YOU ASK:

Do I need travel insurance if I booked a flight with American Express card?

WE ANSWER:

Most American Express credit cards provide you with the added benefit of free travel insurance when you use the cards to purchase an airplane ticket or to book your trip. Depending on the type of American Express credit card you have, you may be eligible to travel insurance that it provides.

However, it is very important to know the things that are being covered by the travel insurance policy provided by American Express. It may not fully provide you with the benefits you would need and want in a travel insurance policy.

Also, for this kind of "free" travel insurance, you need to book all your tickets using your American Express credit card. Otherwise, the travel insurance may not be considered in force. Thus, it is important to read and understand the credit card offerings, as well as the travel insurance policy provided.

There are some benefits that are standard for most, but in special cases may not be applicable to a certain individual. For example, although medical expense benefits are provided as a standard item in the travel insurance policy, those who are over 65 years old may not be considered eligible for this benefit.

Some travel insurance benefits that are covered under the credit card offering may include:

  • Emergency Medical Insurance: Where emergency medical expenses are paid up to a maximum number of days and up to a specified limit (amount). This is usually offered for those who are 65 years old and below.
  • Trip cancellation expenses, including out-of-pocket and transportation expenses.
  • Flight delay and cancellation insurance.
  • Emergency assistance during travels.
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Coverage.
  • Car rental damage and theft insurance (In most cases, the car rental fee should be charged using the American Express Credit Card).
  • Baggage loss or delay insurance.
  • Loss of personal items due to motel/hotel burglary (again, these accommodations should be booked or paid for using your credit card).

These coverages are subject to specified conditions, which when unmet may render the claim unpayable, so it will help to know the extent of your coverage under that insurance policy. When you are thinking of buying another travel insurance policy to supplement the cover provided by the American Express card, knowing your existing cover will also help, since this will prevent you from insurance yourself against the same risk twice.

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