Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Insurance (Benefits, Claims) [2019]

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. 

The Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance is some of the best offered by any credit card.

But what exactly are the benefits of this insurance? 

This article will walk you through all of the Sapphire Reserve travel insurance benefits, such as trip cancellation, trip delay, rental car insurance, and more. You’ll see what type of losses qualify for claims and what type of benefits don’t.

Interested in finding out the top travel credit cards for this month? Click here to check them out! 

What is Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance?

Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance will cover you for a range of unexpected travel incidents including:

  • Rental car accidents 
  • Lost or damaged Luggage
  • Trip Interruption
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement
  • Baggage Delay Reimbursement
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Roadside assistance 

Each of these protections come with different requirements and restrictions and I’ll go into detail about each of these perks below.

Some of these benefits might not seem that valuable to you until you actually need to use them and at that point they become a godsend. So when thinking about these perks, really try to imagine the convenience and relief they’d provide you with to get a sense of how much value to attach to them.

Do I have to pay extra for Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance?

No, travel insurance is built in to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

This is a big difference from the competitor, the Platinum Card from American Express. The Platinum Card, and other Amex cards, don’t provide you with the full array of benefits by default. In fact, you’ll have to pay extra for those benefits.

So don’t take these benefits for granted.

Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance benefits

Primary rental car insurance

Primary rental car coverage is one of the most valuable perks of the Sapphire Reserve. With primary rental car coverage, you usually won’t have to file a claim with your rental car insurance provider if you get into some type of an accident.

This will save you a lot of headache and not to mention a lot of money on your monthly premiums in the future. Most credit cards offer secondary rental car coverage which only covers what your auto insurance provider or equivalent doesn’t cover.

The rental car coverage will cover you up to up to $75,000 and will last for a period not intended to exceed 31 consecutive days. For built-in coverage, these limits are great but if you needed higher coverage limits up to $100,000 or for a longer amount of time, it could be worth it to pay for coverage offered by other cards like the Platinum Card. 

Here are some of the rules for rental car coverage for the Sapphire Reserve.

What’s Covered?

  • Physical damage and/or theft of covered rental vehicle
  • Reasonable and customary towing charges related to a covered loss to take the vehicle to the nearest qualified repair facility
  • Valid loss-of-use charges incurred by the rental car agency

What’s Not Covered?

This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:

  • Antique automobiles; vans designed to carry more than 8 people; vehicles that have an open cargo bed; trucks; motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes; limousines; and recreational vehicles
  • Expenses reimbursed under your personal auto insurance policy, your employer or your employer’s insurance
  • Any obligation you assume under any other agreement
  • Injury of anyone or anything inside or outside of the vehicle
  • Leases and mini leases
  • Any violation of the auto rental agreement
  • Loss or theft of personal belongings

Primary rental car coverage is a huge benefit offered by the Sapphire Reserve because it can save you from having to file a claim with your insurance company and keep your premiums down. Anytime I ever rent a car, I use the Sapphire Reserve to book it. You can read more about the Sapphire Reserve rental car coverage here.

Lost or damaged Luggage

The Sapphire Reserve has some solid travel insurance perks for lost or damaged luggage.

You’ll be covered for  checked or carry-on bags that are damaged or lost by the carrier up to $3,000.00 for each Insured Person for each Common Carrier Covered Trip and up to $500.00 for each Insured Person for each Common Carrier Covered Trip for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders, and other electronic equipment

You’ll be able to get  reimbursement for costs you incur to repair or replace checked and/or carry-on baggage damaged or lost (including theft) that happens during a covered trip on a common carrier such as airline, bus, cruise ship or train

The Platinum Card limits you to up to $2,000 for checked bags so the Reserve offers higher overall coverage limits.

Trip Interruption

If your trip is canceled or cut short by covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses.

This is a solid perk with a high coverage limit but you really need to consider how much money you’ve spend on pre-paid expenses. If you’re taking a 6 person family vacation for 7 days in Hawaii for example there’s a good chance you might need coverage for more than $10,000 and that’s when other plans could be helpful.

  • Trip Cancellation provides reimbursement if a covered loss prevents you from traveling on or before the departure date and results in cancellation of the travel arrangements
  • Trip Interruption provides reimbursement if a covered loss on the way to the point of departure or after departure causes interruption of your covered trip. It can also provide reimbursement if a trip is postponed due to a covered loss and certain fees are incurred if a new departure date is set.

The limits for this protection are up to $10,000 per covered trip and a maximum limit of $20,000 per occurrence and a maximum benefit amount per 12-month period of $40,000

What’s Covered?

This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:

  • Accidental bodily injury, loss of life, or sickness experienced by the Cardholder, a traveling companion or an immediate family member of the Cardholder or a traveling companion
  • Severe weather that prevents the start or continuation a covered trip
  • Terrorist action or hijacking
  • Jury duty or a court subpoena that cannot be postponed or waived
  • Financial insolvency of the Cardholder’s travel agency, tour operator, or travel supplier

What’s Not Covered?

This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:

  • Travel arrangements canceled or changed by a common carrier, tour operator, or any travel agency unless the cancellation is the result of severe weather or an organized strike affecting public transportation
  • Change in plans or financial circumstances
  • A pre-existing condition
  • Traveling against the advice of a physician
  • A declared or undeclared war
  • Trips that exceed 60 days in duration are not covered

Trip Delay Reimbursement

This perk will have you covered if you are delayed more than 6 hours for expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket. (This is an upgrade from the Sapphire Preferred which required 12 hours).

The protection will provide reimbursement for expenses such as meals and lodging if your common carrier (airline, bus, cruise ship, train) travel is delayed more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stay

Although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, I’ve heard of others using this benefit to stay at a 5-star hotel for one night when their trip is delayed and then getting comped for the $500 stay.

Baggage Delay Reimbursement

With this protection, If you are delayed more than 6 hours, you are covered for essential expenses, such as toiletries and clothes for up to one hundred ($100.00) dollars per day for a maximum of five (5) days.

You’ll get reimbursement for the emergency purchase of essential items like toiletries and clothing, when baggage is delayed or misdirected for more than six hours by a common carrier, such as an airline, bus, cruise ship or train, while on covered trip.

I’ve personally had to use this benefit before and it was a terrific convenience to be able to hit up a mall in Auckland, New Zealand and buy some new clothes while on a trip — it really helped take the stress out of waiting so long for my bags to be delivered.

Emergency medical and dental

The Reserve will cover you for up to $2,500 in emergency medical or dental work per trip, with a $50 deductible.

I’ve also been involved with a medical emergency while traveling (in Singapore). Having the assurance that you’re not going to have to come out of your wallet with several hundred bucks is a huge relief and can make really relieve you of some stress when unexpected things happen abroad.

 Travel accident insurance

Travel Accident Insurance consists of two benefit types, Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance and 24-Hour Travel Accident Insurance, which provide coverage for accidental death or dismemberment, or a combined loss of speech, sight or hearing, experienced on a covered trip.

Hopefully you’ll never have to use it but here’s who is covered:

  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance provides benefit for a covered loss when entering, exiting, or riding as a passenger on a common carrier, such as airline, bus, train or cruise ship
  • 24 Hour Travel Accident Insurance provides benefit for a covered loss beginning on the departure date printed on a scheduled airline ticket and ends on the return date printed on the ticket (if your trip is longer than 30 days in length, see additional terms in your Guide to Benefits)

Here are the coverage amounts:

  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance
    • Benefit amount for loss of life is $1,000,000
    • Benefit amount for dismemberment and/or a combined loss of speech, sight and hearing are expressed as a percentage of the loss of life benefit and are available in your Guide to Benefits maximum payout is $1,000,000
  • 24 Hour Travel Accident Insurance

    • Benefit amount for loss of life is $100,000
    • Benefit amount for dismemberment and/or a combined loss of speech, sight and hearing are expressed as a percentage of the loss of life benefit and are available in your Guide to Benefits; maximum payout is $100,000

Roadside assistance

The Sapphire Reserves offer roadside assistance  for free for up to $50 and up to 4 times per year

The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling this number:  1-866-860-7978

Who’s Covered?

  • Cardholder driving your owned or leased vehicle or a vehicle furnished by the owner

What’s Covered?

  • Provides coverage for on the road breakdowns such as battery boost, flat tire service, fuel delivery, towing, and lockout assistance

What’s Not Covered?

This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:

  • Emergency road service is not available in areas not regularly traveled, in “off-road” areas not accessible by ordinary towing vehicles, or for over one-ton capacity trailers, campers, or vehicles-in-tow
  • Commercial vehicles and trucks with a carrying capacity greater than 2,000 pounds

I keep the number saved in my phone just so I have it for quick and easy reference in case I ever need to give it a call.

Final word

The Reserve’s travel insurance is among the best for any credit cards. But if you’ve spent a substantial amount on pre-paid trip expenses, you might want to consider getting another policy. Also, if you need to rent a car for longer than 31 days, you might want to seek rental car coverage elsewhere.

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  1. Hey Daniel – my wife has a CSR. To take advantage of primary auto coverage can the rental be in my name? Or for flight insurance can flights be in my name? I was an AU on her CSP card for years but when she upgraded to CSR I had her drop me as an AU because of the fees. Now I’m questioning that decision. I’m the travel booker in the family.

    Great article!

    1. Flights can be in your name and you’ll be covered. The language is a little less clear for car rentals. The terms state “You [the cardholder]
      are then covered as the primary renter of the vehicle and any additional drivers permitted to operate it under the terms of the rental agreement
      (“Authorized Person”) are also covered.” So it almost seems like they want the cardholder to be the primary renter of the vehicle but that you are also covered if you are permitted to operate it under the terms of the rental agreement. I’d need to contact them to get a for sure answer but my guess is that you would be covered.

  2. I am planning a Disney Alaska cruise next August for my family of 11. I have already put the deposit on my American Executive credit card. I have just applied for a Chase Sapphire Reserve card. If I put the rest of the trip on the Chase card will there be a problem with the travel insurance since the entire trip is not on one card?

    1. Hi Bonnie, All you have to do is put a portion of your trip on the Chase Sapphire Reserve and your entire trip (cruise you are paying for) will covered. So you’ll be covered.

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