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No one wants to get into an accident, especially when they’re renting a car. However, sometimes the worst happens and you end up with damage to your vehicle. What happens then? If you’ve rented the car with an eligible Chase card, you may have complimentary Chase car rental insurance, which can cover the costs of the incident.
Let’s take a look at Chase’s rental car insurance, what it covers and how to make a claim if you’re in an accident.
Does a Chase credit card cover rental car insurance?
As a card issuer, Chase is generous when it comes to rental car insurance. Many of its credit cards include complimentary insurance in one form or another, but the coverage levels for these can vary.
To be eligible for Chase car rental insurance, you’ll need to use your card to pay for the entire transaction. You’ll also need to decline the coverage offered by the rental car company. By doing both of these things, you’ll be automatically covered with Chase’s insurance.
Here are some of the different Chase cards that provide rental car insurance, including those from the Chase Sapphire line:
Be aware that these cards provide varying levels of coverage. Some cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, will grant you primary coverage. This means that this insurance will pay out before other options — including your personal insurance.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
Other cards, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, have more limited benefits. With this card, coverage is secondary in your country of residence and primary while abroad. This means that if you get into a car accident at home, Chase will only pay out after other sources have made their contributions.
If you don’t have personal car insurance, secondary coverage becomes primary, even while in the U.S.
Long story short: Your Chase card will most likely provide rental car insurance, but you’ll want to check your individual guide to benefits before renting to see what type of coverage it has.
What does Chase car rental insurance cover?
Credit card rental insurance isn’t as comprehensive as a personal insurance policy, but it can do a fairly good job protecting you. If you already have insurance on a car you own, that policy will likely cover you when driving a rental car.
Otherwise, Chase’s rental car insurance covers these types of incidents:
Physical damage to the car.
Theft of a covered rental vehicle.
Loss-of-use charges incurred by the rental car agency.
Reasonable towing charges.
Again, the total coverage amount will vary according to the card that you hold. The Chase Sapphire Reserve®, for example, will reimburse you for up to $75,000 in damage. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, meanwhile, will only reimburse you for up to the actual cash value of the vehicle.
Be aware that Chase’s rental car insurance only covers damage to your vehicle. In the event that you hit someone else, it won’t provide any coverage for their damage. Finally, there is a limit to the period of time you can rent a car and still receive this insurance. You cannot have the vehicle for more than 31 days.
Chase is also one of the few card issuers whose rental car insurance is valid in countries that other providers exclude, such as Ireland, Israel and Jamaica.
» Learn more: Best credit cards for rental cars
Who is covered?
Chase credit card rental car insurance can be expanded to more than one person. Although the cardholder must be the primary renter, it’s possible to add additional drivers to your rental agreement.
Anyone listed on the agreement is then eligible for coverage through Chase’s rental car insurance.
Some rental car companies charge a daily fee for adding extra drivers, though your spouse may be added for free in certain locations.
How to file a claim with Chase rental car insurance
There are multiple ways to file a claim for an incident, including options over the phone and online. You’ll want to report the incident as quickly as possible, but no later than 100 days after it occurred.
If you’d prefer, you can choose to first contact your Benefit Administrator, who will then send you a claim form that you’ll need to complete. The number for your Benefit Administrator can be found in your guide to benefits.
Otherwise, you can skip that step and start your claim by navigating to Chase’s online claim website.
You’ll then need to provide additional documentation. What you need can vary based on your card and whether your insurance is primary or secondary. In general, though, expect to have these on hand:
Copy of the repair estimate and itemized bill.
Copy of your credit card statement showing that you used your card to pay.
Copy of the rental agreement.
Copy of the accident report form.
Police report (if possible).
Two photographs of the damaged vehicle (if possible).
A copy of the demand letter indicating the costs you owe.
All of this needs to be turned in no later than 365 days after the date of the incident. After you’ve submitted your documents, Chase can finalize your claim. It’ll then reimburse the rental car company directly.
» Learn more: Declining rental car insurance abroad? Know the risks
Chase car rental insurance, recapped
Chase’s car rental insurance can save you a lot of money when renting a car. Thanks to its wide range of coverage and primary status, you can feel safe when on the road — even if you already have personal insurance.
Be sure to use your Chase card to pay for the vehicle and decline the rental car company’s insurance in order to qualify for this complimentary benefit.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card