American Express provides a wide range of complimentary insurance options on its credit cards, including cover for international and domestic trips. This insurance is provided by Chubb and has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars on standalone policies.
To get the most out of this credit card complimentary insurance, it’s important to understand exactly how it works. This guide gives you all the details you need, including when you’re covered, what exclusions there may be and how to make a claim.
American Express issues 13 cards that come with complimentary travel insurance. When considering these cards, it's important to note that some American Express options are charge cards, which have to be paid off in full every statement period, while others are credit cards that allow you to carry a balance and charge interest on what you owe.
As it stands, the range of Amex cards offering travel insurance can be divided into personal and business options as follow:
There are a number of requirements you need to meet to use your American Express travel insurance. These conditions vary depending on the type of insurance and the card, but generally require the following:
Booking. You must book the full fare for a return trip on your American Express credit card or by using reward points earned through the card (e.g. American Express Membership Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer points). On some cards, such as the American Express Platinum charge card, you can also claim insurance if you have booked a trip using other rewards points, as long as you pay for taxes and other additional fees using your American Express card.
Location. Your travel must start and end in Australia.
Age. You must be under 80 years of age.
Item claims. The policy will not cover claims for any items that have been left unattended or in a public place.
No pre-existing medical conditions. Any current and/or ongoing medical conditions you have will not be covered by the policy.
Chubb Insurance Australia Limited defines a pre-existing medical condition in the following ways:
Any past or current medical condition that, during the two years prior to you booking any trip has given rise to symptoms, or for which any form of treatment or prescribed medication, medical consultation, investigation or follow-up/check-up has been required or received.
Any cardiovascular or circulatory condition (e.g. heart condition, hypertension, blood clots, raised cholesterol, stroke, aneurysm) that has occurred at any time prior to you booking any trip.
Any pregnancy if, at the time of any trip, is within eight weeks of the estimated date of delivery.
There are some exceptions as well. Under Chubb's definition, a “pre-existing medical condition” does not include the following:
What if American Express is not accepted?
If the company that you make your travel booking with does not accept American Express cards, you will still be eligible for your complimentary travel insurance. You’ll just have to provide American Express and Chubb with proof of purchase and the name and address of the provider who would not accept your American Express card.
How do I know if I’m covered and what I’m covered for?
Providing you meet the requirements above, you should be covered for your travel both domestically and internationally. The type of coverage you get depends on your individual American Express card, but policies can be broken down into two categories:
Travel insurance. A comprehensive travel insurance policy including emergency medical costs, travel inconveniences and travel cancellation.
Transit accident insurance. Accidental death and injury coverage for cardholders who are travelling as passengers on a plane, tourist bus, train or ferry.
The coverage starts on the day your travel begins, as outlined on your travel booking. It ends either when you return or when your travel exceeds the maximum number of days outlined in the insurance policy, whichever happens first.
It’s also worth noting that most American Express personal cardholders only have access to cover for up to 183 days in a 12-month period.
Complimentary travel insurance for your family
The travel cover you get with an eligible American Express credit card also extends to your spouse and any dependent children, providing they meet the booking requirements and are travelling with you for the entire trip. American Express outlines the following definitions for spouses and dependents:
Spouse. A husband, wife, fiancé(e) or a de-facto and/or life partner with whom the American Express primary cardholder has continuously cohabited for a period of six (6) months or more.
Dependent child. A legally dependent child up to and including the age of twenty-two (22), including a stepchild or legally adopted child, who is fully dependent on the American Express primary cardholder for financial support.
According to American Express, these individuals fall under the definition of the “Primary Cardholder”. Additional cardholders, on the other hand, are not eligible for full travel insurance cover and can only get access to transit accident insurance coverage through their account.
How do I make a claim?
Chubb Insurance Australia Limited deals with all American Express complimentary travel insurance claims directly. You can follow the steps below to make your claim:
Contact Chubb Insurance Australia Limited. Contact Chubb on 1800 139 149 in Australia or +61 2 8907 5666 from overseas and explain the situation. Otherwise, you can make a claim through the Chubb website.
Submit a claim form. Chubb will provide you with a claim form that you will need to fill out within 30 days of the claim’s occurrence (or as soon as possible after your trip if you are overseas at the time).
Provide your supporting documentation. Chubb requires a number of documents to verify your claim, including original invoices, receipts and reports relating to it.
If you have already gathered all the supporting documents, you can also submit your claim at any time via the Chubb Claim Centre website. Once your claim is processed and approved, Chubb will make payment within 30 days.
What insurances am I covered under?
The complimentary insurance options provided by American Express cover a wide range of scenarios. We’ve outlined these below based on the type of insurance. We've also included details of any excess amount you may have to pay for your claims.
Remember that the complimentary extras available to you will depend on your individual card and may change from time to time. American Express provides details for each card’s insurance policies on its website, which you can refer to for further information.
What does excess mean?
Note: An excess in insurance is basically the amount you must pay towards any claim that you make.
What travel insurance will I get on my card?
As travel insurance varies significantly between American Express cards, we’ve outlined the coverage you get with each card, including claim limits and excess costs.
Card account balance waiver cover. This coverage applies to the outstanding balance of an eligible American Express credit card account at the time of an accident that’s covered by the transit accident insurance policy.
Purchase protection cover. This provides you with cover against theft or damage to eligible items within 90 days of making the purchase with your American Express card. Note that there may be an excess of $50 or more for claims, depending on your card.
Refund protection cover. This reimburses you for the purchase price of an unused eligible item where a retailer will not accept your return within 90 days of making the purchase with your American Express card.
Buyer's Advantage cover. This policy offers you an extended warranty of up to 12 months on eligible purchases made with an American Express credit card. Note that there may be an excess of $50 or more for claims, depending on your card.
Loss damage waiver cover. This insures you against the loss or damage of a rental vehicle. This cover only applies to vehicles rented and used within Australia over a maximum of 31 days.
The American Express complimentary credit card insurance provided by Chubb Insurance Australia Limited gives you protection for a wide range of situations, both in Australia and overseas. Now that you know more about the different options available and the claims process, you can make sure you get the most out of this cover. However, if you have any more questions about the cover you get with your card, feel free to leave a comment below or contact Chubb Insurance Australia Limited directly on 1800 236 023.
Sally McMullen is Finder's credit cards and frequent flyer editor by day and a music maven by night. Her byline can be spotted on Yahoo Finance, Dynamic Business, Financy and Mamamia as well as Music Feeds and Rolling Stone.
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