My Experience Using Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance

The hailstones were the size of golf balls.

Hail stones in Melbourne

We visited Melbourne, Australia for Christmas last year and had been enjoying the great weather. We’d visited St Kilda beach that morning to take advantage of the 98° temperature and were now in the comfort of the air conditioning at our friends’ house that evening.

The freak storm came out of nowhere. One moment it was quiet outside, the next our friends’ kids had leaped out of the beds they’d only just gotten tucked in to so that they could see what all the noise was about. The hail only lasted a couple of minutes, then all was quiet again other than the rain following it up.

Fearing the worst, I went outside to check our rental SUV once the rain had eased up. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I saw that it was only raindrops dotted over it.

Or so I thought.

The next morning we headed out to go wine tasting when I noticed a small ding on the Toyota RAV4. And another. Then another.

The raindrops had done a great job covering up all the damage. In the dryness of the new morning, our SUV now resembled a golf ball, with dimples peppering the entire vehicle.

Dings on the hood

The photo doesn’t do justice to how many dings were on it

The window trim had dings…

Dings on the window trim

…and even the tail lights were cracked.

Cracked tail light


Knowing there wasn’t anything we could do, we enjoyed our final week in Melbourne and apprehensively returned the SUV to Hertz on December 26.

The guy taking care of the return handed us a small slip of paper and asked us to take it to the Hertz counter. “Ooh, what happened?” they asked as we handed over the slip, so we explained that that their SUV, which only had 127 kms on the clock when we rented it, was now a dinged-up masterpiece.

They let us know that they’d put a hold on our credit card to cover repairs and that they’d be in contact once they knew the cost of repairs.

Although they’d put a hold on the card, there was still no actual charge three weeks later. I started wondering if they’d somehow forgotten about us.

January 22 – four weeks after returning the RAV4 – I got my answer. No, they hadn’t forgotten. And they’d be charging our credit card $3,585.30 AUD ($2,898.78).

How To Submit A CDW Claim With Chase

We’d thankfully paid for the rental with my wife’s Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, specifically because it includes primary coverage for auto rentals when you decline the rental company’s Collision Damage Waiver (which we had.)

So the evening after receiving the email from Hertz, we submitted a claim at eClaimsLine. The first step was choosing which benefit we needed to claim under.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Step 1

The next page required our personal information.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Step 2

At the third step, we had to provide some basic details about the incident. We were limited to 250 characters, so when submitting a CDW claim you have to be concise.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Step 3

The final step was to upload some documentation. There are numerous different documents that you might need to upload.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Step 4.1

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Step 4.1.1

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Step 4.1.2

The types of documents you have to upload will vary depending on the nature of your incident. For example, we weren’t renting for business and so didn’t need a letter from an employer. We also didn’t receive a settlement from an insurance company, so we didn’t have to upload a document for that either.

Here’s what it looked like once we’d uploaded all the necessary documentation:

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Step 4.2.1

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Step 4.2.2

The Chase Sapphire Reserve rental car insurance claims submission process was very straightforward, albeit time-consuming due to needing to gather photos of the damage, our reservation confirmation, the rental agency report, finalized rental agreement and more. Something I appreciated was that the claims process didn’t time out from inactivity due to how long it took to gather the documents.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance Step 4.3

After submitting the claim, we received an email from Card Benefit Services with the claim number and which also confirmed details of the claim.

We received a follow-up email a week later requesting a copy of our credit card statement with the charge from Hertz on it. The statement wasn’t due to close for another few weeks, so I dropped eClaimsLine an email to advise them of this and that we’d upload it as soon as possible.

The statement was available on February 19, so I saved a copy of it and attached it to our claim.

And waited.

I’ll admit – I was a little nervous about whether the claim would be covered. The benefit we’d declined was called ‘Collision Damage Waiver’ but, strictly speaking, there hadn’t been a collision. We’d not backed into a wall, we’d not been in an accident – we’d just been unfortunate enough to have parked the SUV on a driveway during a hailstorm.

Reading the Terms and Conditions of the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s benefit though, there was no exclusion for hail damage, so I was hopeful that the claim would be covered.

We’d find out less than two weeks later.

Chase Sapphire Reserve To The Rescue!

March 1 brought us the answer we’d been hoping for:

Dear Mrs Pepper :

I am writing to alert you that your claim has been paid. The check, per your request, has been issued to yourself in the amount of $2797.07.

This represents full settlement of the claim.

You will receive the check within approximately 7-10 business days.

Should you have any questions please contact us.

Card Benefit Services

Phew! I guess they’re of the view that hail collided with our car.

The $2,797.07 check is less than the $2,898.78 that Hertz charged our card – a difference of $101.71. I couldn’t find a reference to a $100 deductible, so we’ve emailed Card Benefit Services to find out the reason for the shortfall. Still, a $101.71 loss is far better than a $2,898.78 loss.

Edit: Card Benefit Services have replied to my email and provided this reason for the $101.71 shortfall:

The location fee, credit card surcharge and appraisal/assessment fee are not eligible for coverage and were deducted from the payment. The eligible expenses were the damage deductible/excess and the administrative/processing fee.

An Added Bonus

One of the other benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is that it earns 3x Ultimate Rewards on travel purchases. Seeing as Hertz charged our card $2,898.78 for the damage, we earned an additional 8,696.34 UR.

Even if we end up being out the $101.71, the extra 8,696.34 UR will more than make up for that.

Final Thoughts

Overall, we were extremely pleased with the claiming process for the Collision Damage Waiver benefit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. Disregarding the few weeks while we waited for the statement to close, it took under three weeks for our claim to be approved. It likely would’ve taken even less time if we’d waited until the statement had closed before submitting the claim.

We’re part of the 90% of cardholders that renewed their Chase Sapphire Reserve card after the first year. I’m glad we did, as it saved us almost $3,000.

About Stephen Pepper

Stephen Pepper is on a 5 year, 50 state road trip with his wife Shae and their dog Truffles. Finding opportunities to earn miles and points is one of the ways they can afford to do this, so he'll try to help you do the same for your own travels.

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95 Comments on "My Experience Using Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance"

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Brad Alvarez

Let us know about the missing $101 when you find out


Great write up! Just another reason I can’t wait until I go under 5/24 in 12 days!


I don’t have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred offer the same type of coverage? This is good to know as I would book ALL of my future car rentals with this card based on your post!


I’m currently going through this process after an accident in South Africa on February 17. Until now I have no charge from the rental company, not even for the rental, so I went ahead and submitted the claim with no documentation as you have 60 days to initiate a claim but 100 days to provide documentation.
Sounds like the charge may take a while, but no doubt it’s in the works (the car was totaled).
Dumb question, but I assume the $101 wasn’t the cost of the rental and thus deducted from the settlement amount?


“The benefit we’d declined was called ‘Collision Damage Waiver’ but, strictly speaking, there hadn’t been a collision.”

Technically it’s a “Collision/Damage Waiver” (with a slash), meaning either/or… at least that’s how it was on the paperwork when I worked there years ago.


Sounds like you could rack up lots of UR by deliberately damaging your rental vehicles 🙂


I’ve been told in the past that all cards that offer this sort of rental insurance become primary when you are out of the country (since your domestic policy that is in effect in the USA does not normally provide coverage in foreign countries). So the distinction between a card that offers primary versus secondary coverage is really only relevant when discussing domestic rentals.

Could you confirm that this is an accurate understanding?


Yes it is. For Chase cards, the business cards are primary domestic but secondary if used for personal travel. However it becomes primary even for personal travels. I know because we have read it carefully 2 years ago when we discovered our SPG AMEX Biz only covered rentals INSIDE US! (it has since changed to cover international rental sometime last year.)


It depends if your car insurance covers you outside of USA. For example our car insurance covers Canada and Mexico do Amex would be secondary there. Since our car insurance doesn’t cover European rentals then Amex is primary. Citi Prestige is primary outside of USA regardless of your own car insurance, IIRC


So glad to hear the benefit really works! Does Chase Ink also offer primary rental car coverage?


United business card provides 2ndary coverage inside US for personal use but primary internationally.

You really need to read the FINE PRINTS of the card you intend to use. there is no substitute of it – i.e. read the fine prints carefully to decide what your card would cover. and call the insurance provider for further clarification / letter.


What other credit cards provide damage coverage other than sapphire reserve?
Leaving on a trip without that card.
Amex Mercedes paltinum ? Or others
Thank you


My guess is that the $ amount changed because of the exchange rate. You were charged by Hertz at the prevailing exchange rate when the accident happened. You were paid by Chase at the prevailing exchange rate when they processed your claim.


He could have made money!!


New manufactured spend idea:

1. Rent luxury with CSR
2. Total said luxury car
3. Get billed by rental car company for cost of car
4. Get 3x UR points for each dollar charged
5. Get CSR to reimburse you the original amount charged.

What could go wrong?


Luxury cars are excluded, per the terms and conditions of the Chase reserve benefits.

I know because I read the entire terms and conditions yesterday. I’m leaving Costa Rica today. Yesterday, someone damaged the side mirror of my car while I was parked at a beach (another driver likely drove to close, hit the mirror and ran). So i’m filing a claim today. I didn’t rent a luxury car, so I should be covered. Nice to see an actual demonstrated case of this benefit being utilized.


Ah, well. Guess we’ll have to limit ourselves to about $30k manufactured spend..

In all seriousness, and this should be obvious, but I’m aware that this would be super shady and unethical. In fact, I would venture to believe the bigger the claim, the harder a look Chase is going to take at it.


I had a claim last year for a broken window. It was only about $150, but was paid promptly after submitting a lot of paperwork.


I appreciate the detail you show on the claim process. Smart move to use a CSR here (or even a Citi), because American Express does NOT cover car rentals in Australia, Italy and New Zealand. Even purchasing their premium car rental protection it would not cover Australia,
Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica and New Zealand.


Can you follow-up to let us know if you used any coupons or anything? I always feel like I’m overpaying for a weekend rental by not using a “free weekend day” coupon that many rental companies offer, but I’m also terrified that doing so would void the CSR coverage.


Looks like the original charge was in AUD and converted to USD. Wonder if the ~$100 difference is due to differences in the exchange rate from the time of the incident to the day the claim was paid?


I recall something like this happening for me and am guessing your invoice suggests that your parts total for the repair cost is $1017.10, the insurance company that chase works with claims that $101.71 is the 10% discount on the parts that hertz will get on this repair and therefore they will refuse to pay. If you get in touch with Hertz about this, they refuse to accept that they get a 10% discount on parts.

Your best bet would be to request Hertz their final payment receipt to the repair shop and also on the other hand talk to a supervisor at chase to pay that extra as that didn’t include the 10% clause in their terms and conditions. I hope this helps.


If this is what’s going on here, this is a huge argument for NOT using a Chase Sapphire Reserve.


Going to be renting a car in Australia next month, it looks like LDW coverage is included in the cost of rental cars there. Is that accurate? How did you handle that issue, ask to decline it at the counter? It sounds like you didn’t pay for excess reduction, but I’m curious if there was any snafu associated with coverage you may not be able to decline.


Exactly. Most sure this is what has happened – decline the Excess Reduction. You can NOT decline the basic CDW which is MANDATORY by the government.

Chase has told me whenever the basic CDW is mandatory by the government (*South Africa is where we rented last Sept) Chase card would pay the Excess.


I actually take a different message from this whole episode, largely because the underwriter shorted you by 3.5%. I wouldn’t use Chase for insurance because of it. Would love to compare to Citibank or Amex in a similar scenario. I wouldn’t take a 96.5% reimbursement as a proper outcome.


Do you get points from Hertz for the additional costs? That’d be a nice cherry on top.

Earl Lee

Actually I have a HUGE argument for why to NOT use a Chase Sapphire Reserve card for car rental. My friend and I went to Hawaii last year for his anniversary celebration. He used Chase Sapphire Reserve Ultimate Rewards points for the car rental. He used his Chase Sapphire Reserve as the guarantee card for charges.

Well the week was uneventful and no problems at all. His flight left in the morning so he returned his car early. (Originally he picked it up around 1 PM so he had until 1 PM to return it but he returned it early). Well, imagine his surprise when he got a charge on his credit card for the rental for a full day. He called the rental car company and they said he didn’t return the car in until after 3 PM so they charged him.

He told them it was impossible as his flight already left by then. He sent them a copy of his boarding ticket with the time of departure on it. They kept arguing with him. Unfortunately they never gave him anything when he turned in his rental car that morning. But still he could easily show that he already left on his flight.

He got tired of arguing with the rental car company and disputed it. You can imagine his shock when he ultimately lost and Chase sided with the rental car agency. He showed them his flight confirmation, boarding pass, etc.

I was really shocked to hear something like this. It’s one reason I’ll never use my CSR card to rent a car.

The ABSOLUTE best card that I have while renting a car is this Platinum AMEX US dollar card I opened in Europe. I’m not sure if you can still open it but the benefits are mind blowing –

I’ve NEVER had any rental car claims denied. Also, they cover you even for weather related incidents when your flight can’t fly due to weather they cover you for hotel. Best travel benefits card if you can get it.

Nick Reyes

As noted below, Amex excludes Australia for coverage.

It definitely sounds like your friend had a bad experience with the rental car company charging for a day he didn’t use. That stinks – and it stinks that Chase sided with the rental company in that case. However, this post is about an insurance claim – those are administered by a separate entity. Your friend’s experience is a bad instance of customer service with Chase and I can see why it might dissuade him from being a Chase customer in general — but it’s not directly related to rental car insurance.

The Amex Platinum card offers rental protection, and I have used it on occasion, but it is not included with the card benefits. You opt in for that coverage and pay for it each time you rent a car. I’m not saying it’s bad coverage, but it’s significantly different from the Chase Sapphire Reserve coverage in that you pay for it each time and it is not valid in select countries. To my knowledge, the CSR coverage is good worldwide and an included benefit with the CSR as long as you use your card to pay for the entire cost of the rental and decline the rental car company’s CDW.


Your friend NEEDED to get a confirmation of the Car being Returned. Even a hand written thing in the agency’s letter head and signed by the employee who received it.

We had similar scam pulled by Avis in Jo’burg when our car was returned the afternoon before but the receipt showed up the next morning indicated we returned it at 6am in the morning! That was despite the receiving agent was chatted with us all the time, and assured us everything was now entered on the computer and would be available overnight, when he was scribbled on his receiving form…

There were other scams this Avis location tried to pull. Our flight was not until noon so we kept our ground. We went to check in with CX first, then returned back to Avis counter. At that point we made them aware that if they still not addressed the issues, we would not leave, as it had been 2 hours from the initial time we showed up at the counter to query the wrong information on our invoice (wrong return time, gas charged for the full distance we have driven, that is a couple thousands kms! We said this pretty loudly. and eventually got them (2 depts involved) to correct the bill down to about $20 over charge from well over $300 extra. We made them print the final invoice, had the garage manager signed and wrote down her email address at Avis and left for the lounge. I was about to write Avis a long email upon return home to complain this but finally lost interest to pursuit, knowing the location has had numerous complaints on TripAdvisor and Avis HQ has not done a damn thing to address it – must be a franchise location and the HQ could not care less.


Had a good experience with Amex dealing w a European rental damage claim but note Amex exclusions: they won’t cover taxes for repairs and they exclude damages to tires and rims. Not sure if they’ve changed this but I’ve been using CSR last couple of years


Hope you realize that this shouldn’t affect your CSR renewal decision because you could have gotten this coverage from most other cards. Secondary car rental coverage is generally primary coverage internationally. You do have to make sure that the card you use does offer coverage in AUS/NZ, though. From my experience, most do, but there are still some that don’t. I’ve never kept a comprehensive list. There are a few other countries like Ireland that tend to pop up on exclusion lists too.

Nick Reyes

A comprehensive list would be a good idea. I was under the impression that most non-Chase credit cards exclude Australia, Ireland, Italy, and a couple of other countries with higher instances of claims.

Nick Reyes

Also worthy of note: I read the terms of the CDW offered by the rental company on a rental in Australia. They excluded any night driving — presumably due to the danger of hitting wildlife at night. I’d be on the lookout for similar terms.


Just to give one example, my BoA Premium Rewards card is secondary insurance in the US, but primary internationally. Their exclusions are: Israel, Jamaica, Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland.

I believe that most Visa cards with secondary insurance use this same list of countries and cover Australia/NZ nowadays.

Side note: I did use a card (sorry, I forgot which one) on a rental in NZ in 2013, but the contract had a line item for insurance that was included for free. It literally said $0.00. So I called my card’s benefits department, and they told me it was okay to accept. Their insurance would kick in to cover any excess and/or deductible not included with the “free” insurance and that accepting would not void my card’s coverage.


Chase Visa covers the EXCESS which is the deductible in our term, in all countries where the basic CDW is Mandatory by the government and is “free” as it is already factored into the rental rate. South Africa, Italy, Australia and NZ are among those there is government mandated CDW coverage included in the rental rate.
Citi covers those too.
AMEX definitely does not.
CapOne Visa cards dont either.
So not all Visa cards follow the basic list – it is up to the banks to decide whether their cards would offer such benefits, and probably only on the high end cards.


Not in Australia. Only Chase and Citi cover Australia and NZ, and a few other countries that AMEX and CapOne exclude – those include Italy, Israel, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The statement of most do cover Australia and NZ is very misleading. AMEX will tell you to take a hike.


This is all fine I guess but say the damage was like $10k or $20k would they put a hold for that much and make you float that cost until they send a check at a later date?


Yes it became primary coverage when you declined CDW but as with most of these credit card insurance plans, it only covers the cost of the vehicle, In the case of AMEX platinum up to $75,000, but not liability. Did you purchase liability coverage separately or does your US insurer provide coverage while in Australia? Most US insurers don’t cover outside the United States

Art Miles

Be sure to charge every dollar of the rental to the CSR card. When we turned in a damaged car there was a small, about $5, charge due for something or other. I started to pay cash but then told them to put it on the card. When submitting our claim I sent in the statement copy showing the original charge. They kept telling me they needed more information and it took several weeks of corresponding to figure out that they were trying to get the statement to match the rental records and the $5 discrepancy kept kicking it out. After submitting the second statement showing the additional charge the claim was processed immediately. The adjuster told me that if I had paid the $5 in cash it would have nullified the coverage.


I had two experiences trying to collect on the Reserve card, one for car damage. It turns out that for some reason they don’t cover damages for a rental in Brooklyn, NY. No clue why, but didn’t know that when I rented the car. The part that was my fault was that the damage was there when we got the car but I couldn’t find anywhere it was documented. I know this isn’t the place, but I tried to collect for luggage delay and they wanted so much documentation it wasn’t worth the time (they don’t give much to begin with and the airline was giving me some as well).


[…] Using Chase Sapphire Reserve’s Car Rental Insurance – Frequent Miler […]


Very similar experience with Chase Sapphire Preferred a couple of years ago. I managed to knock the back window out of a Chevy Tahoe. Process was smooth as silk. I continue to be impressed with the Chase cards.


As someone else mentioned, it is important to note that the card does NOT cover liability — meaning damage to other vehicles, property, or people. If you get in an accident, your rental car will be covered, but any damage to other cars or people will not be covered.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that this is true for this card as well as AmEx Platinum.

If what I’m saying is true, it does seem one needs to buy liability insurance from the car rental company (since your own US auto insurance company probably won’t cover you overseas).

dan smith

Liability is usually included in the rental . It covers damage to anything other then the vehicle and anyone other then the renter


[…]  If you use the CSR for car rentals and you have a claim, this is a good post about the whole process:  My Experience Using Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance. […]


Hi. Thanks for your very timely post. While visiting in LA a month ago, our rental car (Budget) was broken into while parked overnight on a residential street. They stole the front bumper, grille and headlights. I just sent in the claim for over $13,000 to Chase. I agree gathering the information took awhile, but the process so far has been very straightforward. I’m so glad I had paid the full amount to Budget with my CSR.
I’m curious to see how this turns out because instead of just replacing the missing parts, Budget salvaged the car for about $3,000 even though the car was in perfect working order-we didn’t know this at the time, but the tow truck driver started the car and drove it onto the flatbed.


I will always use my CSP or CSR when I finally do get it to rent cars. A few years ago I mistakenly scratched up a brand new rental car from Hertz in a very tight hotel parking garage in Honolulu Hawaii. I returned the car and filled out the paperwork. I got a call from Chase and explained everything to them. Hertz sent me the repair estimate. Chase dealt with Hertz directly and just kept me informed of the process. They paid Hertz the $600 check and called me to let me know that it was all settled. The Chase agents were always pleasant and courteous with every call to me. This experience alone has made me a Chase customer for life.


Authorized users take note (CSP): Our CDW claim eventually processed and was settled in full (this after a parking deck card reader scraped down one side of our Alamo minivan while visiting LA -already mangled by many a rental that came before, btw). As an AU on CSP there was a long delay because the AU is not listed in the CC statement needed to verify the rental purchase. I ended up having to email a photo of the card (last 4 digits blacked out) with my name to the claims administrators, which didn’t feel very secure. If you are traveling with the primary holder, make sure they rent the car.


My wife accumulates a lot of points renting from Hertz while on business travel. We have used her points for free weekly rentals many times while on vacation. Despite this being a “free” week, there are taxes and miscellaneous fees totaling about $60 – which we charge to the CSR card. Do you have any idea if a claim would be processed for this sort of a rental?

Vit R

We had our accommodation booked at AirBnb and due to a family emergency cancelled the trip. The travel insurance company not only wanted to see cancellations from AirBnB but they wanted to see letters from the hosts themselves on a company letterhead (!!!) saying that nobody checked in and they didn’t give us any credit. One host had no problem giving us that letter as that was a larger company. the other hosts were just a young couple They ignored most of the letters/emails/phone calls from us. Finally replied briefly on AirBnB and judging from the tone were not very happy about me contacting them directly.

After I have submitted all the documentation (back and forth took over a month) and followed up with them after 7 days of silence they said “we overlooked your email. the system didn’t generate the notification)

Also we had a Go San Diego card booked for the city attractions. The insurance company said I need to cancel it and get confirmation from the company that I can’t use it in the future. After I did that they said this expense is not eligible for reimbursement.

The whole process took over 2 months


[…] This deal looks pretty good if you anticipate renting from Alamo. Keep in mind that the certificate won’t apply to taxes and fees, though it will reduce your taxes proportionally, so the savings could actually be a bit more than $25. You can use up to 3 certificates per rental, meaning that you can save close to half on rentals of $50, $100, or $150. I often find Alamo to have pretty competitive pricing, so this discount looks pretty good to me. It can even be stacked with 5% off for those who join Alamo Insiders. Also keep in mind that many credit cards require that you pay the entire cost of the rental on your card in order to qualify for insurance with the card, so you may be forfeiting that when using certificates. While it’s not common to need your card’s rental car insurance, Stephen Pepper recently outline an experience where it sure came in handy for him: My Experience Using Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance. […]


Thanks for such a detailed log! I’ve always wondered what this process would be like!


Hi Stephen, was your wife the primary driver on the rental agreement? Is that required for coverage, or were you the primary driver, and as long as you pay with the Chase card it’s all good?


Same question I just asked! (Except about non-spouses because I believe often spouses are covered automatically by rental car contracts.) Hope someone responds.


Anybody know if CSR would cover both cardholders (primary and AU), even if only one name was on the rental agreement? (And they are unmarried.) I’ve often booked through Costco travel because they give a free second driver. But I had a lot of trouble with a CSR auto damage claim because I had booked through Costco. It would be a lot easier to book direct.


[…] insurance. The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card on the other hand offers primary coverage which does pay out when it should. It also earns 3x Ultimate Rewards on car rentals which can then be transferred to your World of […]