Car Insurance

Car insurance policies in the United States are generally good in Canada,

and vice versa, but check with your insurance company before crossing the

border. In other countries, such as Mexico, you'll have to buy a local pol-

icy. Mexican policies are available at the border or from Sanborn's at:


When you rent a car, you'll be offered a Collision Damage Waiver

(CDW) that can cost anywhere from $5 to $20 or more a day. Within the

United States and Canada, you can safely decline the CDW option under

the following circumstances:

Your private or company insurance covers rental cars. (If you

aren't sure, ask your insurance agent.)

Your credit card includes free CDW coverage. (American

Express, Diners Club, and gold or platinum Visa and

MasterCards should, but check in case your card issuer's policy

has changed.)


The rules are often different overseas:

. In some countries, such as Italy, you may be required to take

CDW coverage.

. In other countries, the agency may place a "hold" of several

thousand dollars on your credit card unless you accept the

CDW option. If you get into an accident, the rental firm will

charge the repairs to your account, and you'll have to seek

reimbursement from your free CDW provider (e.g., your gold-

or platinum-card issuer) after you get home. It may be wisest to

take the CDW coverage so a fender bender won't spoil your



Finally if you reject CDW coverage, make sure that you won't be

responsible for "administrative fees" above the cost of repairs. These can

total several hundred dollars, and the money will have to come out of your

pocket if your insurance doesn't cover them.