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.)
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.