Making a sound Car rental insurance decision

It is easy to fall for the insurance trap when you are waiting in queue to get your rental car after a 3-hour flight. This is also the reason why many people prefer to book their rental cars before they arrive on their destination. Car rental insurance has been a heated topic for almost a decade. Some travelers prefer it to be on the safe side, while others see it as a complete rip-off. Do you need rental insurance? In what circumstances getting a car rental insurance becomes necessary, and most importantly, what are the alternatives. Read on to find out the answers to these mind-boggling questions.

Let’s get started with what car hire insurance covers. Most car rental Dubai companies offer insurance that includes:

Comprehensive Insurance: A comprehensive insurance allows you to have ample coverage to cover the costs in case you experience an accident that was not your fault. In case you get into an accident that happened to be your fault or a hit and run scenario, the comprehensive cover will limit your liability to a certain amount (variable as per car category).


Comprehensive cover can only be obtained by drivers / hirers equal or above the age limit of 25. If you are a hirer between the age limit of 22 to 25 years, you can still avail the aforementioned cover; however, in that case the insurance will only over upto 85% of the costs of repair, the rest (15%) has to be borne by you. In case you need to travel outside the city with your fleet vehicle, you will be required to obtain an NOC from your car hire company for proper trip validity.


SCDW Insurance: SCDW coverage stands for Super Collision Damage Waiver that can be obtained along with the comprehensive insurance with an additional payment (variable as per car category / duration of hire).


PAI Insurance: PAI (Personal Accident Insurance) covers drivers and all the others traveling with the driver with an insurance coverage of AED 200,000 for each in case of an accident.


Insurance actually covers you for any damage that you may cause or experience during your trip with your rental car. You will be surprised to know that you do not need the insurance if you already have a car insurance policy or personal insurance.

So when can you opt for car rental insurance?

There are a few scenarios where you can opt for rental insurance.

  1. Get car insurance when you do not have any prior insurance. You need to have some kind of insurance against the inevitable. With no prior insurance, you will need to have at least Supplemental Liability insurance and Collision damage waiver.
  2. Opt for car rental insurance if you are on a business trip. Some companies don’t cover rental-car insurance if you are mixing business with pleasure on your business trip. Ask your company before you proceed to the rental counter.
  3. You can also choose to get rental insurance if you don’t want to mix your personal insurance with your car hire insurance.
  4. Opt for rental insurance if you want peace of mind during the trip and wouldn’t mind paying the extra bucks.

If you are looking to rent a car in Dubai, it is always advisable that you do your homework before getting charged at the rental counter. The more you know about car rental insurance, terms and conditions, and how to avoid those extra charges, the better you will be able to make a decision about whether to spend on insurance or not. If you already have some kind of insurance make sure to check in with your agent and see if your current insurance can cover your car rental.

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