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What is a Collision Damage Waiver when Renting a Car?

Renting a car can make traveling to a new location more convenient, but it also presents several legal concerns. Whenever you rent a car, whether you use an airport location or an online booking site, you will be offered a collision damage waiver.

A collision damage waiver releases you from liability for damage that occurs while you are driving or using the rental car, but it can be an expensive fee on top of your rental fees. A Phoenix car accident lawyer that Arizona residents trust may be able to provide assistance with the decision of whether or not getting a collision damage waiver is right for you.

Benefits of a Collision Damage Waiver

Collision damage waivers offer protection from the often-exorbitant repair costs that come with being involved in an accident in a rental vehicle. Even though rental cars are covered by the owner’s insurance policy, rental car businesses still charge significantly for any damage that occurs to their vehicle while you are responsible for it.

A collision damage waiver may also cover bodily injury, property damage and collision. This means that if you are in an accident that is your fault while driving a rental vehicle, the waiver will cover any expenses related to other individuals and property affected by the collision. For this reason, many drivers elect to pay the additional cost for the peace of mind a collision damage waiver provides.

Credit Card Payments

It is important to note that many credit cards offer built-in rental car protection plans. In order to take advantage of these plans, you must use the card to reserve and pay for your rental vehicle. Not all credit cards offer rental insurance, so it is important to make sure that yours does before you turn down a collision damage waiver.

Not all credit card insurance plans offer coverage for bodily injury, property damage and collision, so it is essential to read the fine print to determine coverage. If you refuse coverage from the rental car company, you could end up responsible for damages to another person’s property or for another driver’s injuries if an accident occurs.

Insurance Options

Even if you decline a collision damage waiver, your own insurance policy may provide the coverage you need. Making a call to speak with your insurance company before traveling can help prevent you from paying for coverage you do not need. Some collision damage waivers can double your rental costs, so it is important to know your existing coverage.

It is also important to know what a waiver will and will not cover. Make sure that you only pay top dollar for a policy that removes you from any and all liability associated with an accident in the rental vehicle.

Collision damage waivers can provide necessary protection for rental car drivers and cut down on the stresses of traveling. However, they are not always necessary and should only be used if the protection and benefits outweigh the costs of purchasing the waiver. It is ideal if your existing insurance policy or credit card perks remove you from liability for rental damages, but these forms of coverage are often not comprehensive.

If you are involved in an accident while driving a rental car in Arizona, it is absolutely imperative that you speak with a personal injury lawyer as one of the very first steps you take. Don’t face the rental car companies or insurance companies alone!

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