The Automobile Rental Company
Most automobile rental companies offer a product called a "Collision Damage Waiver " that covers some loss of, or damage to, the rental automobile. It is also referred to as a "Loss Damage Waiver."
The collision damage waiver protects you in the event that you damage an automobile that you have rented. t protects you by transferring the responsibility for the cost of the damage from you to the automobile rental company.
However, it often comes with exclusions as well. For example, it may provide no protection while you drive on unpaved roads.Also, the protection you get varies from company to company.You should check the fine print before you decide whether or not to buy it.
Automobile rental companies usually charge a daily rate on top of the rental charge for the collision damage waiver.
You can buy the collision damage waiver from the automobile rental company, but you should be aware that there are alternatives.
Credit Card Protection
Your credit card may already provide collision damage coverage on automobiles that you rent. To be eligible for the coverage, you will likely need to charge the full amount of the rental to your credit card AND decline the collision damage waiver offered by the automobile rental company.
Your credit card coverage will be subject to certain conditions. For example, the collision damage coverage may only apply when renting automobiles from automobile rental companies approved by your credit card company.
You should check with your credit card company to learn more about the limitations of the coverage it provides to you.
If your auto insurance policy does not include the OPCF 27, you may want to consider adding it. The yearly cost of adding it to your policy is usually quite reasonable, making it an economical alternative to purchasing a collision damage waiver offered by an auto rental company.
OPCF 27 - Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobile(s), and Other Coverages When Insured Persons Drive, Rent or Lease Other Automobiles
If you have an at-fault accident with the rented automobile, the accident may count against your driving record, regardless of who pays the damage for the claim.
Check with your insurance representative for more details.
No Collision Damage Waiver
If you are not already covered under your Ontario auto insurance policy, through your credit card, or otherwise, and you choose NOT to purchase the Collision Damage Waiver from the auto rental company, you will be responsible for the costs resulting from damage to the automobile while it is in your care and any injuries.
When in Doubt.....Take all the Rental Company Insurance
To avoid any gaps in coverage it may be in your best interests to take the rental company insurance both physical damage and liability. The insurance taken out could be specific to the territory you are in.
Do I need an International Driver's License?
To ensure you are properly covered when driving abroad, go to your local Ministry of Transportation and apply for an International Driver's License when leaving your country of residence.
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