What is a CDW insurance for car rentals in Iceland?



I am a bit concerned about the different types of car insurances that are offered… what exactly is a CDW insurance, is there a third party insurance included or do you need to have it in addition?

Thanks =)



Ok, the CDW is like a ‘mandatory insurance’ meaning that all rental cars have to have this insurance. It covers damages on other cars that you might crash into, and it covers part of your own car. There’s always a self-risk, and it’s a bit different between rentals. Usually, it’s about 350.000 ISK that is the self risk while the rest is covered by insurance.
There is an SCDW that works the same but you have to buy it because the self-risk is much lower. If you’re worried about anything, I’d really get the SCDW, because if something happens, it’s just good to be maybe paying 50.000 ISK and not 350.000 ISK!
Not sure about the rest really…but Sand and Ash protection is really good if you’re planning to drive the south coast.


Yeah, the roads are very treacherous here in Iceland. Especially for those who are not used to driving on single lanes, gravel roads or in icy weather. So I think that looking into extra insurance, as well as the mandatory CDW insurance, is a good idea. It is better to be safe than sorry. I think I read somewhere that CDW includes third party liability so you wouldn’t need to get an extra insurance for that.

The Sand and Ash protection is not for driving off road, as many would think. Even if you are driving on Route 1, it could be useful. If you enter sandy areas, such as the ones in Iceland’s highlands and on the south coast, you can get blasted by sand during windy periods, which can damage your car.

Many smaller roads of Route 1 leading to popular tourist attraction are only accessible through small gravel roads. So it is hard to avoid the gravel here in Iceland. It’s not just the weather, sometimes small stones fly up from passing cars, hitting your car and causing small damages.

The Sand and Ash insurance covers paint, lights, plastics, chromes, wheels and windows of the rental car but I think you need a special insurance for the windscreen. Windscreens in Iceland are especially expensive and one of the most common damages on cars happen to the windscreen. There is something called ‘Grand CDW’ that is like the standard CDW but includes damages from gravel hitting the windscreen, paint, lights etc. so you don’t have to take the standard CDW + Ash + Windscreen, this one seems to cover it all.

I’m just going to say this again: The roads area dangerous if you are not used to driving on gravel, single lanes or on ice. They are even dangerous for those who ARE used to driving on gravel, single lanes and on ice. There are far too many accidents that could have been avoided by just slowing down and far too many deaths that could have been avoided by just putting on a seatbelt. So just be careful when driving :slight_smile: