The Pros and Cons of Car Rental Insurance
The Obligatory Insurance or Bituach Chova is a required insurance for car owners that covers personal injuries of the driver, passengers and pedestrians. You cannot drive a vehicle in Israel to without the Bituach Chova. On the other hand, car rental in Israel requires 3 mandatory types of insurance which we will discuss below.
Car Rental Insurance Requirements
To rent a car in Israel, a full insurance is required. Their law requires car renters to understand the three general insurance types that are mandatory, driving in Israel requires you to have:
- Mandatory CDW or Collision Damage Waiver - this covers any damage you incur on the rental car. One downside is that it has a deductible amounting up to the first $1000. Also, the CDW does not cover tire or windscreen damage, as well as damage to the rooftop or underbody.
- The optional Super CDW covers the excess of the CDW insurance. It gives you $0 liability on the rental car. Other than intentional damage or illegal use - resulting to damage - any dent you may incur will be covered.
- Mandatory TP or Theft Protection covers your responsibility in case the rental vehicle is stolen.
- Mandatory 3PLC or 3rd Party Liability Coverage - covers tire blowout, vandalism, tire and rim damage that are not caused by theft or vehicle collision.
Insurance and Waivers
Many travelers think that their credit card insurance covers car rental in Israel. This is not the case all time. While some credit cards cover CDW and TP in the country, you will need to present a letter of coverage and still purchase 3PLC. Be sure to go through whatever credit card policy applies in Israel. It may only cover damage on the rental, but does not cover damages you inflicted on someone else and their property.
Insurance offered by the rental company can only double your rental costs when you already have other policies covering your liability. However, if you don't have collision and comprehensive insurance, you may need to purchase LDW or CDW - damage waivers.
Consider the travel insurances that offer "car rental insurance excess waivers.” They are offered at low prices because they are not the primary rental coverage but waive the deductible. They could also include medical coverage, baggage insurance, flight insurance and more. Usually, they are good for a full week or two.
Go for Comprehensive Car Rental Insurance
The safest route to take is to avail of a comprehensive insurance on top of the mandatory listed above.
The Comprehensive Insurance or Makif covers everything covered by third-party insurance plus covers damages to the vehicle in case of fire, explosion, vandalism, collision, and theft.
Keep in mind that your rental car is only covered within the state of Israel, Taba and the territories of the Palestinian Authority. In case you need to travel beyond, you will have to make other arrangements. Your insurance will be voided should you leave the mentioned areas - meaning, you will be fully liable and responsible for any and all damages you may incur on yourself and your rental car.