Amex Platinum insurance pays up again (when it didn’t need to)

Three years ago, I wrote an article about my experience claiming on the American Express Platinum card travel insurance.

Amex made some nasty changes to the insurance on the Platinum card in January 2012.  What was comprehensive, no-worries cover became a bit of a game, with flights and hotel required to have been paid on an Amex card in order to qualify for some of the smaller benefits.  The upper age limit also dropped from 80 to 70 which meant that my Mum’s supplementary card on my account was now useless.

(It is worth noting that Amex never changed the insurance on the Business Platinum charge card.  This has an identical annual fee and very similar benefits.  If you value the travel insurance benefits of Platinum and have your own business, you may want to consider switching to Business Platinum.)

Amex Platinum

Back in 2012, when we were in Barbados, our then 1-year old son vomited badly for a day and we had him seen by the resident hotel doctor.  We did not get this pre-approved by Axa (Amex’s insurance partner), which is a pre-condition for repayment.  I had deleted all my e-ticket receipts by the time I submitted the claim, and the claim itself was a scruffy receipt torn from a standard receipt book, available in any stationers, with B$450 written on it (c £150) and rubber stamped with the doctor’s name.

Not exactly great proof – all that I sent Amex was that receipt.  Amex paid in full.

When we were in Singapore in May, something similar happened.  Our now 4-year old son developed a temperature.  At the suggestion of our hotel, we headed down to (sic) Raffles Hospital.  This was a great deal – we got seen immediately and the cost of a consultation and a selection of medicines was just £85.

When we got back to London, my wife tried to claim the money from her corporate BUPA policy but that carried a high excess.  I then submitted a claim to Amex.  The whole claims process can now be done online – it took about 10 minutes to fill in the form and I attached a photograph of our receipt taken on my iPhone.

Again, Amex would have been perfectly within their rights to deny my claim because we had not sought pre-authorisation and we had not used one of their recommended hospitals.

Instead, I got an email yesterday saying that my claim will be paid in full.  There are no excesses with Amex’s coverage so I receive the full £85.  It took 8-9 working days to receive this email from the day I submitted the claim.

My history with Amex insurance is not unique.  I can’t remember ever hearing of someone who was given a hard time by them over a claim. (EDIT: looking at some of the comments below, I may have been too hasty in saying that!) I don’t know if they behave differently if you buy stand-alone travel insurance from them, but for Platinum charge card holders it is a decent benefit.

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Comments

  1. dirtyneedlebluesky says:

    this info is really only relevant to existing holders of the account – it’s now a legacy product.

    Axa also provide the travel insurance for the Gold current account provided by Lloyds.

    I’ve found they offer a great service (i.e. it means my claims always seem to be paid).

    If you pay £10 per year then all excesses for any subsequent claims are waived.

    p.s.
    the phone insurance provided with this account has also been good (although the excess for smartphones is £50 Android / £100 iPhone) than can’t be reduced.

  2. Amex Plat insurance aside, I’d be interested to know of any good experiences with insurance companies? i.e. when they have paid out and done what they promised in all their glossy marketing. I have yet to make a claim on travel insurance, but you never know when you will need it and that’s the time you want the insurance company to deliver, not spend hours arguing with them.

    • IIRC at the time of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic ash eruptions a lot of insurers were pretty poor at paying out – I had to take mine at the time (Insureandgo) to the ombudsman! M&S insurance got a good name at that time as I recall, in part because they didn’t want to damage their underlying brand.

  3. Has anyone had any experience with AmEx’s Gold card ACE insurers? My wife is in the starting process of putting our first ever purchase protection claim through as a supplementary card holder and would love to hear any feedback. They got her name wrong over the phone (it can happen, I suppose) but I’ve now seen that there is a form online that can be filled out…

  4. I’ve had one hospital claim when my partner broke his rib, and one claim for emergency dental work. Both were in the US, so they were eye-wateringly high claims for simple treatment.

    AXA paid out in full eventually, but the procedure was slow and difficult, and they made a few mitsakes along the way which stalled things.

    Using Skype to contact AXA was a problem. There is some issue with their exchange — I was told — that means it works poorly with Skype. While I could use Skype to call numerous other UK phone numbers, calls to AXA (via Amex) typically had them not being able to hear me at all while I could hear them perfectly.

    Another claim for a damaged tyre on a car hire in the Seychelles went much better and was paid quickly and without fuss.

    I too was surprised that I had no cover for non-refundable hotels when British Airways cancelled our flight to the Maldives.

    • Martin. Agree, how are we supposed to get refunded for pre paid unused hotels. Should we be claiming from the airline? Is that why they refuse to cover it? How did it get resolved, did you ever get those refunds from anyone? Axa definitely drag it out, in the hope that you will go away and just drop the claim. I got that feeling, as every time I called in to chase my OH claim, we start from scratch again with the claim, and send in the paperwork yet again! Unreal experience.

  5. Calchas says:

    Those of you unhappy with Amex—is there another alternative insurer who covers all travel problems (including car hire and third party liability insurance) worldwide without fuss?

  6. Two experiences with Amex insurance – in LA and in Abu Dhabi with children under 18 months old. At Cedars Sinai in LA – they called Amex on my arrival, didn’t even bill me, said Amex will pay directly (about $1200). In Abu Dhabi I claimed back the cost online (about £200) and received money back within a few weeks. So give Amex 10/10 in both instances… I did in both cases call Amex as soon as children were ill, to advise them of claim, and also ask best place to take them. They were very useful in both cases, and even re-imbursed me the cost of the calls from my mobile back to the UK!

    • Must say I had no issues with a claim from Amex/AXA. However I suggest most insurance companies are the same trying all they can not to pay.

      I’m lucky from this site I found out about the Amex Dollar card (thanks Raffles) so I stil get the insurance upto 80 and no need to book anything through the card.

  7. Ok – I need some help here a little bit as i am thinking about taking the plat only for the 30k sign up bonus and the travel insurance. Might churn it in a year as i have a few trips planned in the next 12 months. Although i do have the nat west black card through my wife who is a supplemenary card holder from her mother. However would i be covered with the travel insurance on trips paid for with my BA amex a while ago. Slightly confused here.

  8. Sorru i see it as not bad value for £450 for 30k miles and when amex do the bonuus even better value.

  9. One of the few times I did not use my Amex plat to book flights was on my trip to HNL. Decided to use my bmi card as I got 4 avios per £ which meant I got a nice amount of points. However, bags were not boarded on flight from LA (even though I had a night stop over) I they did not appear until 18hrs later. While AA offered to pay $150 for essentials for two of us (at least i hope they do as claim not settled yet!) we missed out on £600 from Amex as both card holders. I suppose you can not win them all!

    • Paid, how does that work was it £150 per day per person for delayed baggage? Not bad though.

      • No unfortunately just $150 for both of us, although I had to push for this as it was not offered at the airport. Spent 40 mins on hold to their customer services before it was offered. Initially nothing offered as they had booked the bags on the next flight that should have arrived 10 hours later, they only authorised the money when I highlighted my English clothes were not suitable for the hot weather in Hawaii! The money was sufficient to purchase some beach clothes and something to wear for the evening (just) so can not grumble.

  10. Anyone having an issue with z claim had my upmost sympathy, however my experience in 100% positive and in line with Rob’s.
    My first claim was due to the closure of airspace due volcanic activity. Settled in full in less than a week and over £2000 for a family of four. 3 months later again as family missing bags and £1200 available to get kitted out. Spent less than half that again settled in full in under a week. In December the same year got delayed to DUS for 6 hours and took a hotel for the night. On the return 2 days before Christmax had to find another wY out of Europe and took the train and Ferry. Almost a £1000 settled before the new year.
    Like Rob have had numerous medical clas because of the kids and have never had pre authorisation. The worst was in Hawaii when we were ripped off to the tune of $900 for an infected toe. Not a quibble.
    The changes were significant in 2013 but I can’t say I noticed.
    It’s probably the best travel policy out there but always happy to be corrected

    • cheekychappie says:

      I wouldn’t insure you – prone to bad stuff.

      • I wouldn’t either……but Amex do and for that I am grateful…..when the family travels trouble never seems far away. One year ago today we missed a connection due to a hurricane/ typhoon in Hawaii. $1000 for two rooms plus meals. This year we are in Indonesia and it looked touch and go getting to Bali / Lombok due volcanic activity. Pleased to say we are in Lombok, without incident…….even the bags made it through T5.

  11. Great I am reading through the posts and wondering what to think. I am waiting for them to come back to me with regards to my claim. I am claiming £500 as we were left for 6 days without bags in Saudi Arabia. I have Amex Gold and Amex travel insurance which are both with AXA. I do hope they pay up as I was on the phone with them numerous times.

  12. I have AMEX Plat insurance but it doesn’t cover any existing medical conditions. Is there a good insurer who will do medical cover only (we can use the Plat for all the travel related things) for the blood pressure tablets my OH is taking?