Car Rental insurance in Israel Explained
Car Rental Insurance in Israel is different in a few ways to other countries, so it’s important to understand it properly before renting. First of all full insurance is required. There are 3 general types of car rental insurance in Israel with 1 optional sub category.
- CDW – Collision Damage Waiver. (Mandatory)
- Super CDW – CDW but with no deductible. (Optional)
- TP – Theft Protection. (Mandatory)
- 3PLC – 3rd Party Liability Coverage. (Mandatory)
CDW Coverage covers any damage occurring to your rental car. If you scratch the car, or damage it this insurance will cover you – though with a catch – there’s a deductible. The deductible can be up to the first $1000. Most companies have a smaller deductible on the cheaper cars, and a bigger one on the more expensive cars and Vans. If the damage to the rental car is $4000 you would have to pay the 1st $1000 for example, and the insurance would pay $3000. But if it was only $200 you would end up paying the entire $200.
Note: CDW does not cover damage caused to the Tires, Windscreen, Rooftop and underbody damage to the vehicle.
Super CDW covers the excess of the CDW insurance. This effectively puts your liability on the rental car down to $0 in case of any circumstance – other than intentional damage, or illegal use of the car that results in damage (letting an underage driver or someone not on the contract drive – or driving in to the PA controlled areas – there are huge red signs and often checkpoints warning of this and blocking the traffic to these places). If there is a scratch or dent that costs $100 – you’ll pay $0.
TP coverage covers you from any liability in case of theft of the car. If the car is stolen – you’ll pay nothing.
3PLC Coverage covers you for Tire blowouts, tire/trim damage that is not caused by theft. It also covers vandalism & damage that is not a result of a vehicle collision nor damage by a third-party (for example a tree falling on your car).
All Car Rentals companies in Israel require all 3 car rental insurances. Always – no exceptions.
Using a Credit card does not mean you don’t need insurance, it just means you MAY have your car rental insurance in Israel already covered by your Credit Card. But it depends on the card. Not all Credit cards offer car rental insurance in Israel. Most explicitly exclude it.
Unfortunately having the card alone, is often not enough. Israeli Car rental companies often require written proof of coverage. This means a letter or email from your credit card company stating that you are covered for CDW and TP insurance and to specify that Israel is included in the coverage. The reason is because many Credit card companies exclude Israel from their car rental insurance programs.
If you are using a Chase Credit Card for Car Rental Insurance in Israel whether Visa or MasterCard, you are now covered for CDW and TP. You can easily request a letter of coverage by calling the number on the back of your card to be forwarded to the department that will send you an instant email of coverage or call 1-888-880-5844 (intended for United cards but always works for me when calling for any other chase card). Our recommended card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You can apply for it HERE and earn 50,000 Bonus points.
You will still need to purchase 3PLC coverage as all 3 insurances are always mandatory, and the Credit card only covers CDW and TP insurance. The added benefit however with using the Chase Credit Card for car rental insurance in Israel is that Chase offers a $0 deductible in case of damage to your vehicle. So if you do damage your car, you’re off the line whether the damage costs you $50 or $5000 – you won’t need to pay 1 cent with few exceptions. So when using a chase CC you effectively get all 4 levels of insurance. It used to be a good deal, but Israeli car rental companies, jacked up the price of the 3PLC insurance. It used to be as low as $5 a day. Now it’s anywhere between $12 a day and $20 for a minivan or luxury car, $40 for some specialty Vans per day. While you’ll still save compared to having to pay for CDW, it’s generally only around $5 a day. The biggest benefit then besides the $5 is the $0 deductible. Super CDW can cost $20 a day. On a 1 week rental that’s a savings of $140 that super CW would otherwise set you back if you wanted to truly play it safe.
There are some other cards that cover CDW and TP in Israel and the same rules apply to them – You will need a letter of coverage and you will still need to purchase 3PLC
Pro-Tip: Many travel insurances offer “car rental insurance excess waivers”which would be a great add-on to your car rental insurance in Israel specifically. These plans are often very cheap, and waive the deductible you would have to pay but they don’t offer primary rental coverage. A plan like this could include medical coverage, baggage insurance, flight insurance and more and cost only $50-75 for a full week or 2. That could easily save over the cost of Super CDW and come with all those extra benefits – a great money saver and good value particularly when renting a car in Israel without a card that covers insurance. Travel insurance is always recommended though.
Getting the best price is one of our most popular questions after Car Rental insurance in Israel. Our tip: Book in advance. Most of the car rental companies offer their lowest rates with free cancellation up until just a day before pickup. Once you have a reservation, you can generally change the reservation while keeping the same rate you originally got. Booking in advance doesn’t only ensure lower rates. During high seasons like the summer, Pesach, and the high holidays, Car rental companies can sell out of rentals completely. Mini-Vans are often completely booked up as far out as a month in advance of the high season, with huge wait lists. In addition the fact that Car rentals are FULLY REFUNDABLE up until 1 day in advance, means it always makes sense to make a reservation.
Pro-Tip: Check for “early bird” specials. These are when the car rental company offers low season rates, to people booking their cars for the high season in advance (generally 6 months in advance). These guarantee the best cost savings as they are also fully refundable up until one day before pickup. While Early bird specials are generally not available online Agencies who work closely with the car rental companies in Israel can access these deals.
Renting a car in Israel is one of the best ways to maximise your trip. Israel is small but becomes so much smaller by renting a car. In one day you can visit Jerusalem in the morning Masada and the dead sea, then tel Aviv. You can drive to Tsfat, stop at all the viewpoints on the way. Tour Meron, drive down to Teveriah or north to the Chermon. Even within the City having a car in my experience has been the best way to get around town with taxi’s not being nearly as convenient. With kids in the equation it’s a no brainer. A car in Israel just makes life easier.
If you have any questions regarding Car Rental insurance in Israel for your next trip hit the comments below.