Car rental insurance is a very useful benefit that many travel reward cards offer. But some offer it only after you exhaust your primary auto insurance. Find out exactly what the Chase Sapphire cards offer now.
Car rental insurance is a popular benefit offered by travel rewards cards, although you’ll want to know which type of coverage your card offers before you use it. For example, some credit card rental car insurance is secondary coverage that works only after you exhaust your own auto insurance policy. The best travel credit cards, however, tend to offer primary rental car coverage that cardholders can use in place of other insurance they have.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are two of the most popular cards that offer rental car insurance coverage, and it’s easy to see why. Read on to learn what is covered by your Sapphire card car rental insurance and how to use it.
What kind of coverage is provided with your Sapphire card?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards both offer users an auto rental collision damage waiver (CDW). This type of car rental insurance covers the cost of repairs to your rental if it is damaged or stolen. Keep in mind, however, that collision damage waiver coverage does not cover liability or personal injury.
When you rent a car, you might be encouraged by the rental company to pay an extra fee every day for a CDW – which can add up quickly on longer rentals. If you’re a Sapphire cardholder, however, you can skip paying extra for this coverage and use your credit card rental car protection instead.
While many credit cards offer only secondary rental car protection, Chase Sapphire rental car insurance is primary. As we’ve mentioned, having primary auto rental coverage means you don’t have to file a claim with your normal insurance provider first. Instead, you’ll get total coverage from your credit card.
With Chase Sapphire Preferred car rental insurance, most rental cars receive protection for theft or collision that’s good for up to the actual cash value of eligible rented cars.
With Chase Sapphire Reserve rental car insurance, on the other hand, the CDW benefit provides reimbursement for damage caused by collision or theft of most rental vehicles with a maximum benefit of up to $75,000.
How to qualify for your card’s rental car insurance
To be eligible for the auto rental CDW perk, you’ll need to book and pay for your rental car using your Sapphire card. Additionally, whatever name is on your card should be the same name listed as the primary renter of the car.
Also, note that you can qualify for Chase Sapphire auto rental coverage if you pay for your rental car with your rewards points. Chase mentions this in its Guide to Benefits for both cards:
“You are covered when your name is embossed on an eligible card issued in the United States, and you use your credit card account and/or rewards programs associated with your account to initiate and complete your entire car rental transaction.”
If the rental company offers you a collision damage waiver, you should turn it down. If you accept the rental company’s waiver, you aren’t eligible for the Sapphire card benefit. In other words, accepting the rental company’s coverage equates to paying an extra fee for coverage you already have.
Chase Sapphire car rental insurance covers most car rentals, but there are a few exclusions to keep in mind. For example, you won’t be covered for the following with either Chase credit card:
- Luxury cars from brands including Maserati, Rolls Royce and Aston Martin (See your guide to benefits for a full list of excluded brands)
- Vans designed for more than nine passengers
- Rental periods greater than 31 days
To ensure you can take advantage of your car rental insurance, make sure your reservation doesn’t include any of these exclusions.
Using your car rental insurance abroad
The primary rental car insurance perk that comes with Chase Sapphire cards is available in the U.S. and most foreign countries. While many credit card car rental insurance perks list countries where coverage is not offered, the Chase Sapphire cards do not exclude any particular country from coverage.
On the downside, rental companies in other countries might require you to purchase a CDW in order to rent a car. So, while you should waive the CDW and use your credit card insurance whenever possible, this might not be possible in every foreign country.
How to file a claim
If your rental car is damaged or stolen, follow these steps to receive reimbursement for the repair costs:
- Call the benefits administrator and report the incident as soon as your car is damaged or stolen. To take advantage of your coverage, you must report the incident within 60 days of its occurrence – but the sooner the better.
- Ask for as much documentation as possible when you return your rental car and are charged for the damage. Documentation can include your car rental agreement, repair estimate, photos of the vehicle or a police report.
- Put any additional charges from the rental company on your Sapphire card. This will expedite reimbursement if you’re eligible.
- Fill out the claim form you’re sent after you report the incident, which must be submitted within 100 days of the initial damage or theft. You should also submit any other documentation you’ve collected to boost the chances of your claim being approved.
- Claims are typically paid within 15 days of submitting your documentation. The sooner you submit all the required documentation, the sooner you can get reimbursed for charges.
The primary car rental insurance coverage that comes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards can save users a lot of money in the right situation. No one wants to be stuck paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a car emergency on vacation, and credit card benefits can help relieve some of this stress.
Plus, primary car rental insurance in the U.S. is uncommon among rewards cards. Even if you have another card that offers a CDW, it is likely your Sapphire card offers the best protection.
To take full advantage of the coverage, be sure to charge all car rentals to your Sapphire card or use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for your booking. In the event of an accident, you’ll be glad you have this important protection.