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July 27, 2019

Chase Sapphire Preferred Rental Car Insurance

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Chase Sapphire Preferred offers primary coverage for rental cars. Learn what this covers, how to use it, and how to file a claim.

With 2x points on travel & dining, 1:1 transfer to airline and hotel partners, and a ton of travel benefits, Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular travel rewards cards.

Perhaps the most useful benefit is the complimentary car rental insurance. It offers superior coverage compared to other travel rewards cards.

Read to learn everything you need to know.

What is Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

Chase Sapphire Preferred Car Rental Insurance Key Points:

  • Offers primary collision and damage insurance.
  • Save money by declining the insurance offered by the rental company.
  • Do not have to file a claim with your car insurance company.
  • Authorized users and additional drivers are also covered.

Chase Sapphire Preferred offers primary coverage for Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). This benefit reimburses a rental for two things:

  1. Collision Damage
  2. Theft

You are covered up to the actual cash value of the car of most rental vehicles in the U.S. and abroad.

All car rental companies will offer this protection at extra cost. With Chase Sapphire Preferred, you automatically have primary coverage when you decline the rental company's CDW (or similar insurance). This can save you some money.

Primary vs. Secondary Coverage

Chase Sapphire Preferred provides primary coverage. This means that you DO NOT need to file a claim with your own car insurance company if an incident occurs. You handle the claim directly through Chase.

This is a huge benefit because your insurance company doesn't have to know about the accident. So your personal insurance premium won't increase.

Most credit cards and car rental CDWs offer secondary rental coverage. This means you first need to file a claim with your own insurance company.

The credit card benefit will then only cover costs not covered by your insurance company (such as the deductible and costs over your coverage amount).

Do authorized users get primary rental car insurance too?
Your Chase Sapphire Preferred authorized users get the same primary coverage when they rent a car with their card. It's free to add authorized users to your Sapphire Preferred card.

What is Covered

This benefit covers most private passenger cars, minivans, and SUVs in the U.S. and abroad, up to the actual cash value of the car.

Here is what is covered:

  • Car rentals up to 31 consecutive days

  • Physical damage of the rental vehicle

  • Theft of the rental vehicle

  • Reasonable towing charges to the nearest repair facility

  • Valid loss-of-use charges while the damaged vehicle is not available for rent

What is NOT Covered

Here is what is not covered:

  • Exotic or expensive vehicles

  • Motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes

  • Injury of anyone or anything inside or outside of the vehicle

  • Damage due to the driver being under the influence

  • Damage due to using the car off-road

  • Loss or theft of personal belongings

  • Personal liability

  • Wear and tear, gradual deterioration, or mechanical breakdown

  • Rentals that exceed 31 days

  • Antique automobiles, certain vans, vehicles with an open cargo bed, trucks, limousines, and RVs

For a full list of what is not covered, review the Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits Guide.

Expensive and exotic car brands NOT covered include: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach, McLaren, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Tesla.

Selected models of Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, and Range Rover ARE covered.

Who is Covered

Chase Sapphire Preferred's auto rental insurance covers:

  • The primary cardholder whose name is on the card.

  • Additional drivers listed in your rental agreement.

  • Authorized users on your Sapphire Preferred card when they rent a car with their card (and any additional drivers on their rental agreement).

Is There Liability Coverage?

Chase Sapphire Preferred's CDW benefit does NOT cover personal liability, which is protection against damage and injuries to others while driving the rental car.
If you get into an accident that is your fault, the Preferred card won't cover medical costs and property damage to the other party.

You should never drive without liability coverage. Your own personal car insurance may offer this protection. If not (or you don't have car insurance at all), you can purchase it from the car rental company.

Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn't cover injuries to yourself if you get into an accident. The card also offers no travel emergency medical coverage.

Are International Rentals Covered?

Many credit card auto rental insurance excludes certain countries such as Ireland, Italy, Israel, Jamaica, Australia, and New Zealand (all popular destinations to rent cars). Chase Sapphire Preferred's CDW does NOT have these exclusions.

However, before traveling abroad, call your Benefit Administrator first to confirm your coverage. You may also want to get a letter stating that your Sapphire Preferred card includes CDW coverage.

In many cases, the rental company will want to see this assurance since you're declining their CDW.

How to Use the Sapphire Preferred CDW Benefit

To correctly receive CDW coverage when you rent a car, you MUST do the following:

  1. Reserve and pay for the entire rental transaction with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

  2. Decline the car rental company's auto rental Collision Damage Waiver or similar insurance (it may also be called Loss Damage Waiver or LDW).

If you do not decline the rental company's CDW, Chase Sapphire Preferred's insurance will not be eligible.

Am I covered even if I use points to pay for the car rental?
Yes. Chase allows you to use Ultimate Rewards points (or a combo of points and credit card) to pay for car rentals. You will still receive primary CDW coverage if you use points.

How to File a Claim

If your rental car received damage or was stolen, take the following steps:

  1. Report the incident within 60 days.
    Ideally, you should report all incidents immediately. You can file the claim online through or request to have a claim form mailed to you.

  2. Take photos of the incident.
    Clear photos of the damaged vehicle and accident scene will help document the incident.

  3. Send the claim form within 100 days.
    Even if you don't have the other documents ready, it's extremely important you send the claim form within 100 days of the incident. Otherwise, your claim may be denied.

  4. Send other required documents.
    Within 365 days of the incident, there are several other documents that you need to send, including:

    • The entire rental agreement

    • Repair estimate or itemized repair bill

    • At least 2 photos of the damaged vehicle

    • Police report, if applicable (required for stolen cars)

    • Your card receipt or monthly statement

    • Accident Report Form from the car rental company and Demand Letter indicating the costs you are responsible for

Generally, Chase will review and pay the claim within 15 days of receiving all required documentation. However, some users have reported that dealing with the rental company can be more challenging. Make sure to follow up with them often to get the documents.

This benefit is a reimbursement.
This means the rental company will first charge you for the damage. However, you can have it charged directly to your Chase Sapphire Preferred card (and earn some points to boot).

Once Chase reviews and accepts the claim, they'll reimburse you. But you'll have to cover the cost during the claims process, which can take 3 months or more.

Bottom Line

Chase Sapphire Preferred offers perhaps the best auto rental insurance of any credit card. It offers peace of mind when renting, and can save you a lot of money in case of an accident.

The coverage is primary, which means you don't have to file first with any other kinds of insurance. This helps you avoid your personal premium going up. Just note that personal liability is not included, so make sure you have that coverage elsewhere.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

More from CreditDonkey:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Reserve

Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No delivery fees for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DashPass subscription from DoorDash -over a $100 value. Activate with your Chase Sapphire card by December 31, 2021.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
17.49% - 24.49% Variable

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Chase Sapphire Preferred usually requires an excellent credit score (720+). But this is not the only deciding factor. Find out how to improve your odds.

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