One of the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Card is secondary insurance that covers damage to your rental vehicle. Instead of paying upwards of $30 a day, the Chase Sapphire can cover damage to your rental car.
This option hasn’t gotten a ton of love, mostly because it is secondary. If you have a deductible your car insurance would make you pay to cover an accident, that kicks in first. Then the rest gets covered by Visa. But the great side of this is if you do not have insurance.
Which is the case with me–I don’t have a car. I haven’t for about two years. I live in a city, have a zip car membership (that has insurance specific to the zip car), and rent when I travel.
I’ve also had a stellar driving record.
Who knew the most expensive car I’ve ever driven would also be the first one I got into a car accident with?
I was driving along when CRASH. I was in a car accident, and I seriously (to this day) do not know what happened.
The damage was minor, but car rental companies are very attune to even minor damage.
Immediately my heart started racing, and I had to calm down and think through what options I selected when I went to the rental car service:
1. I used my Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa card, and declined the Damage Waiver, relying on the Chase Sapphire Rental Car Insurance.
2. I selected the extended personal liability option. Not all options at the Car Rental place are there to trick you. I needed this insurance as an uninsured driver.
I was pretty sure I had done the right thing, but I did question it often in my mind just to make sure I had covered everything.
Then here’s what happened afterwards, in sequence.
The other driver didn’t want to call the cops.
When the police showed up, they thought the same thing, but I made sure to tell them my car was a rental. As soon as I said that, the policeman’s demeanor changed. He told me I should always get a police report when I’m in a rental car, even if I’m an insured driver.
I Immediately Called the Number in the Chase Sapphire Rental Car Insurance Section of My Sign-Up Packet
Okay, not MY sign-up packet. I lost that long ago, but I found one online. So I called the number and they opened a case for me. I received an email letting me know there was a case and that it was documented, and what information they would eventually need.
I Dropped My Car off at Alamo
And they said nothing about the damage. At all. So I waited.
<three weeks later>
Alamo sends me a letter detailing that there has been some damage.
I Received a Call from Alamo About the Accident
This was before I received information about the damage to the car and because I had given Alamo as my insurance provider for liability reasons. The police report hadn’t been released yet, but the adjuster wanted to start gathering what he needed for the accident.
I mentioned I had Chase Sapphire rental car insurance for damage to the car (noting it was minor). He took down my case number and said he would reach out to them and send them whatever he actively gathered. Sweet.
I was expecting to do a lot of paperwork, so was just waiting for it to come in. Well, I couldn’t actively wait. I was in Hawaii for three weeks.
But I did worry about whether or not there was paperwork sitting in my mailbox that I needed to fill out.
When I got back, there was nothing in my mailbox. In fact, I didn’t hear anything until the end of May. The accident happened March 9th.
Visa Contacted Me
I received an email from Visa asking for my Credit Card Statement to prove I was eligible for Chase Sapphire Rental Car Insurance, and a notarized statement mentioning that I did not have car insurance at the time of the accident.
I sent those over immediately, and again, waited.
I received an email two weeks later letting me know they received my Credit Card Statement and were still waiting on the notarized statement. I asked them to check their records please, mostly because I did not want to go through the time of getting something notarized again.
I Was Approved!
I received an email letting me know my “notarized letter just came in the mail” (I did not argue that, don’t argue the small meaningless things) and all the insurance paperwork was taken care of.
Just like that.
All it took was two short phone calls and mailing them relatively easy to obtain files.
In the meantime, I got married and went to Hawaii for three
months weeks–and did not have to worry about a thing the entire time. (Edit: Whoops, I wish I were there for three months!)
Just remember these steps if you are using the Chase Sapphire Rental Car Insurance Benefit:
1. Decline Damage Waiver. If you are uninsured, select the extended liability option. The names will be different based on where you are renting, so read to make sure you are getting personal liability.
2. Call the Cops if you get into an accident. You need that police report.
3. Actively reach out to Chase’s service (it really is through Visa) to document and start the case. Reach out to the rental car company if you also got insurance through them.
4. Wait and send them any documents they ask for in a timely manner.
And you’re done!
Have you had any experiences with getting into an accident in a rental car?