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Car Theft

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
703 posts
156 reviews
72 helpful votes
Car Theft

Hello -- I have been looking at rental cars to pick up in David, Panama. I am noticing that the car insurance allows for zero deductible except in the case of a stolen vehicle. Is there some kind of a car theft issue in Panama. I have traveled the world and have rented cars and have never run into this. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

2 replies to this topic
Atlanta, Georgia...
Destination Expert
for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo, Panama
Level Contributor
9,848 posts
26 reviews
45 helpful votes
1. Re: Car Theft

There are two parts of car insurance in Panama. First, the "mandatory" liability -- LDW. That's not covered by 3rd party insurance. So, you're going to get stuck with that, which is $18.50 or $23.50 per day depending on the type of car you rent. The second is "CDW" -- collision, theft and damage. The rental companies want you to buy theirs because they get a commission. Chances are your credit card company also offers it at a much reduced rate. I believe this also includes the theft of your rental car. Which is something that would be extremely rare in Panama. More likely, you leave a T-shirt or 35 cents change visible while parked and someone breaks your window and takes it. (Let that be a warning.) Typically, when you use your credit card insurance, the rental agency will put a hold on your credit card for anything from $500 to $5000. I've never actually seen this show up as even a pending charge. The idea is that if you wreck the car, they get the money from you and you go to your credit card company to get the money back.

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
703 posts
156 reviews
72 helpful votes
2. Re: Car Theft

Thanks for the reply. I have some premium credit cards that provide free insurance. I have traveled a lot internationally and have rented cars and some people say this is dumb, but I dont want to have a problem when I am leaving so I tend to get the CDW. I just found it strange that they had this $2500 deductible for a stolen vehicle. Never have seen that before!

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