Last June, I took out a one-way rental with Alamo to drop off my children at school. I usually use Getaround or Avis when renting in San Francisco (since I gave up owning a car a long time ago). Alamo was the only company that worked for my dates and pick-up/drop-off combination. I declined insurance and paid with my Chase Sapphire card.
I parked the car overnight along Lombard Street – it’s a major SF landmark when it becomes the most crookedest street, but the sector I parked on is a major thoroughfare with cars running 24/7.
Overnight, someone broke the small triangular window at the back seat. There was nothing left inside the car at all overnight and it’s just odd that someone would break that tiny little glass – it does not allow access to the door opening mechanism. The glass was shattered inside.
I called 911 and was advised to file a police report online. The SF Police use that for property crimes and smaller issues that likely won’t ever get solved so it’s basically just a way to collect statistics. So much for the SF Police Department which seems to have largely given up on policing the city (try finding a police car in SF in a week and compare against Boston – you will see the difference).
I returned the car to Alamo and reported the loss. The car rental station was busy with renters for the long weekend. After 30 minutes of waiting someone finally took down the damage report.
I immediately called Chase, which in turn connected me with the insurance administrator. They said the damage should be covered but a number of documents needed to be filed first.
You can upload all documents online but they include:
- A notarized statement of no other insurance (even though Chase is supposed to give you primary insurance)
- Police report
- Damage photos
- Car rental repair bill
Alamo did not send me any repair bill for over 3 months. Once they did it came to $250. I called them and gave them my file number with Chase and to my surprise they accepted that without issues.
The Chase insurance administrator mailed me later to tell me that there were documents missing. However, once I called, the representative found them and when I called back later they mentioned that the claim was to be approved and paid out directly to Alamo.
This all sounded very good and while initially confusing, the whole claim wasn’t much hassle at all. All it needed was for me to document the actual damage and Chase would pay out without any deductible.
However, just a week ago I received another letter from Alamo saying that they were still waiting for payment…
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