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August 2, 2019

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance

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Chase Sapphire Reserve offers primary coverage for car rentals. Learn what this covers, how to use it, and how to file a claim.

With 3x points on travel and dining, $300 annual travel credit, airport lounge access, and 1:1 transfer to airline and hotel partners, Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the most popular premium 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.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Car Rental Insurance Key Points:

  • Offers primary collision and damage insurance up to $75,000.
  • 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.

What Is Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

Chase Sapphire Reserve offers primary coverage for Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). This benefit reimburses you for damage due to collision or theft on a rental car.

You are covered up to $75,000 on most rental vehicles in the U.S. and abroad.

All car rental companies offer this protection at extra cost. With Chase Sapphire Reserve, 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 Reserve 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 just 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 Reserve authorized users get the same primary coverage when they rent a car with their card. Each authorized user for the Sapphire Reserve card costs $75.

Authorized users also get their own complimentary airport lounge access.

What Is Covered

This benefit covers most private passenger cars, minivans, and SUVs in the U.S. and abroad, up to $75,000.

Here is what is covered:

  • Car rentals up to 31 consecutive days
  • Physical damage of the rental vehicle
  • Theft of the rental vehicle
  • Valid loss-of-use charges while the damaged vehicle is not available for rent
  • Reasonable towing charges to the nearest repair facility

$75,000 will cover most vehicles, even many luxury cars. Of course, if you want to rent something like an Aston Martin, you probably want to buy the rental company's insurance.

What Is NOT Covered

Here is what is not covered:

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

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

Who Is Covered

Chase Sapphire Reserve'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 Reserve card when they rent a car with their card (and any additional drivers on their rental agreement)

Is There Liability Coverage?

Note that Chase Sapphire Reserve's CDW benefit does NOT cover personal liability, which is protection against damage and injuries to others while driving the rental car.

So if you get into an accident that is your fault, the Reserve 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.

The Reserve's CDW also doesn't cover injuries to yourself if you get into an accident. However, if you do get injured while traveling, it does have emergency medical coverage up to $2,500 for you and immediate family members.

Are International Rentals Covered?

Chase Sapphire Reserve's CDW does cover you for car rentals in most foreign countries.

A lot of credit card auto rental insurance excludes certain countries such as Ireland, Italy, Israel, Jamaica, Australia, and New Zealand (many of which are popular destinations to rent cars). Chase does not have these exclusions.

However, before going to these countries, call your Benefit Administrator first to confirm that you will be covered. Get a letter from Chase stating that your Sapphire Reserve 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 Reserve 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 Reserve 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 Reserve'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. You have 60 days to report, but you want to do so immediately.

    It's easiest to file the claim online through Or you can request to have a claim form mailed to you.

  2. Take photos. Take clear photos of the damaged vehicle and accident scene.

  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, you need to provide copies of:

    • The entire rental agreement

    • The receipt or monthly statement showing that the entire rental was charged to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card

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

    • Repair estimate or itemized repair bill

    • At least 2 photos of the damaged vehicle

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

Generally, Chase will review and pay the claim within 15 days of receiving all required documentation. There is no more action on your part.

Users have reported that while Chase is pretty straightforward to deal with, the rental company is more of a pain. Make sure you follow up with them often to get the documents.

Note that this benefit is a reimbursement. This means the rental company will first charge you for the damage. You can have it charged directly to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card (and earn some points while at it).

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

Bottom Line

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

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 it covered 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.

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  • Earn 50,000 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®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
18.49% - 25.49% Variable

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