American Express Travel Insurance Canada: A Review

American Express Travel Insurance Canada offers a set of very flexible and broad insurance policies to protect you while you travel. Thanks to excellent partners like Royal & Sun Alliance and Chubb Life Insurance Company of Canada, Amex has developed three separate ways for you to obtain travel insurance.

The first one is a set of embedded insurance policies that come with most of the Amex cards. These insurance policies can cover you for virtually any difficult circumstance that may arise during a trip, and you still get the option to purchase special Top-Up plans to extend or increase your card’s coverage if you need to.

The second is a series of four stand-alone travel insurance plans that you can purchase with many options like individual or family insurance, single-trip and multy-trip plans, different trip durations and a broad range of covered amounts, all this to help you choose the right coverage for your trip and your budget.

Finally, you can also purchase different life insurance plans through Amex’s four Air Trip Insurance plans that offer perks like unlimited trips, family coverage at no extra cost, coverage for the first 21 days of every trip, and more.

All and all, years of experience make American Express an expert at helping people travel around the world worry free, and its travel insurance plans will always be a great choice.

Becoming an American Express cardmember comes with a lot of perks, no matter which card you choose. Beside great benefits like welcome bonuses, loyalty rewards programs, travel credit and more, travel insurance is one of those things that adds a lot of value to each Amex card. American Express Travel Insurance consists of a wide range of different products or insurance policies, each of which comes with its own set of terms and conditions that you have to be aware of, in the undesired case that you should happen to need it.

In this week’s post, I’ll teach you the A-B-C behind all of American Express’ most important insurance policies, especially those related to travel. You’ll learn everything from eligibility, coverage, options, exclusions, how to make claims, and much more.

To make this post easier to read, I’ve broken it down into the following sections:

What is American Express Travel Insurance?

American Express Travel Insurance refers to a set of insurance products and services that American Express Canada offers its cardholders and other travelers. This sometimes confuses people who are accustomed to associating the Amex brand strictly with credit cards. However, don’t go thinking that the fact that Amex offers insurance policies makes it an insurance company. In fact, what Amex really does is keep an eye out for great insurance products they think people like you will like, and then they will reach an agreement with that insurance company to develop policies they can then offer to customers like you.

In other words, all Travel Insurance policies that Amex offers are actually underwritten by big, trustworthy insurance companies. The main allies American Express Canada relies on for its insurance products are two of Canada’s biggest names in insurance: Chubb Life Insurance Company of Canada, and Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada.

Together with these insurance companies, Amex helps thousands of customers travel with peace of mind, wherever they go.

What Type Of Coverage Does American Express Travel Insurance Offer?

By the hand of the mentioned insurance companies, American Express has developed a very handsome set of insurance policies to cover different types of expenses you may incur in, if anything should go wrong during your trip. Amex offers these policies either as a part of the benefits package that comes with their different cards, or as a part of stand-alone Traven Insurance Plans.

To make things easier to follow, I’ll group or categorize the different policies according to the type of coverage it offers. In this sense, Amex Travel Insurance policies are designed to protect your personal health and well-being, the investment on your travel arrangements, your personal effects while you travel, products or items you purchase with your Amex cards and other insurance products and services.

Read on to find a complete break-down of each type of coverage Amex offers:

Personal Health and Well-Being Coverage In American Express Travel Insurance

Amex offers two different insurance policies to help keep you healthy or to help you or your loved ones in the worst of cases:

Out Of ProvinceTerritory Emergency Medical Insurance

Nothing eases your mind when you travel like having a good medical insurance policy to back you up. The Out of Province/Territory Emergency Medical Insurance Policy covers pretty much anything related to accidents that need medical attention, and comes into effect once you leave your province or territory of residence. The coverage is for up to $5,000,000, which is a very handsome figure that’ll be enough for almost any medical emergency. The expenses covered by this policy include:

  • Hospital & Medical Expenses including ambulance, air ambulance, hospitalization, diagnostics tests, medical treatment, and more.
  • Hospital Allowance for up to $500 for hospitalizations that last more than 48 hours.
  • Emergency Dental Expenses for up to $1,000 to replace and/or repair teeth that were damaged during an accident, and a maximum of $250 to relieve dental pain.
  • Physiotherapy and Other Professional Services
  • Return to your Departure Point
  • Return of Deceased to point of origin
  • Additional Hotel & Meal Expenses when your hospitalization exceeds your return date.
  • Bringing a bedside companion to your bedside when you are traveling alone and need to be hospitalized
  • The expenses needed to return a vehicle to a residential home or to a rental agency
  • Return of Dependent Children or Grandchildren
  • Return of Travelling Companion
  • Return to your Trip Destination
  • Return of your Dog or Cat
  • Return of your Excess Baggage, and more

You can purchase this coverage as a part of one of the stand-alone American Express Travel Insurance plans (read ahead), or you can get it along with some of American Express’ higher end cards, like the Platinum Card or the AeroplanPlus Reserve Card, to name only a couple of them.

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In the first case, you can choose between an individual and a family policy, between a per-trip plan and a multy-trip plan, and between 10 days and 31 days of coverage. The insurance policies that come with the Amex cards, however, are about the best you can get, because they include coverage for you, your spouse, any dependent children, any additional cardmember, his or her spouse and dependent children, for any number of trips with a maximum duration of 15 days.

And here is the kicker: the premium is already included in your cards annual fee, so you won’t pay a single extra dime!

As you can see, the stand-alone options are much more flexible, and you can get a good price in the end, whereas the card insurance is already top-of-the-line, and the premium is included in the card’s annual fee.

PRO TIP:

It’s important to note that the Emergency Medical Insurance is an Excess Insurance Policy, which means that it only comes into effect after your medical expenses surpass the coverage of your Canadian Government issued health insurance plan (read below for eligibility).

Travel Accident Insurance

This is a life insurance policy (AD&D policy), which means that it will pay a sum of money to whoever is in the contract, in case you or any other insured person dies as a consequence of an accident during your trip, or in case your body is lost and not recovered during the following year after an accident. It will also cover you for accidental dismemberment and loss of sight on one or both eyes.

As with the previous medical policy, the terms and conditions and the amounts covered depend on how you acquire the coverage:

The Travel Accident Insurance that comes with Amex cards is underwritten by the Chubb Life Insurance Company of Canada and It covers you, your spouse and your children under the age of 23, as well as any additional cardmember and his or her spouse and children. The only condition is that you are all traveling in the same carrier (plane, ship, train or bus), and that all tickets were paid for in full with the eligible Amex card. The only downside is that this policy will only cover you while in transit, and not when you’re at your destination, but that’s what the Travel Emergency Medical Insurance policy is for.

The maximum insured amount in the case of Amex cards depends on which card you have. The lowest figure sits at $100,000 and the highest at $500,000.

The travel Accident Insurance that comes as a part of an American Express Travel Insurance Plan, on the other hand, is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company, and it will grant a maximum of $50,000. The difference in covered amount comes from the fact that this policy covers for any kind of accident that may happen during your trip, not just while you’re in transit. As a consequence, the insurance company is assuming a higher risk, therefore it pays less.

Trip Investment Coverage In American Express Travel Insurance

Sometimes, trips can get canceled before they begin for unforeseeable reasons like accidents or a simple change of plans. Other times, you may have to cut your trip short and return home. In both of those cases, if you have pre-paid travel arrangements, you could ask for a refund for the unused portion of your travel arrangements, but companies will seldom refund the whole price, so you’ll end up losing money.

Amex Travel Insurance offers separate insurance policies to help protect your prepaid travel investment:

Trip Cancelation Insurance

This policy covers you for the non-refundable portions of prepaid trips, in case your trip is canceled for a covered reason, before it even starts.

When it comes with an Amex card, the maximum sum covered is $1,500 per person for a maximum of $3,000 for all insured persons combined.

When you purchase it with an Amex Travel Insurance Plan, besides the standard individual/group and per-trip/multy-trip options, you can actually choose between different covered amounts, so as to make sure that it will be enough to cover your entire trip arrangements. The minimum coverage you can purchase is for $1,000 per person/$2,000 per family, and the maximum is ten times as much, covering for up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per family.

Trip Interruption Insurance

If, after you begin your trip, it is interrupted or you miss a connection or similar, the Trip Interruption Insurance policy that comes with some cards and with some of the American Express Travel Insurance plans will cover the non-refundable unused portion of your travel arrangements, as well as the most cost effective flight fares either to rejoin your tour, to your point of departure or to your next trip destination. It also covers pocket money for small daily expenses.

When it comes with an Amex card, the maximum coverage is for up to $3,000 per person and $6,000 for all insured persons combined. When purchased separately, you can choose different coverage options that range from $1,000 per person/$2,000 per family, all the way up to $10,000 per person/$20,000 per family. In case of a multy-trip insurance plan, the maximum amount covered is $20,000 per family per year, regardless of what coverage you purchased for every trip.

In the case of out-of-pocket money, the maximum is $100 a day per person, with a cap at $1,000 per person and $3,000 per family.

Personal Effects Coverage In American Express Travel Insurance

Losing personal effects because your baggage was stolen or it simply disappeared while in transit is something no one wants to go through. In these cases, American Express Travel Insurance has you covered with three separate insurance policies:

Lost Or Stolen Baggage Insurance

If your luggage disappears, gets damaged for some reason or someone steals it, the Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance policy can help you recover up to $500 or $1,000 worth in personal effects, when the coverage comes as a part of one of your Amex cards. If you have valuable items in your luggage, $1,000 of coverage may not be enough, so you can also purchase a Supplemental Plan to increase this coverage by $7,500.

Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance

This policy covers up to $500 in lost personal items in case your hotel is burglarized, as long as you paid for the room with your eligible American Express Card.

Baggage And Personal Effects Insurance

This is the equivalent to the Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance that comes with some Amex cards, but that you purchase in a separate American Express Travel Insurance Plan. It includes reimbursements for up to $1,000 per person ($3,000 per family) per trip for lost or damaged personal items and effects.

It also covers you for up to $400 in clothing and other necessary toiletries, in case your baggage is delayed for more than 12 hours, and it will reimburse any expense for up to $250 to replace lost passports, driver’s license, birth certificates or travel visas.

Card Purchase Coverage

Purchase Protection Plan

Regarding purchase coverage, almost all Amex cards come with the Purchase Protection Plan that covers your purchases against accidental damage and theft, for a maximum of $1,000. This is great for travelers who love to bring home souvenirs that can sometimes be fragile and delicate. Of course, products you buy will only be covered if they were paid in full with an eligible Amex card (see table below for a complete list of Amex cards and their included insurance policies).

Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan

This insurance plan is also really helpful to protect your purchases. The Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan doubles the manufacturer’s warranty on any purchase paid in full with an eligible Amex card, for a maximum of one extra year (see table below for a complete list of Amex cards and their included insurance policies).

Other Personal Insurance Products And Services

Baggage and Flight Delay Insurance

Flights can be delayed for long periods, and during this time, you may have unplanned expenses like eating at a restaurant or even staying at a hotel. Your baggage not arriving on time can be just as frustrating and can generate more expenses. Amex’s Flight Delay and Baggage Delay Insurance cover you for these, and other sundry expenses.

Flight Delay and Baggage Delay Insurance are actually two separate policies. However, the maximum covered amount is an aggregate amount for both policies taken together. This means that if you are covered for $500 on both policies, you won’t get a total of $1,000 of coverage, but actually a $500 limit after you add any expense arising from your baggage or flight being delayed.

As usual, the amounts covered depend on the insurance plan. If you’re a Cardmember, you can boast either a $500 or a $1,000 aggregate limit, depending on which card you have. On stand-alone Travel Insurance plans, the maximum covered amount is $400, and it comes included in the Baggage & Personal Effects Insurance, as mentioned above.

Car Rental Theft And Damage Insurance

This one only comes with Amex cards. When you rent a car, you’re required to buy a Theft and Damage policy which can cost anywhere from $16 to $23 per day! To give you an idea, if you were to rent a car for a one-week business trip, this could add up to as much as $161 just for the insurance (not counting the car rental itself).

If you pay for the car rental with an American Express Card that includes Car Rental Theft & Damage Insurance, you can waive the rental company’s own policy and use your card’s instead, without paying a single extra dime.

The coverage limit for this policy, regardless of which Amex card you own, is $85,000, so do try and stay away from Lamborghinis and Ferraris if you want Amex to cover it.

24/7 Travel Emergency Assistance

This is a service offered by Amex to travelers. It gives you access to legal and medical assessment over the phone during your trip, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This helps a lot, especially if you’re in a country whose laws you’re unfamiliar with.

StandbyMDSM Program: Travel Medical Concierge

This is a special service provided by Global Excel (the same company that handles claims for RSA) to Amex Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders only. As the name lets on, it’s the equivalent to the Platinum American Express Concierge service, only for medical care and advice, instead of lifestyle recommendations. It’s a program designed to reduce your inconvenience of having to search for medical assistance when you travel. It does so by providing 24/7/365 access to physician telephone consultations, as well as arrangement of house call visits when travelling almost anywhere in the world.

This service is incredibly useful to travelers, in particular if you’re visiting a country for the first time and you still don’t know your way around.

It’s pretty common to see that people sometimes purchase insurance policies but don’t read the fine print with a lot of care, or they simply don’t read it at all, so they really don’t know what to do in case of an emergency. It can be really scary to have an accident abroad and not know which way to turn to get help. The StandbyMD concierge is one phone call away, and he or she will immediately tell you what to do, give you professional medical advice, and even arrange for an ambulance to take you to the closest and most adequate medical institution, making sure that all expenses will be eligible for coverage by your Emergency Medical Insurance.

If the Amex Platinum Concierge takes the hassle out of planning your days when you travel, the StandbyMD concierge takes the stress out of seeking medical attention when you need it the most.

Read our posts on The Platinum Card and the Business Platinum Card from American Express to find out more about all the other great benefits that come with these cards.

Special Coverage For Small Businesses

Besides personal insurance policies, Amex also offers insurance specially designed for companies and small businesses.

Employee Card Misuse Protection Program

Issuing one of your employees a credit card in the business’ name can seem risky to some. Those sort of cards are obviously for business related expenses only, but there’s always the risk that an employee will use it, without authorization, for personal expenses. The Employee Card Misuse Protection Program insures small businesses against this type of card use. If the purchase is not an Authorized Expense, Amex will waive the company’s liability in most cases, for up to a maximum of $100,000 per Amex card.

Which American Express Travel Insurance Policies Come With My Amex Card?

As you probably already know, American Express is famous for providing extensive and comprehensive travel and purchase coverage on all of its higher end credit and charge cards. Of course, that sort of coverage usually comes with heavy annual fees, but there are also many less expensive options that can give you enough coverage for you to enjoy the ride, worry free.

In the following tables, you’ll find the complete list of all 21 Amex cards for Canadians, and the insurance coverage you get when you sign up to any one of them.

The amounts shown refer to the maximum insured sums. I also included all the available Top-up plans or Supplemental Plans for each type of insurance. The Top-Up Plan for Emergency Medical Insurance extends your coverage for an extra 15 days, giving you a full month of coverage. The Supplemental Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance Plan increases your Card coverage up to a maximum of $15,000. In the case of the Supplemental Lost or Stolen Baggage policy, the coverage is increased to a maximum of $7,500.

 The American Express card insurance coverage The American Express Card



The American Express Gold Rewards card's insurance coverage American Express Gold Rewards Card


The American Express Business Gold Rewards card's insurance coverage American Express Business Gold Rewards Card

The Platinum card's insurance coverage The Platinum Card



The Business Platinum card's insurance coverage Business Platinum Card From American Express The Marriott Bonvoy American Express card's insurance coverage Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card's insurance coverage Marriot Bonvoy Business American Express Card
Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country) $5,000,000 – for the first 15 days X ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days) X ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days) ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days) X X
Travel Accident Insurance ✔ ($250,000) ✔ ($500,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($500,000) ✔ ($500,000) ✔ ($500,000) ✔ ($500,000)
Trip Cancellation Insurance X X X ✔ ($5,000 +Supplemental Plan for $15,000) ✔ ($3,000 +Supplemental Plan for $15,000) X X
Trip Interruption Insurance X ✔ ($6,000) X ✔ ($6,000 +Supplemental Plan for $15,000) ✔ ($6,000 +Supplemental Plan for $15,000) X X
Baggage Delay Insurance (aggregate with Flight Delay) X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500)
Flight Delay Insurance (aggregate with Baggage Delay) X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500)
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance X ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($1,000 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($1,000 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan for $7,500) ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan for $7,500)
Travel Emergency Assistance
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500)
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance X ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000)
Standby MDSM Travel Medical Concierge X X X X X
Purchase Protection® Plan ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000)
Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan
Employee Card Misuse Protection Program X X ✔ (up to $100,000) X ✔ (up to $100,000) X ✔ (up to $100,000)
    Blue Sky Credit Card insurance coverage Blue Sky Credit Card


Essential Credit Card insurance coverage American Express Essential Credit Card Cobalt Card insurance coverage American Express Cobalt Card

AeroplanPlus Card insurance coverage AeroplanPlus Card


AeroplanPlus Gold Card insurance coverage AeroplanPlus Gold Card


AeroplanPlus Platinum Card insurance coverage AeroplanPlus Platinum Card


AeroplanPlus Reserve Card insurance coverage AeroplanPlus Reserve Card


Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country) $5,000,000 – for the first 15 days X X ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days) X X ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days) ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days)
Travel Accident Insurance ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($250,000) ✔ ($250,000) ✔ ($500,000) ✔ ($500,000) ✔ ($500,000)
Trip Cancellation Insurance X X X X X ✔ ($3,000 +Supplemental Plan available for $15,000) ✔ ($3,000 +Supplemental Plan available for $15,000)
Trip Interruption Insurance X X X X X ✔ ($6,000 +Supplemental Plan available for $15,000) ✔ ($6,000 +Supplemental Plan available for $15,000)
Baggage Delay Insurance (aggregate with Flight Delay) X X ✔ ($500) X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000)
Flight Delay Insurance (aggregate with Baggage Delay) X X ✔ ($500) X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000)
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance X X ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) X ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($1,000 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($1,000 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500)
Travel Emergency Assistance X X X
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance X X ✔ ($500) X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000)
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance X X ✔ ($85,000) X ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000)
Standby MDSM Travel Medical Concierge X X X X X X X
Purchase Protection® Plan X ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000)
Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan X
Employee Card Misuse Protection Program X X X X X X X
 Air Miles credit card insurance coverage American Express Air Miles Credit Card

Air Miles Platinum credit card insurance coverage American Express Air Miles Platinum Credit CardAir Miles Reserve credit card insurance coverage American Express Air Miles Reserve Credit Card

Air Miles for business credit card insurance coverage American Express Air Miles For Business Card

Air Miles Gold Business credit card insurance coverage American Express Air Miles Gold Business Card

SimplyCash Card insurance coverage SimplyCash Card from American Express

SimplyCash Preferred Card insurance coverage SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country) $5,000,000 – for the first 15 days X X ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days) X X X ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days)
Travel Accident Insurance ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000)
Trip Cancellation Insurance X X X X X X X
Trip Interruption Insurance X X X X X X X
Baggage Delay Insurance (aggregate with Flight Delay) X X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500) X X ✔ ($500)
Flight Delay Insurance (aggregate with Baggage Delay) X X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500) X X ✔ ($500)
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance X X ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) X X ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500)
Travel Emergency Assistance X X X X X X X
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance X X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500) X X ✔ ($500)
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance X ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) X X ✔ ($85,000)
StandbyMDSM Travel Medical Concierge X X X X X X X
Purchase Protection® Plan ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) X ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000)
Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan X
Employee Card Misuse Protection Program X X X ✔ (up to $100,000) X X X

Stand-Alone American Express Travel Insurance Plans

If you’re not an Amex cardholder, or if your Amex card doesn’t have all the coverage options you want for your next trip, American Express Travel Insurance offers the possibility to purchase separate insurance policies as a part of four different Insurance Plans: The Basic, Essential and Ultimate Travel & Medical plans, and the Select Travel Plan.

Before we dive into the details of each one of these four American Express Travel Insurance Plans, let’s discuss the different options you can choose from when you decide to enroll. First of all, for each one of these travel insurance plans, you can choose either an individual policy for yourself or a group policy for you and your entire family. Secondly, you can also choose to buy a separate policy for every trip (Per-Trip policy), or you can also purchase a year-long policy for an unlimited number of trips (Annual Multy-Trip policy) in case you plan to travel more than once in the following year. Finally, each plan comes with different options regarding the maximum insured amount (read above for more info), which has a direct impact on the overall premium you have to pay for the Insurance Plan you choose.

Per-Trip Policy Vs. Multy-Trip Policy

If you’re not a frequent flier, or if you only plan to travel once in the following year, it doesn’t make sense to pay for Travel Insurance that covers more than one trip. For this case scenario, Amex offers Per-Trip Travel Insurance Policies, which you purchase prior to your planned trip. However, you might plan to travel more than once, and you may even be a frequent flier and may end up traveling several times during a year.  In that case, it may make better sense to purchase an Annual Multy-Trip Travel Insurance Policy that will cover you (and your family, if you pay the premium) for an unlimited number of trips during a period of one year.

Group Policy Vs. Individual Policy

For a Premium, Amex and its partners (the insurance companies that underwrite all of the American Express Travel Insurance policies) offer the possibility to extend the coverage of each of their policies to your family. By “Family” they mean you, your spouse (legally married or in a conjugal relationship of at least one year) and any dependent children (under 21 if not a student, under 26 if a full time student).

It’s only obvious that family coverage is more expensive than an individual policy (you have to pay a premium), but the premium is always cheaper than buying individual insurance policies for each family member.

One thing to consider when choosing group travel insurance policies is that, if you choose a single trip policy, your family will only be covered if you all travel together. In the case if a Multi-Trip family policy, since it covers any number of trips per insured person, all members of the family may travel separately, any number of times, and will still be covered.

Let’s now dive into the details behind the four American Express Travel Insurance Plans:

The Basic Travel & Medical Plan

As its name suggests, the Basic Travel & Medical Plan only offers the most basic coverage you might need while abroad. In fact, this insurance plan only comes with the Out of Province/Territory Emergency Medical Insurance coverage, which, as mentioned above, cover you for up to $5,000,000 in emergency medical expenses and other expenses related to any medical treatment you might need because of an eligible accident.

As you can see, this plan doesn´t offer any protection for the investment made on prepaid trip arrangements, nor for any other travel related incidents like burglary, trip or baggage delays, loss or theft, rental car insurance, etc.

This is an attractive option for many adventure seekers who seldom worry about purchasing travel insurance but who, nevertheless, travel to tropical countries where there is a high risk of certain diseases and unforeseeable accidents.

The Select Travel Plan

The Select Travel Plan is the complete opposite of the abovementioned Basic Travel & Medical Plan. It includes everything the latter lacks:

  • Trip Cancelation Insurance (up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per family)
  • Trip Interruption Insurance (up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per family)
  • Trip Delay Insurance (up to $1,000 per person or $3,000 per family)
  • Baggage and Personal Effects Insurance (including up to $3,000 for lost or stolen baggage and $250 for replacing documents like ID, Passport, Driver’s License and birth certificates)
  • $400 for expenses related to baggage delay.
  • Up to $50,000 for Flight & Travel Accident Insurance

The last item is an AD&D policy, like in the case of the Travel Accident Insurance policies mentioned before (the ones that cover from $100,000 to $500,000). As stated before, the difference in the insured sum, is that this policy covers you for any accident during the whole trip, not just while in transit.

Essential Travel & Medical Plan

This is one of American Express Travel Insurance’s comprehensive insurance plans. Why? Because it covers medical emergencies, your trip investment and your personal effects, all in one package. This is almost an all-inclusive insurance plan. It gives you the Emergency Medical Insurance that comes with the Basic Travel & Medical Plan, and all but the Trip Cancelation Insurance that comes with the Select Travel Plan.

In other words, the Essential Travel & Medical Plan includes:

  • $5,000,000  of coverage in Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Trip Interruption Insurance (up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per family)
  • Trip Delay Insurance (up to $1,000 per person or $3,000 per family)
  • Baggage and Personal Effects Insurance (including up to $3,000 for lost or stolen baggage and $250 for replacing documents like ID, Passport, Driver’s License and birth certificates)
  • $400 of coverage for expenses related to baggage delay.
  • Up to $50,000 for Flight & Travel Accident Insurance

The Ultimate Travel & Medical Plan

As far as stand-alone Travel Insurance Plans go, The Ultimate Travel & Medical Plan has it all. It basically combines the Basic & Medical Plan and the Select Travel Plan to make the most comprehensive Travel Insurance Plan that American Express Travel Insurance offers. It includes:

  • $5,000,000  of coverage in Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Trip Cancelation Insurance (up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per family)
  • Trip Interruption Insurance (up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per family)
  • Trip Delay Insurance (up to $1,000 per person or $3,000 per family)
  • Baggage and Personal Effects Insurance (including up to $3,000 for lost or stolen baggage and $250 for replacing documents like ID, Passport, Driver’s License and birth certificates)
  • $400 of coverage for expenses related to baggage delay.
  • Up to $50,000 for Flight & Travel Accident Insurance

Amex Air Trip Insurance

If you’ve read our reviews of the different Amex cards and their insurance coverage, you’ll notice that, in virtually all cases, you have to pay for the entire trip itinerary with your eligible Amex card in order for you to be covered. In some cases, if you pay for your trip with frequent flyer points like Aeroplan miles, your trip won’t be covered, even though you earned the points by charging your Amex card.

Amex Air Trip Insurance is a life insurance product offered by American Express that could give you and your family coverage for an unlimited number of trips, during flights and for up to 21 days after you reach your destination, regardless of which payment method you use for your itinerary. This is great news if you’re not already an Amex cardmember, or if your Airline or Travel Operator doesn’t accept American Express.

Contrary to the American Express Travel Insurance plans, which are underwritten by RSA Insurance Company, Amex’s second biggest ally in the insurance world, The Chubb Life Insurance Company of Canada, underwrites the Air Trip Insurance Plans. Just like in the former case, there are four Air Trip Insurance plans: The Basic, Essential, Deluxe and Ultimate Plans. Common benefits across all four plans include the flexibility to choose between a single annual premium and monthly premium payments, and coverage for an unlimited number of trips during a 365 days period. Read on to learn the key benefits that you’ll get with each Air Trip Insurance Plan:

Basic Amex Air Trip Insurance Plan

As its name clearly indicates, this is only the most basic of plans and it only offers one benefit for yourself:

  • $250,000 accidental death coverage when you fly.

Essential Amex Air Trip Insurance Plan

In this case, you get twice the life insurance coverage and more benefits such as:

  • Coverage for you and your family at no extra cost (no family premium)
  • $500,000 of accidental death coverage when you fly (for all family members)
  • $50,000 ground and cruise accidental death coverage for the first 21 days of your trip

Deluxe Amex Air Trip Insurance Plan

This is basically twice the Essential plan, granting you the following benefits:

  • Coverage for you and your family at no extra cost (no family premium)
  • $1,000,000 of accidental death coverage when you fly (for all family members)
  • $100,000 ground and cruise accidental death coverage for the first 21 days of your trip

Ultimate Amex Air Trip Insurance Plan

The Ultimate Plan is the highest coverage in life insurance that Amex offers. It will give you:

  • Coverage for you and your family at no extra cost (no family premium)
  • $1,500,000 of accidental death coverage when you fly (for all family members)
  • $100,000 ground and cruise accidental death coverage for the first 21 days of your trip
  • An additional $200,000 coverage for the first 21 days of your trip, if the accident occurs on a bus, boat or taxy.

Eligibility For The American Express Travel Insurance

The eligibility depends on if the insurance is embedded in an Amex card or if it’s part of a stand-alone American Express Travel Insurance Plan.

  • For card-embedded insurance policies, the first condition to be eligible for coverage is to be a basic cardholder, his or her spouse or dependent child, or to be a supplementary cardholder, his or her spouse or dependent child. In other words, you have to be a Canadian citizen or resident, client of Amex Bank of Canada or of Amex Canada Inc., or a family member of a client.
  • For American Express Travel Insurance Plans, you will be automatically eligible if you are a client of Amex Canada or a family member of a client (considering that you paid the family premium), more than 15 days old, and under 60 years old.

If you are 60 years old or older, but under 79, you will first need to answer a medical questionnaire to give all required information on pre-existing medical conditions. Based on the answers given, you will fall into one of 5 different categories. In that case, you will only be eligible for coverage if any prior illness, heart or lung condition has been stable for the stability period defined for you category.

Another condition is that, since the Emergency Medical Insurance is an excess insurance policy, YOU MUST HAVE A CANADIAN GOVERNMENT INSURANCE PLAN to cover the initial expenses of your medical treatment, otherwise you won’t be eligible for the Amex Travel Insurance.

How Much Does American Express Travel Insurance Cost?

The cost of card embedded insurance policies come included with the cards annual fee, so it’s not possible to estimate it accurately. In the case of stand-alone insurance plans, the final premium you have to pay depends on many options like per-trip or multy-trip plans, individual or family policies, the age of each insured person, gender, pre-existing conditions, and, above all, the insured amounts you decide to choose.

You can get an exact quote either by calling the American Express Travel Insurance enrollment center at 1-844-200-8959, or you by filling out an online form here.

I won’t lie to you. If you were to compare prices with other travel insurance companies, you can find cheaper options. However, the quality of service, the extensive coverage and the reliability that Amex and its affiliate companies offer make the American Express Travel Insurance be well worth the price.

I Need To Use My Insurance, What Do I Do?

If you ever suffer an accident in the middle of a trip, your flight is delayed or, in general, if anything bad happens to you that is covered by any of the American Express Travel Insurance policies, then you absolutely need to make a claim as soon as possible. Making a claim means contacting American Express, or, to be more precise, the insurance company that underwrites the specific policy, to inform them of the event.

Of course, it may happen that you are unable to contact them immediately, either because you are medically unable (you might be unconscious), or because there is no way to communicate from where you are. If this is the case, Don’t panic! American Express understands that this could happen. Someone else can contact the insurer for you, or you can contact them as soon as you are able, and there will be no harm done.

In order to make sure that your claim is legitimate, the insurer is authorized by contract to request any necessary documentation related to your accident or incident. Insurance companies will also often put clauses in the contract that seek to make sure they minimize their losses, while still being able to give you the service they promise. In this sense, you have to always remember that it’s your responsibility to keep your side of the bargain, if you expect the insurer to do the same.

In this post, I’ve shown you the most important aspects of American Express Travel Insurance as of today. However, the underwriting insurers may decide to change their master policies at any given time, and Amex may decide to change their insurance plans, or even switch to another insurance company. For this reason, no matter how thorough I may be, it is still imperative that you

read you contract or certificate of insurance very carefully

and clear up any doubts that may come up with Amex and the underwriting insurance company before you commit, and, most importantly, before you actually travel.

As general advice, if you need to make a claim, re-read your contract first, before you actually call or contact the claims department.

How To Make A Claim

Each insurance company has its own claims department, and in some cases, they use a separate company to handle claims. As a consequence, making a claim will depend on which travel insurance policy or plan you have.

  • For claims related to card embedded  insurance coverage you can fill out an online claims form here. This includes claims related to the Purchase Protection Plan, the Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan and the Car Rental Theft and Damage insurance policy.
  • For all insurance products underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada for the different Amex Travel Insurance Plans, claims are made through Global Excell by calling 1-844-780-0501 toll-free from the U.S. & Canada, or +819-780-0501 collect from anywhere in the world.
  • For life insurance included in the Travel Accidents Insurance available with some Amex cards, you or a family member is required to contact Chubb Life Insurance Company of Canada in order to make a claim.

FAQs

What Is A Top-Up Plan?

A Top-Up Plan is an extension of coverage you purchase through the Amex Travel Insurance Enrolment Center, to cover for a part of your trip that is not completely covered by your primary insurance policy. For example, if you purchased the Out of Province/Territory Emergency Medical Insurance that will cover you for 10 consecutive days, but your trip lasts 20 days, then you need to purchase extra coverage for the extra 10 days that your primary policy doesn’t cover. This extra coverage is an example of a Top-Up plan.

If I paid my premium and receive my Certificate of Insurance, and I decide to back down and cancel it, will I get a refund?

You will get a full refund if you do so within the first ten days from the emision of your certificate of insurance. If the certificate is sent via mail, you’ll get 15 days from the day it was posted. You have to notify the insurer as soon as posible, or else you might have to pay a $15 administrative fee, and you’ll probably lose part of the premium you paid.

You can even cancel your insurance coverage after you started on your trip, as long as you haven’t made any claims, and you will be refunded a fraction of the premium you paid minus administrative fees.

If I purchase a Per-Trip policy and my trip is cancelled, will I lose the prime I paid?

You can cancel your policy during the ten consecutive days following the emision of the certificate of insurance and you will receive a full refund. If more than 10 days have already passed, you can still cancel it and receive a refund for part of your primium but you also have to pay $15 for administrative expenses.

However, if you purchased an insurance plan with trip cancelation coverage, and the reason for which the trip was canceled is covered by the policy, it probably makes beter sense to keep your policy and make a claim to recover the prepaid trip arrangements.

What Does “Underwritten” Mean And What Does It Imply?

An underwritten policy is an insurance policy ofered by one company (in our case, American Express Canada), as a part of a group master policy issued to that company by another insurance company, which is referred to as the underwriter (in our case RSA or Chubb Life).

What this implies is that the company that offered you the insurance is not really the one that’s insuring you. When you sign your contract and when you need to make a claim, it’s the underwriting company that’s liable, not the company that ofered the policy.

This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own. We update this information as frequently as possible, but keep in mind that the terms of these cards do change from time to time.

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