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Don’t Underestimate Chase’s Purchase Protection

A long time ago, in a town far far away, my fantastic sidekick was stolen from me upon a moment of separation. Of course, the time wasn’t that long ago, the town was Washington, D.C., and my sidekick was my trusty Canon G5X(Amazon). However, thanks to Chase purchase protection via my Sapphire Reserve, we were soon reunited.

Canon G5X Reimbursed by Chase purchase protection

As I had posted about earlier, I had flown out East on a whim to attend The Points Guy’s “Pot of Point’s” St. Paddy’s Day party. While the evening started out well, it quickly went downhill when a brief lapse in judgement allowed my messenger bag containing my travel electronics to be swiftly pilfered. After several sweeps by myself and some very helpful bouncers, we determined that the camera was in fact, gone.

Waking up the next morning, I was no less upset than I was the night before. However, a phone call to a good friend quickly brightened my spirits. You see, for all the time I’ve spent pouring over the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s earning potential, I had neglected to absorb one very important card benefit: Chase purchase protection. Luckily, my friend’s memory was clearer than mine and he reminded me this benefit included theft! Woohoo, while I was never getting my TPG fan photos back, at least I’d have a chance to recoup some money.

According to the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s benefit guide:

Purchase Protection covers eligible items of personal property you purchase using your Account in the event of theft, damage or involuntary and accidental parting with property

Further summarizing Chase’s benefit guide, there are a couple very important program limitations one should be aware of. Sorry, they’re not likely to reimburse you for that car purchase for which you earned 40,000 points.

  • Protection is only available for purchases made within the previous 120 days
  • Maximum benefit is $500 per claim and $50,000 per account
  • The purchase must be made on your card
  • Purchase protection is in excess of any other collectible insurance(this had me worried)

There are some specific exclusions, and you can read about them here, but most items purchased for personal use are covered.

Getting your Docs Together

Long story short, you’ve got 90 days from the date of loss to notify Chase. The guide says claims made after 90 days “may be denied”. I wouldn’t test them. You must further provide the issuer with all required documentation within 120 days.

Let’s take a minute to talk about required documentation. It includes the normal stuff; receipts, claim forms, etc. It also includes a Police Report. That last one is a biggy. Unlike receipts and claim forms, you can’t take your time here. You must file a police report within 48 hours. When my friend reminded me this benefit was available, it turns out his timing was critical. If I had waited until I figured it out myself, it would have been too late, and the police report window would have been closed.

Conveniently, Washington, D.C. Metro PD has an online report filing system. Presumably, just for this type of situation. That is, one in which you need a law enforcement record. But also one you expect to be quickly filed away. Within about 48 hours of my online filing, I was contacted via email by a department employee looking for a couple additional details. Truth be told, this actually surprised me. I assumed my report would go in the “never give it a second look” pile. However, after clarifying a couple statements, I was emailed an official copy.

Filing a Claim is Pretty Easy

After I got back home, I gave the Chase Sapphire support team a call. As per usual, they were quick to help and had me talking to a benefits claim adjuster in just a couple minutes. He seemed genuinely eager to help, something I’ve always valued about Sapphire support. A brief description and some standard questions later, he emailed me a pre-filled claim form. I really just had to sign and return with my prepared backup.

As mentioned above, I was a little worried that Chase consider’s purchase protection secondary to any collectible insurance. Truth be told, I wasn’t even sure what this meant. I have homeowners insurance that covers theft of personal property, even if the theft occurs outside the home. However, my deductible is $500, coincidentally the exact benefit maximum of Chase’s Purchase Protection. Was the presence of this insurance going to preclude me from being reimbursed by Chase? As it turns out, no. I provided a copy of my declarations with my claim packet and checked the box that I did have insurance. Thankfully this did not appear to have an effect on my claim.

Then you Wait

After submitting electronically, I didn’t hear anything from Chase. Of the entire process, this was the only area for improvement. It’s always nice to receive confirmation that your electronic submission didn’t wind up in some junk mail file. Honestly though, I’m nitpicking here. Then, one day, two or three weeks later, I open my mailbox and BAM!

Chase Purchase Protection Reimbursement Check

Final Thoughts

Purchase protection is a fantastic benefit and one of the many examples of why the Chase Sapphire Reserve belongs in your wallet. While I’ll never get my TPG pics back, at least I’ll be able to replace my camera(or a portion of it). It is however, worth mentioning that Chase doesn’t hold a monopoly on purchase protection. Premium cards from any of the other issuers all offer varying levels of the same benefit. In fact, many Amex cards will reimburse up to $1,000.

Some people think that an annual fee card is blasphemy. While I couldn’t disagree more, it’s often hard to convince the non-travel crowd that premium cards have value. This is a great example of a situation where a credit card provided a real, quantifiable financial benefit.

…Oh, and don’t leave your camera unattended in a D.C. bar, even for a minute.