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.
I’m about to find out just how good the @ChaseSupport CSR auto insurance coverage is. Chipped the windshield in Germany apparently. I don’t remember it happening, but there it is. pic.twitter.com/KvmCbL6Wk1
— Seth Miller (@WandrMe) January 14, 2018
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.
I had a go around with them earlier this year. I had all the paperwork I needed EXCEPT an itemized repair bill. I only had a repair total, which was not acceptable. They won’t pay the claim without that so watch out!
— Aaron (@adventurousness) January 15, 2018
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.
I'm mildly shocked that it only took 3 tries but my CC-backed rental car insurance claim for a chipped windshield was finally approved today, 60 days after the incident. pic.twitter.com/UnGJODdAvk
— Seth Miller (@WandrMe) March 17, 2018
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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