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Visa car rental insurance: Protect yourself by using the right card when renting a car

Visa’s car rental insurance benefit, known formally as Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, can provide reimbursement for damages from theft or collision when you rent a car with your eligible card.

Here’s what you need to know about this benefit and how it works.

Visa auto rental collision damage waiver at a glance

CoverageCovers damages caused by theft or collision up to the actual cash value of most rented cars.
Includes coverage for substantiated loss-of-use charges, administrative fees, and reasonable and customary towing.
Primary or secondary coverageWithin country of residence: Secondary coverage.
Outside country of residence: Primary coverage.
Some cards offer primary coverage within country of residence.
Covered rental periodWithin country of residence: Up to 15-31 days.
Outside country of residence: Up to 31 days.
Varies by card.
Common country exclusionsIsrael, Jamaica, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland
Varies by card.
Vehicle brand exclusionsExcludes high-value brands including Corvette, Porsche and Tesla and some models of other common brands
Some cards have a total coverage limit of $75,000 instead of vehicle brand exclusions.
How to file a
1-804-673-1164 if calling collect from outside the U.S.
1-800-348-8472 if you need assistance in Spanish.
Call the number in your card’s Guide to Benefits.
Visa rental car insurance at a glance.

Cards that offer Visa auto rental collision damage waiver

These cards offer Visa car rental insurance.

CardCoverage within country of residenceCovered rental periodCountry exclusionsBrand/value exclusions
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card art
Bank of America Premium Rewards
Secondary.15 days within country of residence.
31 outside of country of residence.
High-value brands
Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Secondary.31 days.High-value brands
Chase Sapphire Reserve® card art
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Primary.31 days.$75k
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card card art
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Primary if renting for business purposes.31 days.$75k
U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card card art
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve
Primary.15 days within country of residence.
31 outside of country of residence.

What does Visa rental car insurance cover?

Visa car rental insurance covers damages caused by collision or theft of a rental car, up to the actual cash value of most rented cars. Certain expenses like towing, loss of use charges, and administrative expenses are also covered. This benefit does not cover your liability for damages to others’ cars or property, nor does it cover any sort of medical expenses.

Here’s a bit more on what is covered by Visa car rental insurance.

Who is covered under Visa rental car insurance?

Only you, the cardmember whose name is embossed on your eligible Visa card, are covered under Visa’s car rental insurance. Additional drivers permitted by a rental car agreement are also covered. Here’s who is covered:

  • You, the cardmember. Only the cardmember whose name is embossed on the card may be listed as the renter or primary driver of the car.
  • Additional drivers permitted by the rental agreement. Any additional drivers that are permitted by the car rental company are also covered, but the person whose name is on the credit card must be listed as the primary driver on the rental.

If you pay for a rental car on behalf of someone else and you are not the primary driver, you’ll receive no coverage.

What expenses are covered under Visa rental car insurance?

Visa car rental insurance covers damages due to theft or collision up to the actual cash value of your rental car. In practice, this means you’ll get coverage similar to what you would get from your collision coverage of your auto insurance. Visa will pay to repair a car involved in an accident or pay for the actual value of the car if it is stolen or cannot be reasonably repaired.

In addition, Visa auto rental collision damage waiver covers the following expenses:

  • Valid loss-of-use charges. These charges compensate the car rental company for its loss of revenue because it cannot rent the car while it is being repaired or replaced. These charges must be substantiated by the rental company.
  • Administrative fees. A rental company may charge fees to offset its administrative costs of repairing or replacing a rental car.
  • Reasonable and customary towing charges. Towing charges due to covered theft or damage to the nearest qualified repair facility are covered.

Is Turo covered by Visa rental car insurance?

In its Guide to Benefits, Visa defines a Rental Agency as “a commercial rental company licensed under the laws of the applicable jurisdiction and whose primary business is renting automobiles.” This would not include people renting cars out on Turo.

If you plan to rent a car from a car-sharing company like Turo, it’s a good idea to check your coverage with your other personal insurance or to purchase the insurance offered by the car-sharing service.

How to be covered by Visa car rental insurance

You’re covered by the Visa auto rental collision damage waiver benefit when you use your card to rent a car and decline the car rental company’s LDW/CDW or similar coverage. Here’s what you must do:

  • Book and pay for the entire rental car transaction with your card. Visa’s car rental insurance requires that you “initiate and complete Your entire car rental transaction” using your eligible card.
  • Decline the rental car company’s collision damage waiver benefit. The rental company may refer to this as a “collision damage waiver” or “loss damage waiver.” If you accept this benefit from the rental car company, your Visa car rental insurance will not apply.

If a car rental company requires a letter of eligibility

Some car rental agencies may require proof that you have liability coverage that covers your rental car. Most often this happens in international locations as part of an attempt to upsell you into purchasing a loss/damage waiver policy. If you’re renting from a car rental company that requires proof that you have coverage, you can easily get proof in the form of a letter of eligibility.

Card Benefit Services can provide a letter of eligibility that shows the coverage included with your card. Simply fill out the form at the Card Benefit Services website to get a letter of eligibility.

When filling out the form, you’ll be asked for your card number, name, email address, address, and basic details about your rental. Once you complete the form, you’ll receive a PDF with letter of eligibility delivered to your email within a few minutes.

Primary and secondary coverage

Visa car rental insurance generally provides secondary coverage within your country of residence and primary coverage outside your country of residence. But this varies by card. Some premium cards offer primary coverage within your country of residence and some business cards offer primary coverage when renting for business purposes.

Primary coverage means that the benefit will pay for covered expenses without requiring you to make a claim with your personal auto insurance or other insurance.

Secondary coverage means that you’ll be reimbursed for your auto insurance deductible, as well as any covered expenses not covered by your personal auto insurance.

Check your card’s guide to benefits to understand whether your card includes primary coverage within your country of residence. We include this information in the table above and in our mentions of the benefit when we can independently verify it.

Exclusions and limitations

Visa car rental insurance comes with a long list of exclusions that limits when your insurance kicks in and what the benefit will pay for. The full list of exclusions and limitations can be found in your card’s guide to benefits, but here are the most important exclusions to consider.

Rental duration: Long-term car rentals are not covered

Visa car rental insurance is not meant to cover long-term car rentals, so there’s a limit to the number of consecutive days you can rent a car and be covered. Here are the typical rental duration restrictions:

  • 15 days within your country of residence.
  • 31 days outside your country of residence.

This restriction varies by card, so check your card’s guide to benefits to confirm if your rental is covered if you plan on renting for more than 2 weeks. Where we have been able to independently verify coverage duration, we’ve included it in our coverage throughout this site and in the table above.

Country restrictions: High-risk countries are usually excluded

Many cards with Visa auto rental collision damage waiver insurance exclude certain countries from coverage. The commonly excluded countries include:

  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • the Republic of Ireland
  • Northern Ireland

However, some premium cards do not exclude these countries and provide car rental insurance worldwide. If you’re planning to rent a car in any of the countries above, check your card’s guide to benefits to make sure that your card does not include country restrictions.

Vehicle restrictions: High-value vehicles are not covered

Visa car rental insurance covers most mainstream cars. If you’re renting a Toyota Camry, Kia Niro, or Honda Odyssey, you’ll be covered by your card’s benefit. But if you’re planning on renting a McLaren to take to the track, you’re not going to be covered by Visa car rental insurance.

Here are the types of vehicles that are excluded from coverage. Not that some commonly available brands, including Corvette, Porsche, and Tesla are excluded from coverage with most cards.

  • Exotic and antique cars. Cars that are over 20 years old or that have not been manufactured for 10 or more years.
  • Vehicles commonly used for work or industrial purposes. Many work and transport-type vehicles are not covered, including cargo vans, vehicles with open cargo beds, trucks (other than pickups), limousines, passenger vans with seating for more than 9 people.
  • Vehicles with fewer than 4 wheels. If it has fewer than 4 wheels, it is not covered. Visa defines a “rental vehicle” as having 4 or more wheels and calls out specific exclusions including motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes.
  • High-value brands. High-value brands that are excluded include Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach, McLaren, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Tesla.
  • High value brands with exceptions. Some models of Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Infiniti, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, and Range Rover are covered, but check with the benefit administrator to make sure your vehicle is covered.

Some cards have a $75,000 coverage limit rather than exclusions on high-value brands. Check your card’s guide to benefits or call Card Benefit Services if you plan on renting a high-value car.

Auto rental collision damage waiver does not cover liability or medical payments

Visa’s auto rental collision damage waiver insurance does not cover liability. It will only cover damaged to your rental vehicle or theft of your rental vehicle.

This means that no coverage will be provided to other’s cars or property that may be damaged in a collision. The coverage also does not provide for reimbursement of medical expenses if you are injured in a car accident. Be sure to have adequate liability and medical coverage to cover these cases.

How to file a claim

Car rental insurance is something that no one hopes to ever use. But if your rental car is damaged or stolen, you’ll need to file a claim before your credit card coverage will pay for damages. Here’s what you need to know about filing a claim

Be sure to initiate your claim as soon as possible, and no later than 60 days from the date of the accident.

Collect your documentation at the time of the accident

Card Benefit Services will likely ask you for a fair amount of documentation to substantiate your claim. Some of this documentation is a lot easier to collect when you’re at an accident site, in-country, or returning your car. If possible, try to assemble the following documentation before beginning your claim:

  • Copy of the accident report form. This is a form you’ll submit to your rental company. Ask them for a copy of this if filling it out on paper.
  • Copy of the initial and final rental agreements, including both the front and the back. Either save a PDF of this if you received a rental agreement digitally or ask the rental agency to make copies for you when you return your car.
  • Copy of a repair estimate and itemized repair bill. This likely will not be available immediately, but be sure to ask how to get this when you turn in your rental car.
  • 2 or more photographs of the damaged vehicle. If it is safe to do so, snap as many photos as you can of the damaged vehicle. You’ll be asked for them later.
  • Police report. If obtaining a police report is an option, having this on hand will make your claim go smoother.
  • Copy of the demand letter from your rental agency. This is the letter your rental agency will send you when attempting to collect repair costs.

How to begin your claim

The easiest way to initiate your claim is online with Card Benefit Services online, but you can begin your claim either online or via phone. Here’s how you can initiate your claim:

  • Online at
  • Via phone at one of the following numbers:
    • 1-866-390-9735. This is the main Card Benefit Services contact number.
    • 1-804-673-1164 for Card Benefit Services if calling collect from outside the U.S.
    • 1-800-348-8472 if you need assistance in Spanish.
    • Your card’s Guide to Benefits may also have a phone number to call specific to your card’s coverage.

Filing your claim online with Card Benefit services.

When you start your car rental insurance claim at, the first thing you’ll be asked for is your card number, first name, and last name.

Screenshot of the first screen of the claim process with Card Benefit services. The screenshot shows a web form asking for a credit card number, first name, and last name.
Enter your credit card information to begin your claim.

Once you’ve entered your card information, the next thing you’ll see is a list of benefits available on your card. Select “Collision Damage Waiver” to begin your car rental insurance claim.

Screenshot from the claims process at the Card Benefit Services website. The screenshot shows a panel describing Collision Damage Waiver insurance.
Select Collision Damage Waiver to begin your claim.

The website will walk you through providing your contact information, including name, address, email address and phone number. After that, you’ll be asked for some basic information about your claim.

Screenshot from the claims process with Card Benefit Services. The screenshot shows the collision damage waiver form, which asks for a claim reason, vehicle type, rental contract start and end date, date of the incident, and other information.
Provide the requested information to begin your collision damage waiver claim.

Finally, you’ll be asked to upload and documents relevant to the claim. Although you are not required to upload documents to start your claim, you might save some time by uploading any documentation you have collected. When processing your claim, your adjuster will likely ask for many of the documents in the claim form upload list.

After you’ve provided all of the information in the form, you can click “Submit Claim” to submit your claim.

What happens next?

Once your claim is submitted, you’ll eventually be contacted by a claims adjuster who will likely ask you to provide additional documentation to evaluate your claim. One of the first things that you’ll be required to provide is a paper Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver claim form, which must be postmarked within 100 days of the theft or damaged date.

Be sure to provide any documentation promptly to speed the processing of your claim. All documentation must be provided within 365 days of the theft or damage date, or your claim may be denied.

If you have any questions about the status of your claim, you can call Card Benefit Services at 1-800-348-8472 or the number in your card’s Guide to Benefits. You can also check the status of your existing claim with your claim number or your credit card number at

Where can I find more information about Visa car rental benefits?

If you have additional questions about your Visa car rental benefits or want to dig into your specific card’s coverages, here are some resources that you might find helpful.

  • Your card’s Guide to Benefits will contain the details of the specific limits, limitations, and exclusions of your card’s coverage.
  • The Card Benefits Services FAQ contains answers to common questions about this benefit.
  • The phone number on the back of your card can usually direct you to someone who can answer questions about benefits.

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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