 

Supplemental Liability Insurance

This type of insurance protects you on damages done to other people, their cars, and other properties. If a third party gets injured within the rental period, the Supplemental Liability Insurance will pay for medical expenses. 

The United States takes Supplemental Liability Insurance seriously, so be prepared to buy it if you are renting in any of her States. However you must know; Supplemental Liability Insurance bought within the United States won’t cover you abroad.

You can buy supplemental liability insurance directly from your insurance company, a third party or the umbrella liability insurance.

Personal Accident Insurance

This is the alternate version of the supplementary liability coverage insurance. Rather than cover other people, the personal damage insurance covers you. 

If you have an accident, both you and your passengers get medical, ambulance and death coverage.

However, the personal insurance coverage can overlap with health, life and car insurance policies, so it’s important to read their terms and conditions to avoid paying for a policy that you are already covered for. 

If you are holidaying in the United States,  ensure your travel insurance covers your medical expenses, if it doesn’t, consider getting a personal insurance coverage. 

Personal Effects Coverage

With personal effect coverage, you don’t have to worry if items from the rented car get stolen so long the stolen property is within the set dollar limit.

If you already have rental insurance however, you may not need the personal effects insurance. Thus, It is important to check your policy documents or call the customer care service to know if you have such coverage already.

Car excess waiver rental insurance

In the United States it is compulsory to pay car hiring companies a certain amount “excess” this excess serves as collateral in case there is damage to the rented vehicle. Car excess waiver rental insurance is a policy that will help you cover the excess.

 There is no fixed amount for excess, it varies according to factors like location, vehicle type, and age. Car excess waiver rental insurance keeps you covered.

Car rental excess waiver insurance  insurance can be confusing, but here’s a breakdown of how it works if you already have collision damage waiver you’ll still have to pay for excess in case of damage or theft. 

Excess are expensive ranging from $200 to $5000, but with a car excess waiver rental insurance you’ll already be protected from excess fee.

The car excess waiver rental insurance is just like the travel insurance because you can buy it as a single policy or annual policy (if you are renting frequently). 


Finding out which Insurance is needed when hiring a car in the USA can be tricky, you can’t perform a random pick. You might be buying a policy that you don’t need or a policy that you are already covered for. So, you must do a thorough research first and measure your risks. 

This will help you identify areas that makes you vulnerable and cover them accordingly. Next, you’ll have to decide whether you’ll be buying from the car hire company, credit card coverage, or a third party.  Consider cost too, there are companies that offer discounts. Finally, don’t just make assumptions, if you are not sure of an adequately coverage, buy new insurance. 

Thanks for reading.


Planning on hitting the road with a car rental? Here are a few car rental saving tips that could really come in handy.

Join the Rewards Program

Most car rentals have loyalty reward programs for their customers. Joining is easy and in most cases free. Some of the perks that come with these programs are:

  • Free upgrades or rentals
  • Vehicle availability guarantee
  • Skipping lines

If you frequently use car rentals, it is worth signing up for these programs.

Ask If They Offer Discounts

The first thing you should ask at a car rental is: “Do you have any discounts?” Whether corporate, AAA, senior, Military or otherwise, a lot of these associations qualify for price breaks from the car rental businesses. All you need to do is ask.

Consider the Prepay Option

A lot of car rental businesses offer their customers different rates: one is for those who wish to pay as soon as they pick up the vehicle and the other one is for those who choose to pay in advance.

Prepaying is usually a better option. You can be able to save up to 20% as compared to upfront payments. Usually, the savings increase when you rent a better car.

Find Coupons

Coupons will most definitely help you save big. Sometimes, if you are lucky enough to get the right code, it is possible to save up to 50%. If you don’t feel like sleuthing for deals and codes, you can check out the rental car coupons.

Compare Prices

There are numerous deal aggregators online that will help you compare the prices of different car rentals at the same time. Before booking a vehicle, make sure you get the best available deal by making use of such tools.

Rent a Car Outside Airports

Renting inside airports is easy and convenient. However, you will pay 10-30% more for their convenient services. Part of what constitutes this fee is the concession fee charged for having a car rental space at the airport. It will, therefore, be worth using public transport or a taxi into town to get a car rental.

Understand the Fine Print for Fee and Tax Information

Most people overlook the asterisk that goes along with some information. For instance, a car rental may claim that you will pay $15 a day for car hire. Although this price tag might be quite alluring, you may end up realizing that there are hidden fees and taxes in your total.

Just because a car rental has advertised that you will pay the said amount doesn’t necessarily mean that’s all you will be spending. Find out from the rental site if that’s all you will be paying or if they are any hidden charges and taxes.

Reserve Your Car Rental for Extra Hours

You can even extend the return date by a day. Did you know that you can get prorated refunds for early returns? This is especially a great idea if you aren’t sure of the traffic situation on the day of returning the car.