Q. CAR RENTAL JARGON - Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), in states that allow it, is an optional charge that is billed per day.  Although many in the car rental industry call it "collision damage" coverage, it's not technically collision insurance. Rather, it is an agreement that the rental car company, in our case Aero Rent A Car, will pay for damages to your rented vehicle. By declining the waiver, you accept responsibility for any damages. However, under CDW, the company will not pay for bodily injuries or damages to your personal property.  If you do not buy CDW coverage, or are not covered by your personal auto insurance policy, you could be liable for the full value of the car.
Some CDWs exclude coverage under certain circumstances during a car rental.  For example, coverage may be revoked if you damage the car when driving it in a negligent manner, if a driver drinks alcohol or if a non-authorized driver operates the car, or if you otherwise void the conditions of the CDW.
The coverage offered by rental car companies may duplicate insurance you have through your auto and homeowner's policies. Read your insurance policies for specifics.  If you're not sure about the coverage, call your insurers. If you're traveling on business, your employer may have insurance that covers you. Some credit card companies and motor clubs provide members with free rental protection when you use their cards to pay for rentals, so check with your card before you visit the rental location.