The Ohio Department of Insurance provides the following guidelines to help you decide if paying for the extra insurance is right for you.
What are you really paying for when opting for rental coverage?
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
It is important to remember that this is not insurance. Rather, the rental car company is offering to waive the provision in the rental contract that makes you legally liable for loss of or damage to the rental car while it is in your possession, regardless of fault.
If you carry comprehensive and collision insurance on your own vehicle, your company may or may not extend that coverage to a rental car. However, even if your insurance company covers the rental car, it would only pay for the cost to repair or replace it. Your insurance company would not cover the loss of income to the rental company for which you may be liable. Some companies now offer optional rental car coverage as an endorsement to your personal auto policy, even if you do not carry comprehensive or collision coverage on your policy. You should check with your insurance agent or company to see what coverage you have or is available to you.
Some credit cards also provide insurance equivalent to CDW when you charge the rental car to that credit card. Check with your credit card company to learn if this protection is provided or available.
When in doubt, it is always a good idea to accept the CDW from the rental car company.
*TIP: If traveling and you purchased travel insurance, it may also include some of the same coverages offered by the rental car company. Ask so you do not pay for double insurance.