Consumer Complaints and Reviews
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!
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.
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Matthew BrodskyInsurance 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.
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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.
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American Express Travel Insurance Company Profile
- Company Name:
- American Express Travel Insurance
- Year Founded:
- World Financial Center, 200 Vesey St.
- New York
- Postal Code:
- United States