Finally a successful CSR travel insurance claim!

I know that insurance companies are in the business of saying no rather than honoring claims requests. I also know that I pay a little extra for my credit card to have some protections in case something goes wrong on my travels. I was surprised, for example, when the claims benefits administrator informed me that I was not entitled to coverage of hotel costs on a delayed flight when I rebooked the onward travel myself rather than letting the originally booked airline handle things, a move that would have further delayed me and ultimately cost me significantly more money to fix than the hotel room.

In this case, however, I was optimistic. A chipped windshield on a rental car wholly paid for by my Chase Sapphire Reserve card should be an easy win. The CSR is primary insurance on rentals (and I don’t own a car so I don’t carry regular auto insurance anyways) and there’s an option on the claim form for chipped windshield. I was reasonably optimistic going in to the process. It turns out the claim would not be without a little bit of drama.

On the long list of paperwork I was asked to provide was a “cost matrix” for the repair price. Not surprisingly this wasn’t on the list of papers the guy at the counter gave me when I returned the car. It also wasn’t something he could give me when I walked back over to the counter after calling in to make the initial claim. He showed me the document on his computer screen but said he had no way to print it and that it was proprietary, internal documentation. That seemed like a problem but I didn’t have much of a choice. I emailed the customer service account and hoped for the best.

A week or so later I received the cost matrix detail reply. It was a single line item, not really a matrix. That seemed like bad news but it was all Hertz was willing to send me. So I submitted the paperwork and waited for the insurance company to respond. Ten days later I received a reply. They were not happy with my submission, specifically around the cost matrix:

We have carefully reviewed the information provided to date and note that additional documents are required to promptly process your claim. Please assist us by providing the following:
□ A copy of the itemized estimate of repair/cost matrix from the rental agency. This document indicates the charges for the repairs.

I submitted the document again and two weeks later received an identical reply. This was not going well.

Ultimately I called in and spoke with a phone agent, explaining to them that the repair was a single replacement windshield so there was only one line on the cost breakdown. I also forwarded the email again, this time showing the full communications history with Hertz as well.

Another two weeks passed and this time the result was rather different: My claim was approved! I’ve submitted the bank information and expect the money will show up next week at some point.

Given the amount of exposure – nearly $1000 – I was moderately worried about how this claim would play out. Each successive rejection furthered that concern. Fortunately they ultimately did the right thing by me and honored the valid claim request with the proper documentation.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. I made a claim to Chase and they paid $1500 for a bumper scrape about two years back with very minimal fuss. I’m going to be making another from Delta’s cancellations ex-BOS on Tuesday of this past week.

    1. Did you let Delta handle the rebooking or switch to a different ticket on your own? Doing the latter can kill your claim quickly, I’ve learned.

    2. I *had* to get to JFK to pick up a separate itinerary – the December AM J sale to SCL. There were zero options out of Boston – everything was cancelled. No flights, Amtrak shut down. Hell, not even Greyhound was running. I ended up risking my life and driving it. I’m going to ask Chase to cover the National rental (which I also paid for the card) and the gas.

      Here’s the Mass Pike near Framingham. Hooray for AWD.

    3. I expect that you’ll be denied. Among other things, Chase doesn’t cover replacement travel costs. Glad you made it safely, but I expect that the expense will be yours to bear.

  2. I have filed 2 Travel related claims with CSR’s administrator. The claims process requires an unreasonable number of documents & is designed to make many people give up. Once jumping over all the obtuse hurdles they eventually paid in full.

  3. i had a $2800 issue with Hertz in Norway. we dropped off the car in the Tromso lot and it seems someone else hit it before they got out there to check in the vehicle 🙁 . CSR needed some prodding, but eventually they paid out in full, including the loss of rental fees which they said they wouldn’t cover. lucky me i reckon.

    1. I had a similar incident in England where the car got a parking ticket after I returned it and was already on a plane headed home. Eventually I got that fixed with the rental car company (not an insurance claim either way) but in the interim the USD:GBP exchange rate shifted about 30%. I lost $60 or so between the charge and refund in equivalent GBP amounts.

    2. damn. when i had explained to hertz that i returned it perfectly and no one was out in the lot, they didn’t care. now i take photos / videos of condition upon return.

    3. Christopher – how did you get CSR to pay for the loss of rental fees which they said they wouldn’t initially cover?

    4. I know this isn’t a dump on Hertz thread but I returned a car to the JAX airport a couple years ago. Some employees then decided to use that car to get lunch and proceeded to total it. They then altered my rental record to reflect me still being in possession of the car at the time of the accident.

      What ensued was months of back and forth, which included Hertz placing significant charges on my CC that I didn’t authorize and trying to get my personal car insurance information despite me producing ample evidence that I wasn’t at fault.

      I finally got sick of it and asked a lawyer friend to write a letter letting Hertz know that they were attempting to commit felony fraud and interstate insurance fraud (due to interstate nature of the event) and I was going to begin contacting appropriate authorities to file charges.

      They sent a letter 2 weeks later saying they were dropping the claim.

      The whole thing was astounding. Hertz never apologized and every time I tried to get their Corp folks involved they punted saying it was a franchise issue.

      Epilogue: I now only rent from National (Enterprise companies).

  4. My arrival into ORD got delayed due to maintenance issues and missed a connection back in January. Had to spend the night in Chicago but I didn’t wait in line to get a hotel or meal vouchers from United. This was an award ticket and I paid the taxes with the Ritz-Carlton card. Booked myself a room and Chase reimbursed everything without much drama.

  5. I had an insurance claim through Chase from a car accident in South Africa two years ago. Took me over a year to get them to pay out… I think it was around $1,200.

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