What is Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)?
Questions about Loss Damage Waiver? Check out everything you need to know about LDW, what it covers when you rent a car and a list of Qs and As!
If you’re new to car rental or have never seen the words Loss Damage Waiver, you may find yourself thinking what it actually means and what exactly it covers when you rent a car. Follow along to know it all!
What is Loss Damage Waiver?
Loss Damage Waiver is an extra car rental protection offered by rental companies. If you’re familiar with Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), this will be very easy to understand, as LDW is a combination of CDW and Theft Protection. Basically, a Loss Damage Waiver covers the rental car if an accident happens or if it’s stolen during the period or your rental.
Please note that some rental companies may indirectly offer Loss Damage Waiver, but as CDW and Theft Protection separately. Same thing, but (sometimes) different name! This is most common in the United States and Canada, while in Europe you’ll usually see LDW offered in a single package.
What does the Loss Damage Waiver cover?
As we have mentioned before, the Loss Damage Waiver is a combination of two different types of car rental insurances: Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection. In order to understand what LDW covers, we must know what each of those offer.
Collision Damage Waiver
We have covered the Collision Damage Waiver extensively in a blog post dedicated to it, but here’s what you absolutely need to know about it.
Generally speaking, the CDW will cover any damage done to the exterior of the vehicle (the car’s bodywork) if an accident happens. This is important as it doesn’t cover the whole car, as some people assume, only parts of if.
Items such as the car’s engine, mirrors and tyres, for example, are not covered by CDW nor they will be by LDW.
If you want to know more, read our post on Collision Damage Waiver for a detailed explanation.
The Theft Protection, as the name suggests, will cover part or all the cost of replacing the rental car if it gets stolen during the period of your rental. In addition to that, it also covers any damage done to the car if someone tries to steal it as well.
Just like CDW, the Theft Protection covers the car’s bodywork only, not the items left inside it, such as cellphones, a laptop or a GPS. If those get stolen, you won’t be covered at all.
Loss Damage Waiver
Since LDW is a combination of CDW and Theft Protection, we can say that it covers:
- The car’s bodywork in case of an accident
- The car’s replacement if it gets stolen
- The car’s bodywork if its gets damaged while someone tries to steal it
How does the Loss Damage Waiver work?
Like most car rental insurances, the way Loss Damage Waiver works is by reducing or sometimes completely eliminating the renter’s financial liability in the event of an accident or theft. Without this coverage, it’s generally the renter’s responsibility to cover the expenses related to the damage done.
Please note that different rental companies may offer different limits to the amount waived, so it’s always worth checking this important information. The excess is, most of the time, reduced from the total value of the car to something close to US$1,500 for some rental categories. You can also find, though not as common, LDWs that cover the total expense of the repair work — sometimes referred to as Super LDW.
Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) FAQ
The Loss Damage Waiver is an extra car rental protection that is a combination of Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) — which covers damage done to the car’s bodywork — and Theft Protection — which covers the costs of the car rental replacement if gets stolen and damage done in case someone tries to steal it.
The LDW covers damage done to the exterior of the car and the replacement of it in case it gets stolen. Please note that the LDW does not cover the entire car — items such as tyres, mirrors and windshield may not be covered.
The Loss Damage Waiver does not cover damage done to the interior of the rental car or the theft of items left inside it. Furthermore, the LDW also won’t cover third party damage — that is covered by a different insurance called Third Party Liability.
The LDW is a combination of CDW and another insurance called Theft Protection, which means it actually offers more coverage than just CDW. The CDW will cover only damage done to the exterior of the car, while LDW also covers the replacement of the car rental in case it gets stolen.
The Loss Damage Waiver costs approximately the same amount as the CDW. You’ll be able to find LDWs starting from about US$10, but please note that this varies depending on the rental company, the car category and more.