Better File Credit-Card Car-Rental Damage Claim Before Being Billed

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Apr 4, 2018
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A Hertz car I rented on a Chase Visa card was involved in an incident with another vehicle, causing damage to both. I immediately called the credit-card company, which sent me to a representative of Card Benefit Services, which provides the rental-car damage insurance (underwritten by Indemnity Insurance Company of North America, a member of the Chubb Group). During the course of a very lengthy phone call, I provided all the information about the rental, the cars, the location, the damage, the other driver's insurance, and even the police report number (the officer gave it to me on the spot). I asked for a "case number" and was told that the information would be kept associated with my credit-card number but that I should file a claim online as soon I received "the information" from Hertz. The only information I had not yet provided was how much Hertz wanted. I wrote down that the representative said I had 120 days; the actual limit turned out to be 100 days.

I was very quickly contacted by a representative of ESIS, the company handling the liability part of the incident for Hertz. He said he was not handling the damage to the Hertz vehicle but gave me a number at Hertz to call about that. I called the number repeatedly and left messages but got no response. The liability aspect of the incident was very quickly resolved to everyone's satisfaction, and still I had not heard from Hertz about what they wanted for their vehicle's damage. I e-mailed and was told in reply that the damage to the Hertz vehicle was now being handled by the Hertz Claim Center. I was given a Hertz claim number and a telephone number. When I called, I was told that the form of the number was correct, but they had no record of any such claim number. The representative suggested that perhaps the other vehicle's insurance had covered it.

Then, far past either 100 or 120 days, I got a bill from the Hertz Claim Center. I filed a claim with Card Benefit Services and included my correspondence with Hertz as the reason I did not file earlier. It was then that I was told I could have filed a claim before knowing how much it would be for. Although Card Benefit Services said I would hear from an examiner within five business days, it took three months for them to reject my claim. The basis of the rejection was that I had filed the claim later than the 100-day limit. Included with my rejection was a satisfaction survey. Question 6 of the survey was "How did you initiate your claim?" The choices were "Online" or "By Phone." Again, I had called immediately from the site of the incident.

In the meantime, Hertz threatened to permanently suspend my ability to rent from them, Thrifty, Dollar, or Firefly, so I paid them and am now out more than $2700. So BEWARE! If you have credit-card insurance and have any possibility of owing for loss or damage, file a claim even before you get a bill.