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Using the rental car insurance benefit with the Chase Sapphire cards

What it covers, how to file a claim and why the coverage is top-notch

Summary

The Chase Sapphire cards both offer one of the most valuable car rental insurance benefits available on a travel card, as long as you know how to use it.

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Car rental insurance has become a common benefit offered by travel rewards cards, and it can save you hundreds of dollars in a pinch if you know how to use it. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are two of our most popular cards for this perk – thanks to comprehensive coverage that is easy to use.

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 card 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. It 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 are a Sapphire cardholder, however, you can enjoy this peace of mind as one of your card benefits.

See Related: Renting a car? Know your coverage at home and abroad

With both Sapphire cards, you’ll receive primary coverage – which 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. This policy covers reimbursements up to the cash value of the car.

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.

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. That means accepting the rental company’s coverage equates to paying an extra fee for coverage you already have.

The coverage on the Sapphire cards covers most car rentals, but there are a few exclusions to keep in mind. You won’t be covered for the following:

  • 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 eight 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.

See Related: Which cards are best for renting a car

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 car renters to purchase a CDW in order to rent a car. 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 Benefit 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.
  • 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 chances of your claim being approved.
  • Claims are typically paid within 15 days of submitting your documentation.

Be sure to put all car rentals on your Sapphire card

The primary car rental insurance coverage that comes with the Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred card can save users a lot of money in the right situation. No one wants to be stuck paying hundreds 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. In the even of an accident, be proactive in collecting documentation and filing a claim.

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