Car rentals can be a vital addition to many trips, but the added cost of rental car insurance may be more than you expected. Fortunately, you may already have the coverage you need, depending on which credit cards are in your wallet — and the type of insurance they provide.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, purchasing rental car coverage from an agency may be unnecessary. This Chase credit card comes with the built-in benefit of rental car insurance, so you can opt not to purchase additional coverage from the rental company. This can save you a lot of money over the duration of your car rental.
Chase Sapphire Preferred rental car insurance: What it covers
It’s important to have a good understanding of what this credit card insurance covers before you rent a car. The Chase Sapphire Preferred rental car insurance is better known as a collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW) and should not be confused with liability insurance or personal accident coverage.
This CDW insurance covers physical damage and theft of most rental vehicles. The amount covered is up to the actual cash value of the rental car on rentals that do not exceed 31 consecutive days. You’re also covered for loss-of-use charges and the cost of having an eligible vehicle towed to the nearest qualified repair shop.
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders and any authorized drivers listed on the rental agreement are covered by this insurance. Coverage is applicable when renting a vehicle within the U.S. and abroad.
If you’re renting a vehicle within your country of residence, this CDW coverage is secondary to your personal car insurance coverage. So you’ll first need to file a claim with your personal auto insurer before using this coverage. If you’re away from your home country, this CDW coverage is primary, which means you don’t first need to file a claim with your personal auto insurer.
To qualify for coverage, the vehicle rental must be paid in full using the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You must also decline the rental company’s CDW or LDW coverage.
Chase Sapphire Preferred rental car insurance: Coverage exclusions
Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred rental car insurance does provide an ample amount of coverage and is one of the best travel credit cards, it won’t cover everything. Most credit cards that offer car rental insurance typically have a few restrictions. Here are some coverage exclusions and limitations on this card:
- Expensive and exotic automobiles, including antiques; vans with passenger capacities above nine; vehicles with an open cargo bed; trucks; motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes; limousines and recreational vehicles
- Anything covered by your or your employer’s insurance
- Injuries inside or outside the vehicle
- Loss or theft of personal belongings
- Any violation of the car rental agreement
If you think you may need more coverage, research credit card rental car insurance and the different types of coverage available. Remember, the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s coverage is supplementary to your personal car insurance coverage.
In most cases, your personal car insurance comes with liability coverage and personal accident insurance, which means there’s no need to purchase it from a rental car company. The same may apply for coverage of personal effects if you have homeowners or renters insurance.
How to file a Chase rental car insurance claim
When you’re submitting a claim, it’s essential you follow the steps of the process exactly, as there are strict time frames in place that require a quick turnaround. Here’s how to submit a claim:
- Immediately following an incident involving theft or damage of your rental vehicle, contact the benefit administrator to report it. This person can help with all your Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits needs. Call the toll-free number on the back of your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to contact them.
Note: Do not wait to see who is at fault. You have 60 days to notify the benefit administrator of the damage or theft.
- The benefit administrator will send you a claim form. You must complete and submit this form within 100 days of the damage or theft.
- Submit all required supporting documents within 365 days of the damage or theft.
Supporting documents may include:
- Photographs of the damage
- A copy of an accident and/or police report
- A copy of the car rental agreement and rental receipt (showing the car rental was completely paid for by your covered card)
- A copy of the repair estimate
The final word on Chase Sapphire Preferred rental car insurance
So, is rental car insurance a waste of money? Much of the time, it can be. Some rental companies may charge upwards of $30 a day for their collision coverage. Depending on the length of your rental, you could be looking at hundreds of dollars extra. If you used your Chase Sapphire Preferred to pay for your rental car, you can likely waive that extra coverage and keep that money in your pocket.
As always, though, review your cardmember agreement and personal insurance policies before making a final decision on whether you need rental car insurance.
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