Rental car insurance with Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards

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Car rental insurance is a popular benefit offered by travel reward cards, although you should know what type of coverage your card offers before using it. For example, some credit card car rental insurances are secondary coverage that only works after you exhaust your own auto insurance policy. However, the best travel credit cards tend to offer basic car rental coverage that cardholders can use in place of other insurance they have.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Cards are two of the most popular cards to offer car rental coverage, and it’s easy to see why. Read on to find out what is covered when renting a car with a Sapphire card and how to use it.

What coverage does your Sapphire card provide?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards offer users a Car Rental Damage Waiver (CDW). This type of car rental insurance covers the cost of repairing your rental if it is damaged or stolen. Be aware, however, that collision damage liability insurance does not cover liability or personal injury.

When you rent a car, the rental company may offer you a daily CDW surcharge, which can add up quickly with longer rentals. However, if you are a Sapphire cardholder, you may choose not to pay an additional fee for this coverage and use credit card car rental protection instead.

While many credit cards only offer secondary rental car protection, Chase Sapphire rental car insurance is primary. As we mentioned, having basic car rental coverage means you don’t have to file a claim with your regular insurance company first. Instead, you will receive full coverage from your credit card.

With Chase Sapphire Preferred Car Rental insurance, most rental cars receive theft or collision protection up to the actual cash value of eligible rental cars.

On the other hand, with Chase Sapphire Reserve rental car insurance, the CDW benefit covers damage caused by collision or theft of most rental cars, with a maximum benefit of up to $75,000.

How to qualify for your card’s rental car insurance

To be eligible for the CDW Car Rental Benefit, you must book and pay for your car rental with a Sapphire Card. Also, any name on your card must match the name of the car’s primary renter.

Also, please note that you may qualify for Chase Sapphire car rental coverage if you pay for your car rental with Reward Points. Chase mentions this in his Guide to the Benefits of Both Cards:

“You are insured 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 the entire car rental transaction.”

If the rental company offers you a collision damage liability exemption, you should opt out. If you accept the rental company’s denial, you are not eligible for Sapphire Card benefits. In other words, agreeing to the rental company’s insurance coverage is equivalent to paying an additional fee for the insurance coverage you already have.

Chase Sapphire car rental insurance covers most car rentals, but there are a few exceptions to be aware of. For example, none of Chase’s credit cards cover the following:

  • Luxury vehicles from brands such as Maserati, Rolls Royce and Aston Martin (see Benefits Guide for a full list of excluded brands).
  • Vans designed for more than nine passengers
  • Rental periods over 31 days

To make sure you qualify for car rental insurance, please make sure your booking does not include any of these exclusions.

Using insurance when renting a car abroad

The basic rental car insurance benefit that comes with Chase Sapphire cards is available in the US and most foreign countries. While many credit card car rental benefits list countries where coverage is not offered, Chase Sapphire cards do not exclude any particular country from coverage.

On the other hand, rental companies in other countries may require you to purchase a CDW in order to rent a car. So while you should opt out of CDW and use your credit card insurance whenever possible, this may not be possible in every foreign country.

How to file a claim

If your rental car is damaged or stolen, follow these steps to get a refund for your repair costs:

  • Call the benefits administrator and report the incident as soon as your vehicle is damaged or stolen. To use your coverage, you must report the incident within 60 days of the incident, but the sooner the better.
  • Ask for as many documents as possible when you return your rental car and you will be charged for damages. Documentation may include a car rental agreement, a repair estimate, photographs of the car, or a police report.
  • Enter any additional costs from the rental company on the Sapphire card. This will expedite the refund if you qualify.
  • Complete the claim form that will be sent to you after you report the incident and must be submitted within 100 days of the original damage or theft. You must also provide any other documentation you have collected to improve your chances of getting your application approved.
  • Claims are usually paid within 15 days of filing documentation. The sooner you submit all the necessary documents, the sooner you can receive a refund.

bottom line

The basic car rental insurance coverage that comes with 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 wrecked car while on vacation, and credit card benefits can help take some of that stress off.

In addition, primary car rental insurance in the US is rare among premium cards. Even if you have another CDW card, your Sapphire card probably provides the best protection.

To take full advantage of your coverage, be sure to deduct all car rental costs from your Sapphire card or use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book. In the event of an accident, you’ll be glad you have this important protection.

Editorial disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective judgment of our contributors and is not based on advertising. It was not provided or ordered by credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to our partners’ products.

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