What you need to know about car hire insurance at Malaga airport
Travelers collecting a rent a car at Malaga airport are frequently offered an additional insurance at the time of signing the rental agreement. In most cases the additional insurance offered covers the CDW (Collision Damage Waiver), LDW (Loss Damage Waiver), or PAI (Personal Accident Insurance).
These covers can add up a heavy amount per rental day and if you do not do your homework you may end up paying more for the additional insurance than for the rental of the vehicle in Malaga itself. Obviously everybody wants to be protected, but it certainly does not make any sense at all to pay extra for insurances you do not need or an insurance cover which is already included in the rental price.
CDW - Collision Damage Waiver
At Malaga airport car rentals include CDW and Liability as standard. CDW stands for Collision Damage Waiver and in fact is not really an insurance. CDW really means, that in case of an accident or damages to the car the car hire company in Malaga agrees to waive the costs of repairing the damages up to a certain amount (the excess).
The person renting the car is still liable for the first part of the bill, but if the damages exceed the excess the rest of the cost of repairing the vehicle is waived. There are certain exceptions which are normally not covered by the CDW. The exceptions varie from company to company but in general damages to windscreens, mirrors, wheels, tyres, rims, damages to the roof or the undercarriage of the rental vehicle or fefueling the car with the wrong petrol type are excluded from the Collision Damage Waiver when you rent a car in Malaga.
LDW - Loss Damage Waiver
Loss Damage Waiver is a CDW cover which also includes TP (Theft Protection). In other words the insurance does not only cover the costs of damages to the vehicle, it also covers the costs of replacing the car in case the vehicle is stolen. With some car hire companies in Malaga the excess amount refers to both CDW and TP, but other companies may have one excess amount for damages and another one for a stolen vehicle.
If you hire a car in Malaga basic CDW/LDW cover will come as standard with most car hire companies like Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Record, Goldcar, Centauro, Record etc. However you will still be liable to pay the excess in the event of damages, an accident or theft of the vehicle. The car hire company normally asks for a deposit to cover the excess. This deposit is retained on the credit card used to pay for the rental, unless the client agrees to cover the excess with an excess waiver or SCDW insurance in which case a deposit is no longer requiered.
SCDW - Super Collision Damage Waiver
Super Collision Damage waiver is a cover you can purchase locally when you collect the keys for your hire car in Malaga. In case of damages to the rental vehicle the SCDW reduces the excess to zero and normally also covers damages to the wheels and tyres, the roof, windscreen, mirrors and the undercarriage of the car. The excess may not always be reduced to zero completely. Rental companies use different terms to describe the Super Collision Damage Waiver like Super Cover, Excess Waiver etc. In most cases a deposit is not necessary when SCDW is included in the rental agreement.
ERI - Excess Reimbursement Insurance
Instead of purchasing the SCDW cover offered by the local car hire company at Malaga airport it is also possible to buy an excess reimbursement insurance from a independent insurance company. Hispacar offers and ERI package with AXA and Mondial Assistance which can be purchase at the time of booking your car hire in Malaga online. The ERI covers an excess of up to 3.000€, more than enough for a rent a car at Malaga airport where the average excess amounts to little over one thousand euros. This excess reimbursement insurance is much cheaper than the SCDW offered in Malaga, but in case of damages the car hire company in Malaga will issue an invoice which the customer must pay first and then claim the money back to the insurance company when they get home. As the insurance policy is with third party insurer and not with the car hire company direct the customer will still have to leave a deposit to cover the excess in case of an accident or damages to the car.
Supplementary Liability Insurance or SLI
The LSI insurance covers the driver of the rental car against claims for injuries or damages caused by the vehicle rented, even in case when the driver is not to blame. In Malaga and other destinations in Spain this cover is included in the legally established minimum insurance cover which the car hire company has to include in the basic rental price. This insurance covers third party property damage and injuries in an accident, but does not cover the driver of the hire car and the passengers. If the company in Malaga where the car is rented offers the possibility to include PAI (Personal Accident Insurance) the driver and passengers of the rental vehicle will benefit from an extended personal accident coverage which includes medical, ambulance and death benefits for both driver and passengers. In most cases these benefits are already covered when you rent a car in Malaga, either by the basic cover of the car rental company or the health insurance of the driver and/or passengers.
Another insurance which is offered occasionally is a Personal Effects Insurance. It covers the theft of personal belongings from the rental car up to a certain amount. Before you include this cover ask about the maximum amount covered, as it may not be enough if you travel with expensive electronics, sports equipment or valuable instruments.
At Hispacar we recommend to do your research before you're collect the rental car at Malaga airport. Check your voucher and have a look at the terms and conditions on the website of the company direct. And if you end up paying for an insurance you do not need, make sure to contact the car hire company in Malaga the very next day, because after the rental is finished it is difficult to get your money back.