How the Chase Sapphire Preferred Rental Car Insurance Works

With a few exceptions, the card's auto collision damage waiver perk will provide coverage for all damage or theft.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 

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One of the many benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is rental car insurance that applies almost anytime you rent a car. Collision damage waiver coverage purchased through rental car companies can cost around $30 per day. That means this one card perk can easily save Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card holders more than the card's $95 annual fee each year.

However, cardholders need to know what's covered and excluded to avoid pitfalls. Let's dig into how the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rental car insurance works and the benefits and limitations of the coverage.

How to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rental car insurance

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card auto rental collision damage waiver coverage is automatic as long as cardholders meet a few requirements and follow a few steps.

First, you must use your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to pay the total price of the car rental. This may seem obvious, but it's important to note that this coverage isn't automatic just for being a cardholder.

When renting and picking up the car, you must decline the rental company's collision damage waiver coverage or similar coverage options that cover damage to the rental car. If you purchase this insurance, your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card coverage will not apply.

Finally, you must check the rental car for any prior damage before driving the rental car off the lot. Chase doesn't assume responsibility for damage caused before you rent the vehicle or after you return it to the rental company.

What's covered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rental car insurance

If you meet all of the requirements — and avoid the exclusions detailed below — you'll automatically receive a collision damage waiver on your rental car. This coverage will reimburse you for any damage or theft to the vehicle while in your control. Plus, Chase will cover any "loss-of-use" charges, and administrative and towing fees imposed by the rental company.

This coverage is primary. That means you won't need to file with your personal auto insurance company first. Instead, you can start with Chase's benefits administrator if you need to file a claim. After providing all required documentation, the benefits administrator will reimburse you for damages caused by theft or collision up to the actual cash value of the vehicle.

What's limited in coverage

The rental car coverage provided by the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can help give travelers peace of mind when renting cars. However, there are many exclusions and limitations to note.

Coverage only shields the rental car

Perhaps the most critical aspect to keep in mind about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rental car insurance is that it only covers physical damage to — or theft of — the rental vehicle.

No coverage for injuries to you, your passengers or anyone outside the car is provided. Also, this coverage doesn't provide liability coverage for damage caused to other vehicles or property.

Before renting a car, check with your car insurance company to see if your personal coverage extends to rental cars. If not, we recommend purchasing additional coverage through your car insurance or car rental company.

Eligible rental agencies

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rental car insurance only covers rentals from a commercial "rental agency” whose primary business is automobile rentals. That means peer-to-peer rentals — such as through Turo — aren't covered through the card's insurance.

Similarly, hourly rentals, such as those through companies like Zipcar, are excluded. Chase also expressly excludes leases, mini leases and rental periods that exceed 31 days.

Excluded vehicles

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card car rental insurance also excludes certain types of vehicles.

Exclusions include:

  • High-value motor vehicles, including Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar and Porsche rentals.

  • Exotic and antique cars (defined as cars over 20 years old or vehicles that have not been manufactured for 10 years or more).

  • Cargo vans.

  • Vehicles with open cargo beds.

  • Trucks other than pickup trucks.

  • Motorcycles, mopeds and motorbikes.

  • Limousines.

  • Recreational vehicles.

  • Passenger vans with seating for more than nine people, including the driver.

If you want to rent a Tesla through Hertz, think twice before putting it on your Chase card. Tesla vehicles are expressly excluded from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rental car insurance.

Country limitations

Per Chase’s Guide to Benefits, the rental car insurance provided by the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is available "in the United States and most foreign countries." The Guide to Benefits doesn't list any excluded countries.

When we called the benefits administrator, an agent confirmed that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rental car insurance is available in all countries at this time.

How to file a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rental car insurance claim

Like any type of insurance, you hope never to need to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card auto rental collision damage waiver. But it's still a good idea to know how to file a claim.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card holders have two ways of starting a rental car insurance claim: over the phone or online. To file a claim over the phone, start by calling 888-320-9961. If you're outside of the U.S., you can call collect at 804-673-1691.

But, you may find it easier to start the process online. To begin your claim process online, browse the eclaims site and enter your card number and name to get started.

Timeframe for filing a rental car insurance claim

Cardholders need to start the claims process within 100 days of the damage or theft. Once you do, the benefits administrator will send you a claim form. You'll need to fill this out and submit it within 120 days of the date of the damage or theft. Finally, Chase requires that you submit all required supporting documentation within 365 days of the damage or theft.

Rental car insurance with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, recapped

One of the great perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is complimentary auto collision damage waiver anytime you rent an eligible vehicle. This coverage will cover almost all car rentals from traditional car rental companies — but excludes rentals through car-sharing services like Turo.

If you're splurging on a luxury car rental, beware of exclusions on high-value and exotic brands. Also, remember that this coverage only protects against damage to or theft of the rental car itself. You'll need separate liability coverage for medical expenses or damage to others' property.

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