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American Express Travel Insurance Guide

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Travel can be expensive, especially if you want to invest in all of the amenities, such as flights, hotels, rental cars and other costs. Therefore, if something happens that interferes with your trip going as planned, it can become an even bigger expense.

The average cost of travel insurance is $252 per trip. Some travelers may find it worthwhile to pay for a travel insurance policy or use travel benefits from their credit card companies. For example, American Express® Travel Insurance and American Express travel protection benefits may help cardmembers get coverage for travel mishaps.

American Express, Member FDIC, can help protect travelers against baggage loss, trip cancellation, rental car damage and more. Learn more about American Express® Travel Insurance benefits, available coverage and how to file claims below.

Does American Express Have Travel Insurance?

American Express provides two different travel assistance programs. Anyone can purchase an American Express® Travel Insurance policy. However, American Express® Card Members may also have benefits that are included with their credit card.

American Express® Travel Insurance can provide coverage for trip cancellation, travel medical, baggage and more. Similarly, the benefits included with American Express credit cards may include trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance, baggage insurance or access to the Global Assist® hotline.

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About American Express® Travel Insurance

You can purchase an American Express® Travel Insurance policy that acts as a traditional standalone insurance policy. You do not need to be a cardmember to purchase a policy. However, you must be a permanent resident of one of the 50 U.S. states or Washington, D.C. The price of an American Express® Travel Insurance policy will vary based on many factors, such as your home location, travel destination, trip length and other travel details.

Take a look at the coverage details for American Express® Travel Insurance and benefits below.

What Is Covered With American Express® Travel Insurance?

Basic coverage will insure trips worldwide, as long as the destination does not violate U.S. sanctions, which are determined by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. The insurance will only cover one trip at a time, so you must purchase a new policy for each trip.

Each travel insurance policy will have covered events and medical conditions with specific exclusions and coverage limits. Since they vary widely, you will need to refer to your policy to understand what is covered. If you have to cancel your trip or cut it short for a covered reason, you can be reimbursed for payments and deposits that are nonrefundable and have not been used.

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You must purchase travel insurance before your trip — American Express will not insure a trip that has already started. However, if something changes, you can request modifications to your coverage before your trip starts. Just note that any changes may affect your premium.

If you need to cancel your insurance, you can request a refund for up to 14 days after you receive your plan documents, as long as your trip has not been completed and you haven’t been paid for any claims. After the 14 days, you may be eligible for a partial refund.

Does American Express Have COVID-19 Travel Insurance?

American Express does offer coverage for COVID-19 medical emergencies. However, if you travel to a destination with a travel advisory to avoid travel because of COVID-19, your travel will not be covered for COVID-19. American Express also does not cover trips that are cancelled due to fear of catching COVID-19. It also does not cover trip cancellation or interruption caused by COVID-19.

Some other insurance providers do provide coverage for medical reasons and changes due to COVID-19 cancellations.

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Does American Express Have Travel Benefits?

Your American Express credit card may include the following travel protection benefits:

Every American Express credit card will have different benefits and coverage limits, so you will need to double-check what is included with your specific card. However, they are all similar in that you need to pay for your travel using your American Express card to be eligible for travel protections.

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How Do You File an American Express Travel Insurance Claim?

If you need to file a claim on your American Express® Travel Insurance, you can call 1-800-243-0198 in the U.S. and Canada or 905-475-4822 from anywhere else for most claims — the number for travel accident insurance is 1-877-772-7797 in the U.S. and Canada. You can also file online through the American Express insurance portal. For contact information for a specific benefit, refer to your Certificate of Insurance/Policy.

American Express recommends that you save any documents that can be used to back up your claims, such as receipts, police reports or bills. However, your policy will also contain the specific proof you will need for each type of benefit.

The timeline for the claims process will vary based on the type of claim that you file. You should file your claim as soon as possible, and specific time requirements for filing should be listed in your policy. 

Is American Express Travel Insurance Worth It?

American Express provides both credit card travel protection benefits and official travel insurance policies. While they offer similar types of coverage, benefits can vary widely for cardmembers that use different American Express credit cards. In addition, coverage limits may be higher if you purchase a travel insurance policy.

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According to ConsumerAffairs, American Express Travel Insurance has a four out of five-star rating. With that being said, there are quite a few customer complaints regarding claims being denied or poor customer service.

If you are already an American Express® Card Member, you may find that your travel protection benefits are sufficient for your travel needs. However, if you are not a cardmember or if you want higher coverage limits, you may wish to consider purchasing a travel insurance policy for your next trip.

Information is accurate as of Dec. 2, 2022, and is subject to change.

All information about American Express card offers has been collected independently by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or approved by American Express. These offers are not available through GOBankingRates.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.