How Does the Chase Sapphire Rental Car Insurance Work for the Uninsured?

Chase Sapphire Rental Car InsuranceOne 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.  Your primary insurance would cover an accident.  If you have a deductible your car insurance would make you pay to cover an accident, that kicks in first, so there would be an immediate cost.  Your primary covers the first part of the cost (up to what they cover), then the rest gets covered by Visa.  But the great side of this is if you do not have insurance.

The coverage becomes primary if you do not have any other coverage.

So how are you covered through this?  You are covered for damage to the car you are driving.  This includes damage from catching a column in a parking garage or damage to the rental car vehicle in an accident.

It Does Not Cover Liability

It does NOT cover the damage to another person’s car or liability for injuries to other people.

For this reason, even though there is some liability insurance built into some rentals, I always select  the Personal Liability option (not all coverage is there as a trick!)

What you want to do with personal liability is ultimately up to you, but here’s a guide to things you need to worry about (ignore his rant about the credit card companies, Chase Sapphire does not do those things unless you rent a huge van or other unlikely rental car options).  I personally would never decline it.  It has a few different names for different rental car companies, so look for the keyword “liability” under the descriptions.

Just remember these steps if you are using the Chase Sapphire Rental Car Insurance Benefit as an Uninsured Drive:

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!  There’s a little bit of paperwork, but it is relatively painless.



About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. What if I have my own liability insurance, but want to use their coverage for the CDW (in case of accident, hail or other damage), to avoid paying the $10-25 per day…will it kick in as the primary collision if I am paying with the card?

  2. You say “If you have a deductible your car insurance would make you pay to cover an accident, that kicks in first.” What does “if you have a deductible” have anything to do with this?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Meaning, the damage waiver doesn’t result in your paying $0. If you have a deductible, you pay the amount, let’s say $500, then your insurance covers it, and the damage waiver from the credit card covers anything that is left over. If you don’t have a deductible, your primary still kicks in first, but there’s no immediate cost to you.

  3. Another option for liability insurance if you don’t own a car is a nonowned policy. I have one through State Farm and it’s cheaper for me instead of getting it with the rental each time since I rent most weeks of the year. I do also use Amex’s premium collision coverage as you noted above. This is the downside of not owning a car and not something that most people think about.

  4. I am not sure if I am reading your post correctly. I had damage to a rental car and I used Chase Sapphire to pay for it. The damage was under $200 and my insurance deductible is $500. Chase paid the $200 and I did NOT have to pay the deductible. In fact there was never any talk of me paying the deductible. When I called Chase they said if the damage cost less than the deductible they would pay it. I did have to send them my insurance declaration page, pictures etc. But Chase paid it, got a waiver of liability from the rental car company, and even had the company reduce the charge.

    So you do NOT have to pay the deductible first if you use Chase Sapphire Preferred.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      That’s really good to know! The assumption has been that Chase wouldn’t touch anything until the insurance kicked in, so it is great to know they kick in if the damage is less than your deductible. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  5. I just called Chase regarding this. I will be traveling to France, Italy, and Germany this month and was planning on taking my United MileagePlus Explorer and Sapphire Preferred. According to the rep, the Sapphire Preferred is Primary outside of the US, with no mention of existing insurance. Can you confirm whether this is the case, since it seems to conflict with the info above. Thanks!

  6. Is there a maximum age limit for using Visa insurance for car rental.

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