Travel Policies: Accidents and Insurance

This page describes important policies regarding rental cars. For more information, see Section 1 (d, cc, and dd) of the Travel Policy and Procedures pdf icon (pdf).

Rental Car Insurance

Northwestern University's agreement with National Car Rental and Enterprise-Rent-A-Car includes the following:

  • Collision/Loss Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW) to protect Northwestern and its travelers from any financial responsibility for loss or damage to the rental vehicle.
  • Liability Insurance in the amount of $100,000/$300,000/$50,000 for rentals in the US.

Collision Damage Waivers

If you rent a car in the United States from National or Enterprise using the Northwestern contract/discount ID, you do not need to purchase a Collision/Loss Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW). A CDW/LDW should be purchased for international car rentals only. (Note: If you do purchase a CDW/LDW for a domestic rental using the Northwestern contract/discount ID, it will not be reimbursed.)

International/Foreign Business Rentals

For international/foreign business rentals, the driver needs to accept the CDW/LDW and liability insurance in the minimum amout offered by the rental agency. Should an accident occur, the driver must follow the rental agency accident report instructions, in addition to forwarding a copy of the report to the Office of Risk Management.

NOTE: Documents, including proof of insurance, are typically found in the glove compartment of cars, but please confirm with rental company employees before leaving location.

Accidents Involving Rental Cars

If you experience an accident involving your rental car, you must do the following:

  1. Follow the rental agency's accident report instructions. *Forward a copy of the rental agency's accident report to NU's Office of Risk Management (phone: 847.491.5610; fax: 847.467.7475) as soon as possible
  2. Report the accident to Northwestern's Office of Risk Management  (phone: 847.491.5610) within 24 hours.

If the accident results in any personal injury or towing of a vehicle, please report the accident immediately, if possible. Departments failing to report an accident within 24 hours will be charged a $1000 deductible that will increase by $500 each day after the accident until a report is received.

Individuals not renting vehicles from National, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, or the University Motor Pool will be subject to a $1000 deductible plus any administration fees charged.

Drivers need to rent the vehicles in the University's name, using the Corporate Contract number the University was assigned, and with the approved driver as the named driver. Under no condition should the approved driver allow another person to operate their rental vehicle.

The complete policy for Car Rentals is in section 2) i & j of the Travel Policy and Procedures document pdf icon (pdf).