American Express Travel Insurance
ConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
On April 25, 2017, my husband and I used American Express Rewards points to purchase tickets to Europe. Unfortunately we were unable to do so online so had to speak with a American Express representative to make our flight reservations. Since we didn't make the reservations online we were unable to purchase the affordable trip insurance and were told we would have to contact the American Express Travel Insurance Company, Amex Assurance Company. The insurance was quite costly but we decided it was the thing to do. Unfortunately Hurricane Irma hit south Florida on September 10, and Naples in particular where we live, four days before our scheduled trip on September 14.
We had no power, no cell service, no home phone, no internet. We had a tree on our roof which left a gaping hole and totaled one car which was parked outside the garage, thus blocking the car parked in the garage. It took three days to get the tree off the car to make it possible to get our other car out of the garage. The entire area was flooded and trees were down everywhere blocking neighborhood and county roads. We had to notify insurance companies and with no phone service of any kind that took almost a week. We knew we would be unable to travel so the day before the category 4 hurricane was expected to hit Naples, we called Amex Assurance Company to notify them we would be unable to fly.
By the way, our flight was out of Miami International Airport, a two hour drive from Naples and we had no idea what the condition of the roads would be after the storm. Then when we had heard nothing from them after three weeks, we called and were told they had sent an email asking for details of our cancellation, which of course we did not receive because we had no internet for three weeks. The email was resent and we complied with the request and returned the forms. We heard nothing for two more weeks and when we called we were told Amex needed documentation of the hurricane, no power, etc.
We sent pictures of the tree on our roof and car, pictures of our property and even a newspaper article about the devastation from Irma. Still we heard nothing. We just spoke to someone today and after about 30 minutes we had gotten nowhere. We were told it was up to the adjuster. We could not get a name or phone number. We were told by this agent that speaking to a supervisor would not help. In good faith we insured our trip against any medical emergencies or catastrophic events. I consider Hurricane Irma a catastrophic event. Yet, nine weeks later we are still getting a runaround! Also, no one from Amex Insurance Company has ever contacted us regarding our claim. I will make sure all my friends and business acquaintances are aware of the terrible service this company provides.
I always purchased travel insurance from them. In fact I have another coming trip and I am really nervous that I purchased Insurance from them. I trusted them because it is an Amex travel insurance division. I never read the reviews until I have a problem with them. Coming back from our last vacation in Europe, our flight was cancelled and was rescheduled the following day. The airline never gave us voucher for food, hotel etc. I file a reimbursement request to the airline and didn't hear from them so I filed with our insurance. I sent all the necessary papers like tickets, receipts, letter of cancellation, etc. Finally, we heard from the airline with a letter of apology and a promise to pay us for the inconvenience.
For the meantime, Amex Assurance is still asking for the same documents that I have sent them over and over again. I called but they don't have a clear picture of what I am calling for. I told them to close my file cause I don't have time to deal with a small amount and they gladly did it. My fear is, we are flying to the other end of the world. Will they be reliable to provide the services they promised like medical care, loss of luggage, evacuation, etc. I am just praying that nothing bad will happen. Next time, I will purchase insurance from another company but will check their reviews first.
We enrolled in Premium Car Rental Protection underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company in August 2016 for added protections because we were renting a car in a foreign country. I have no recollection of being told that the protection will remain in force even for domestic rentals. Recently when I rented a car in Florida, a charge of about $20 is added on my credit card and AMEX is denying its removal. The fact is that I was sent a letter by email about the Car Rental Protection which summarizes insurance coverage but nowhere it alerts about the charge of about $20 for each subsequent rental.
Generally insurance contracts are in writing with information disclosed in writing. I have even called to ask if I can forward the email back to AMEX for their review and they can point to me where the issue of insurance continuity is addressed. They don't entertain email communication in this day and age. Why? It seems AMEX cares only about making MONEY and not being transparent and reasonable. I have been with AMEX since 2005 and used the Protection insurance for the first time. AMEX does not even care about our loyalty.
I purchased Amex Travel Insurance which cost more than any of the other plans, since I had a history working with AMEX and trusted their integrity. However, they subtract their travel insurance to other companies, therefore eliminating their liability altogether. I traveled through a few European countries in 2016 and spoke via phone with the travel insurance agent particularly inquiring about pre-existing medical condition, since I am a senior and this was most important for me. Although I knew that pre-existing conditions are not covered less than 90 days before the trip, I got sick overseas with something other than anything I had less than the 90 days.
I spent numerous hours from Europe on the phone with them, and went to a Doctor they recommended. He was nothing less than 90 yrs. old and ended up writing a report which was not completely accurate from what I told him. I had to return a week earlier with a change of departure airport which cost me close to $700.00 plus the Dr. fee and medication for a total of about $900.00.
When I got back, I had to fax them at least 30 pages of reports, receipts, documents, etc.. They dragged the process endlessly... and then claimed that my sickness overseas was treated in the US less than the 90 days, which was a lie, because it had nothing to do with my flu visit to my doctor and not what I had on the trip. They insisted on their version... lie... lie and more lie. Think about it, if I was sick before I left and used their advice to cancel my trip beforehand and "make a prudent decision" (their small print in the policy) to cancel the trip, it would have cost them over $3,000. I only asked for $900.00 to cover my unexpected expenses!!! These insurance companies always find the way to decline a claim, and I am not sure which one to use now that I am planning to travel again.
I was on a business trip in Trinidad with 4 employees. One employee hurt his back and had to return to the States. After trying to get in touch with American Express Travel Insurance only to find out they are closed after hours and over the weekend. For the well being of my employee I purchased a return ticket for him and send him back the next day. My claim for $407.- is denied, because my employee should have seen a physician in Trinidad before returning to the USA. It's part of the 25 page fine print. I am more frustrated about the fact that I was lured in by Amex Travel site to "click" here if you want insurance. Since it is backed by Amex themselves I assumed they are a reputable insurance company. I thought Amex would be on my side on this after being a loyal customer for 23 years. Capital One Visa... Here I come along with 10 employees!
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Recently I purchased the travel insurance as I wanted extra assurance in case one of our family members could not travel due any reason. The insurance was purchased on June 3, 2016. The purchaser was diagnosed on June 23 not to travel. He was in fact scheduled for open heart surgery that day and had it done on June 30, 2016. The amount of paperwork was staggering and had to be faxed into their office in Texas. After this was performed, they never responded that they received the fax and continued to ask for more forms. The company is clearly not interested in the policyholders but their investors.
I booked a cruise and travel insurance before the serious Zika warnings began. The ordeal began when the U.S. Department of State issued the travel warning for pregnant and women trying to conceive and I reached out to American Express travel insurance. The claim was denied, not only when my doctor provided a letter advising against travel, but also after I found out I was pregnant the week before I was supposed go on the cruise. Apparently, Amex Travel policy won't cover anything related to pregnancy, even if a doctor advises against travel. So don't waste your money on American Express Travel Insurance, there are plenty of other travel insurance companies that do.
In July 2015 I took out a 12 month travel insurance policy to cover me as I travel around Europe and South East Asia for a few months. I scanned through the 35 page policy document and the more I read, the more confident I was to purchase their product online. All the large tables on their website, with the large blue fonts covered the many great benefits of the policy and I thus, paid for it and went off on my travels, happy with my decision and confident in both the product and the company (AMEX).
On 7th November I was bitten by a wild cat in India and had to be hospitalized for IV antibiotics. My friend called AMEX to advise them of my pending claim. I was released from hospital two days later and, after many calls to them, advised that the policy did not cover me as I was out of Australia for more than 45 days. Further, that to be covered, I would have had to leave from Australia and not stay away for more than 45 days. I again, scanned the terms and conditions document again in sheer disbelief and found in small print, the reference to 45 days stay maximum in an unusual place of 'who' should take out the policy. This is unethical marketing and promotion to get your money and nothing else.
This is a long document to read for anyone and to have all the benefits in large blue print in large, easy to read tables. And to have such a salient point as the policyholder can only travel from Australia for up to 45 days maximum during the one year policy in small print is grossly unethical as I feel I've been tricked into purchasing a product that is advertised for a year in large print and - is the same cover that AMEX card holders have already when they pay for their flights with their credit card - in small print. Therefore, AMEX has taken money from me twice e.g. credit card annual fee and this policy for the same product! I have never, until now, had any complaint with AMEX. I was shocked to hear that their travel insurance is with ACE and that they disassociate themselves from the company completely, as it was clearly advertised as their product when I purchased it online - and it is confusing to their loyal customers.
My perfect impression of AMEX has been tarnished greatly as I contacted both AMEX and ACE by phone overseas and was told by AMEX they are not responsible for the insurance double up and it is nothing to do with them. And then ACE told me I should read the small print. Let's be honest, we are not all lawyers as we don't always read every single word of a very large document. I, like most honest people, trust companies that have been good to me in the past. AMEX did not bother to confirm the policy is in fact a double up of the usual credit card travel insurance and ACE well, they told me after I had to make several calls to Sydney while in hospital, that they will not refund my policy fee! I'm in my sixties and am horrified that this unethical practice should be allowed in Australia.
I recently got a new job in a different city. I anticipated that I would likely have to change a flight I was planning to book as a result of starting this new job. I purchased the $25 travel insurance that is offered through American Express Travel. It appeared to be the only option that was available and appeared to indicate that changes in travel plans related to work would be covered.
I ended up having to change one of the flights by one day. I was charged the difference in costs for the flight change as well as a $200 fee for switching the flights. I called American Express Travel and they told me that they have no control over insurance claims and that I would have to call a separate American Express department to file a travel insurance claim. I contacted this department and the person I spoke with told me that my claim would be invalid and that the travel insurance I purchased did not cover work-related changes. In short, I paid an extra $225 for literally nothing when I was under the impression that I was using their service appropriately.
Prior to this, as someone who has been a proud and loyal AmEx cardholder for a while, I was surprised by the negative reviews I had frequently come across about American Express Travel. Along with their 1-star rating on this site, Forbes Magazine called it the #1 worst franchise to buy in 2015. I now understand their poor reputation, which unfortunately now reflects on the company as a whole.
American Express Travel Insurance expert review by Matthew Brodsky
As a Fortune 500 company, American Express offers a wide range of financial and insurance services.
Baggage insurance for customers: American Express card holders may already have baggage insurance as an add-on benefit.
Travel accident insurance on offer: Another benefit given to American Express card holders is travel accident insurance. As long as you paid full fare on a common carrier, your flight is covered.
Get a global assist hotline: A concierge service by any other name will still help you with a lost passport, missed flight or other emergency.
Amex partners with Travel Guard for trip insurance: Amex stopped offering direct travel insurance, but they work with Travel Guard to continue offering comprehensive travel coverage.
Best for: At this time, American Express is not enrolling any new travelers.
Insurance Contributing Editor
Matthew Brodsky is an established expert on insurance, having written hundreds of articles and other pieces of content on the subject, interviewed countless practitioners, and attended dozens of conferences and events. He served as an editor at industry magazine Risk & Insurance for six years.
American Express Travel Insurance Company Information
- Company Name:
- American Express Travel Insurance
- Year Founded:
- World Financial Center, 200 Vesey St.
- New York
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (800) 528-4800