Chase Freedom® Rental Car Insurance Explained
The Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Unlimited® both offer insurance coverage for the financial cost of damage or theft to a rented vehicle. However, coverage through the collision damage waiver (CDW) is secondary insurance, kicking in only after other forms of insurance (like your personal car insurance).
For this reason, those who use rental cars more often may be better off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card, which offers its cardholders primary rental car insurance.
How the rental-car collision damage waiver works
The CDWs from Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Unlimited® provide reimbursement for damage resulting from collision or theft up to the cash value of a vehicle you rent with the card. But note that this benefit pays out only after other forms of insurance do.
The benefits guide states, “Auto rental CDW will not pay for theft or damage reimbursable by your own insurer, employer, employer’s insurance, or any other valid and collectible reimbursement.”
That means the CDW from Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Unlimited® is secondary insurance, so if you have your own car insurance, the protection the card provides will cover only what your insurance doesn’t. In most cases, the benefit will cover your deductible, or perhaps the money you have to pay out of pocket when making a claim to your existing car insurance policy.
Other Chase credit cards provide primary insurance, which steps in before your personal car insurance when you make a claim. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is one such card, though unlike the Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Unlimited®, it carries an annual fee of $ 95, which is waived only in the first year.