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When To Buy Rental Car Insurance

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Should you pay extra for rental car insurance?

Boy those secret service agents seems to find trouble. Two secret service agents wrecked a rental car last month in Florida pulling out of a Publix supermarket parking lot at 2 am. Bet they wished they’d gotten the rental car insurance. And not smelled like alcohol. Ah well.

If you are planning to rent a car on your summer vacation, should you get the rental car insurance they offer?

The first thing to know is that what you’re being offered isn’t exactly insurance, it’s something called a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) which will pay for all damage to the rental vehicle but usually does not cover anyone else’s damage or personal injury.

Many people believe their own insurance covers an accident in a rental car. This is probably true, but only if you have comprehensive and collision coverage – so check your policy before renting a car.

Some credit cards cover accidents in rental cars, but generally only if you’ve charged the full amount of the rental car on that card and with a specific rental car company so again, check before you rent.

If you’re not covered by your insurance or your credit card, think about ponying up for the CDW whether or not your vacation includes a 2 am supermarket run.

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