I haven’t had experience with the claims process. So I asked him to share what happened!
Harlan: See that little ding in the photo above? I was torn whether I should file an incident report. But in the end, I did.
The following week, I got a call from the rental car agency’s claims department saying I had to pay for the repairs. Luckily, I paid for the rental with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which comes with primary rental car insurance.
It saved me from paying ~$692 out-of-pocket for this tiny mark! I’ll share what happened. And remind you which cards come with primary rental car coverage.
How I Filed My Car Rental Insurance Claim
Link: Start a New Claim
To say I was shocked when I got the final bill for ~$692 is putting it mildly. The rental car agency explained I was responsible for ANY damage to the vehicle no matter who caused it.
Chase made it easy to start my claim online. And it only took a few minutes to upload the required documents, including:
- A copy of the Accident Report or police report and the rental agency’s statement of claim document, which should indicate the costs you are responsible for and any amounts that have been paid toward the claim
- A copy of the initial and final car rental agreement(s)
- A copy of the repair estimate or itemized repair bill
- Two photographs of the damaged vehicle, if available
I already had these documents in various emails. So it was just a matter of saving the files and uploading them. And I looked through my phone for photos I took of the ding. All told, it only took a few minutes to upload the files.
Rental car coverage with the Chase Sapphire Reserve is primary. That means I didn’t have to involve my personal car insurance company. Instead, Chase would cover up to $75,000 in damage because I paid for the entire rental charge with my card. That’s an incredible benefit!
It was also one I was hoping to never use. I put the Chase claims department in touch with the car rental agency’s claims department. It was as easy as giving representatives from each company the claim numbers and each other’s contact information.
Three months later, I got another call that everything was taken care of. I never paid a single buck toward the vehicle’s repair, loss of use, or any other fees.
This incident – and how easy it was resolved – has convinced me why it’s extremely important to always pay for car rentals with a card that includes primary rental car coverage! And to take lots of photos should anything happen. Also, keep every piece of paper – including rental agreements, reservation details, and incident reports – in case anything like this ever happens to you!
Which Cards Include Primary Car Rental Insurance?
Here are some cards to consider if you rent cars with any frequency.
Always remember to check the benefits guide so you know what’s covered (and what’s NOT!), how much your coverage is worth, and any other important information. To use the coverage, it’s important you waive or decline the insurance from the car rental agency, usually called a collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW).
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card when you rent a car for business purposes
- Chase Ink Bold (no longer available) when you rent a car for business purposes
- Chase Ink Plus (no longer available) when you rent a car for business purposes
- Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card when you rent a car for business purposes
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card when you rent a car for business purposes
- United MileagePlus® Club Card
- United Club Business when you rent a car for business purposes
- United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
- Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi (according to reader Robert in comments)
3. Other Cards
Keep in mind, you can enroll for free in the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection program. But you’ll pay ~$25 (~$18 for California residents) per rental for up to 42 consecutive rental days (30 consecutive rental days for Washington State cardholders).
Primary rental car coverage also comes with the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card (except in Israel, Jamaica, Ireland, and Northern Ireland).
You get primary rental car insurance worldwide (except where prohibited by law) when you pay for your rental car with your Diners Club card (not available to new applicants). You can also get primary rental car insurance when you pay with your JP Palladium card (only available to invited Chase Private Bank customers).
Here’s my guide with more information.
Team member Harlan used the primary rental car coverage included with his Chase Sapphire Reserve card when he spotted a ding on his rental car. This benefit ended up saving him ~$692 in repairs and fees!
He spent a few minutes uploading documents to submit his claim. And Chase worked directly with the car rental agency to take care of it for him! This experience convinced him how important it is to use a card with primary rental car insurance every time he rents a car!
A few cards with this perk include:
If you ever rent cars, this perks lets you file a claim without having to involve your personal insurance company. And it can save you a lot of money if you ever have an incident!
If you’ve used your card’s rental car insurance, how did your experience compare?