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American Express Travel Insurance Review

Our verdict: American Express Travel Insurance covers all the basics but excludes pre-existing medical conditions so if you have one, you might want to look elsewhere.

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AMEX Travel Insurance

Pros

  • American Express makes claiming easy, with an online portal, email and phone options.
  • The loss of income benefit is particularly strong, paying a monthly benefit of up to $2,000 for a maximum of 5 months if you're seriously injured while on holiday and subsequently unable to work.

Cons

  • Pre-existing medical conditions are excluded and there's no option to add them on for an additional fee. Even American Express warns that its policy might not be right for travellers with pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Even the most comprehensive American Express policy, Ultimate Plan, has a $20,000 limit on cancellation costs. There are many brands which offer unlimited cancellation cover.
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Summary of American Express International Comprehensive policy

Overseas Medical and Hospital ExpensesUnlimited
Cancellation and Amendment Fees$10,000
Luggage and Personal Effects$10,000
Maximum Age Limit79

Table updated August 2023

How does American Express Travel Insurance cover COVID-19?

American Express has you covered if you're diagnosed with COVID-19 before you head on holiday or while you're away. Here's what you can expect:

  • Any costs incurred from having to cancel, delay or change your trip because you or a travelling companion are diagnosed with COVID-19 - that includes additional accommodation and travel expenses.
  • Overseas emergency medical costs if you need treatment for COVID0-19 while on your trip
  • Transport of your remains or burial costs if you die as a result of COVID-19 during your trip.

There are some scenarios that are not covered by American Express including costs incurred as a result of mandatory quarantine or isolation, border closures or government travel bans.

Also, if you were diagnosed with COVID-19 before heading on your trip but you went anyway, you won't be covered for any COVID-related overseas medical expenses.

What policies does American Express offer?

American Express offers four insurance policies to travellers. The Essential, Comprehensive and Ultimate plans are available to travellers heading overseas while the Domestic plan is for travellers staying in Australia.

Passport

Essential

Travel plane luggage passport

Comprehensive

Bags

Ultimate

Australian Map Icon

Domestic

The insurer of this product is Chubb Insurance Australia Limited. It comes with a cooling-off period of 14 days and choice of $200 standard excess for international plans.

Here's a breakdown of American Express Travel Insurance features

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Standard features

These are some of the main insured events that American Express will cover. These benefits apply across all international policies.

  • Overseas medical treatment
  • Lost, damaged or stolen property
  • Trip cancellation or amendment
  • Additional accommodation and transport
  • Theft of money
  • Luggage and travel delay
  • Kidnap and hijack
  • Personal liability
  • Accidental death

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Optional add-ons

American Express also offers three add-ons that provide cover for a wider range of risks.

  • Rental vehicle excess cover. If your rental vehicle is damaged, this benefit will cover the cost of the insurance excess. Does not apply to campervans, motorbikes or scooters.
  • Snow Sports Cover.Cover for equipment and cancellation expenses if you're going skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing or snowmobiling. .
  • Cruise Cover Extends your insurance policy to cover cruises and any cruise-related claim.

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Exclusions

Unfortunately, travel insurance doesn't cover everything. Generally, American Express will not pay your claim if it relates to:

  • Unlawful, wreckless or unreasonably unsafe behaviour by you
  • Behaviour while you were drunk or under the influence of drugs
  • Expenses related to a pre-existing medical condition
  • An act of war, invasion or revolution
  • Insolvency of a travel agent, tour operator or accommodation provider
  • Mandatory quarantines or isolations
  • An act of war, invasion or revolution
  • You being unfit to travel or travelling against medical advice
  • Childbirth or pregnancy complications after the 24th week of gestation or if you have had previous pregnancy complications
  • A multiple pregnancy or one where the conception was medically assisted
  • An elective medical or dental treatment, cosmetic procedure or body modification (including tattoos or piercing)
  • Self-inflicted injury or illness, suicide or attempted suicide

Make sure you review the American Express PDS for a detailed breakdown of what won't be covered, found under its list of general exclusions.

How to make an American Express Travel Insurance claim

You can submit your claim online via the Chubb Claims Centre for American Express.

Alternatively, you can phone Chubb on 1800 139 149, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm AEST.

Here's the bottom line about American Express Travel Insurance

Travellers with pre-existing medical conditions might want to look elsewhere as they won't be covered by policies and American Express won't consider adding them for an extra fee.

Further, there appears to be no cover available for travellers wishing to ride a motorbike or scooter, even if you have a valid licence.

If you're still not sure about American Express, you can compare other travel insurance companies here.

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Senior writer

Nicola Middlemiss is a contributing writer at Finder, with a special interest in personal finance and insurance. Formerly a business and finance journalist, Nicola has written thousands of articles helping Australians better understand insurance and grow their personal wealth. She has contributed to a wide range of publications, including Domain, the Educator, Financy, Fundraising and Philanthropy, Insurance Business, MoneyMag, Mortgage Professional, Yahoo Finance, Your Investment Property, and Wealth Professional. Nicola has a Tier 1 General Insurance (General Advice) certification and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Leeds. See full bio

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24 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JanOctober 9, 2018

    We are planning a trip to Switzerland and Italy June 2019 for about 3 weeks. My mother has just turned 85 and still lives independently at her home. Would we be covered if during our time away, she passed away and we needed to fly home? She has the normal age related issues but does not have any other issues other than old age. We have heard that a lot of insurers do not cover this. Thanks

      AvatarFinder
      JeniOctober 13, 2018Finder

      Hi Jan,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      The American Express travel insurance offer cover in case of death of a relative during the trip.

      If you are looking for a travel insurance that can help you recover your cancellation costs including pre-booked tickets and hotels, costs associated with returning home at short notice and costs associated with resuming your journey at a later date due to family/relative emergency at home, please refer to our travel insurance for family emergency to start comparing your options.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    Default Gravatar
    DebMarch 19, 2018

    Hi I’m heading to Bali and wondering if your Ultimate policy cover the Volcano if it goes off

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiMarch 22, 2018

      Hi Deb!

      Thank you for your question.

      You have contacted finder.com.au, a comparison and information service and not actually an American Express Travel Insurance.

      American Express Travel Insurance covers medical emergency expense cover, travel cancellation cover, transport accident cover, travel inconvenience insurance and baggage, money and documentation cover.

      It would be best to contact American Express directly as this would require for you to check the complete coverage of the insurance.

      Hope this helps!

      Best regards,

      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    AkhtarMay 14, 2017

    Is AMEX Travel Insurance available for Cruise travel to an Island within Australia?

      AvatarFinder
      HaroldMay 15, 2017Finder

      Hi Akhtar,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      According to the American Express Travel Insurance product disclosure statement (PDS), “cover for any cruise travel will be based on Your chosen geographical region.” Meaning that you should be covered by your standard policy. However, you should review the PDS for the exact costs covered for cruise related claims. For more information about the costs covered by AMEX or the definitions related to Australian waters, you should contact them directly.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

    Default Gravatar
    maryApril 10, 2017

    Do you insure travellers age 80 and 93

      AvatarFinder
      ZubairApril 11, 2017Finder

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you for your question.

      You have contacted finder.com.au, a comparison and information service and not actually an American Express Travel Insurance.

      American Express Travel Insurance has different age limits for different policies:

      • Ultimate and comprehensive policies have a maximum age limit of 89 years old.
      • Essential policy has a maximum age limit of 79 years old.
      • Basic policy has a maximum age limit of 69 years old.
      • Domestic policy has a maximum age limit of 79 years old.

      If you would like to check which insurers provide cover for 80 and 93 year old travelers, please head to our seniors travel insurance page.

      All the best,
      Zubair

    Default Gravatar
    MJSJanuary 29, 2016

    I am a 45yo male and had a stroke just over 12 months ago. Although my stroke was not for medical reasons (I have no risk factors) and I have been advised by my neurologist that everything has healed and I now have no more likelihood of having another stroke than the average person, it is still considered a pre-existing condition by the insurers I have spoken with. Are you aware of any travel insurance policies that would provide me with cover?

      AvatarFinder
      RichardJanuary 29, 2016Finder

      Hi MJS,

      Thanks for your question. Both Cover-More and InsureandGo consider most conditions after a medical assessment. They may be a good starting point.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

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