When you rent a vehicle in the USA or Canada you are responsible for returning that vehicle in the same condition it was in at the start of the rental, with the exception of fair wear and tear.
You are also liable for the full cost of the vehicle unless you take out an option to reduce or remove it.
The best advice we can give you is to know the answer before you leave home. You should check with your insurance company or credit card company to see if your personal auto policy, Travel Insurance Policy or credit card agreement covers: a) any damage done to the rental vehicle, b) damage or injury to other people caused by you, c) injuries to passengers in your rental vehicle OR d) theft of personal belongings left in your rental car. Once you know these answers, you can make an informed decision about the options at the time of rental.
LDW or Loss Damage Waiver refers to an optional surcharge per day to reduce your liability. If you accept LDW at the beginning of the rental (for an additional daily fee), your responsibility for loss of or damage to the vehicle is waived in full or in part (depending on the plan), provided the rental agreement is not violated. If declined, you will be fully responsible for all loss or damage to the vehicle, regardless of fault. Your personal automobile policy, travel insurance and some credit cards may provide coverage for these losses. LDW is not insurance or an insurance product.
If you are wishing to take an excess reduction option please advise upon collection of the vehicle, we cannot add this in at the booking stage.
Additional Liability Insurance
There is also the option to purchase another insurance policy to protect you against damage to 3rd party property, bodily injury etc. The depot staff will offer this and explain in full on collection of the vehicle.
Personal Passenger and Personal Effects Insurance
Both are optional coverages available at most rental branches and covers: Accidental death and accidental medical expenses for the renter and PEI is an optional coverage that will protect the personal effects of the renter while in the rental car. Both coverages have specific limits. Full details can be found at the rental counter. Check with your insurance agent regarding your own insurance policies on accidental death or medical expenses, or refer to your homeowner's policy regarding theft of your property.
We strongly recommend you take out travel insurance and be aware of what you are covered for before you pickup your rental vehicle. If you do not have travel insurance you should definitely pay the additional surcharge and reduce your liability in our opinion.