We know it's hard to thoroughly understand exactly what kind of insurance you are getting (or need to get) with your RV rental. For the uninitiated (and the confused), we have decoded the coverage options.
The first thing you need to know is that all vehicles are insured by the rental company. However, if you decide not to take out any insurance coverage, you will be responsible for all costs on damage to the vehicle, even if the accident is not your fault. In addition to that, you will also be responsible for all third party claims if you injure a person or damage someone's property.
Now would be a good time to check if your own insurance will work with the rental. US and Canadian residents can use their own insurance, but will need to provide proof of their automobile insurance at pick up. If you're not a US resident, you may not be able to use your own insurance and will need to take out one of the operator's insurance coverage.
With that out of the way, let's check out the coverage options. First, there's CDW, which is Collision Damage Waiver. Also known as VIP, for Vacation Interruption Protection, this reduces your financial responsibility in case of an accident (whether it was your fault or not) to a minimum amount (usually between $1000 to $2500) per incident. Wait, what? OK, let's say you have an accident today. You'll have to pay the minimum amount stated by CDW. Then you have another accident later today. Too bad, kid. That means you'll need to pay the minimum amount again. Which, needless to say, is better than having to pay thousands of dollars for each accident. CDW may also include coverage on theft and vandalism, and would require a police report. Also, there are also exceptions to the rule, which includes unauthorized drivers being behind the wheel during the accident, improper use of the vehicle and of course, driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances. Just remember that if the operator doesn't offer CDW, that's probably because it is offered as VIP.
I'm sure you're thinking this CDW (or VIP) thing is a pretty good idea, but does it mention anything about third party claims? In that case, let's talk about SLI. This is Supplemental Liability Insurance, which offers protection against all claims made by a third party on bodily injury or property damage. That's right; all claims for up to USD $1 million. In case you accidentally hit someone or their vehicle, this little gem will make sure you don't walk away bankrupt.
REMEMBER that CDW (or VIP) and SLI are sometimes already included in the rental packages, but since some clients would prefer to use their own insurance, it is not required in the rental. Don't forget to ask the sales rep or the operator BEFORE booking to make sure these insurance options are available. Start your USA Self-Drive Holiday now.