Amex Makes Changes to Cardmember Insurance Benefits Amex Makes Changes to Cardmember Insurance Benefits

Amex Makes Changes to Cardmember Insurance Benefits

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If you hold an American Express Card, you might have noticed they are making some changes to the various insurance benefits that come with the card. Changes come into effect on September 1, 2017, and affect Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance coverage, Purchase Protection coverage, the Global Assist Hotline service, and Baggage Insurance coverage. As usual, some of the changes are positive, and some are negative, a lot depends on how they specifically impact each cardholder.

Credit Cards

Which Cards are Affected?

Each change affects a very large number of cards and includes Amex Cards as well as co-branded cards. You can use the American Express Website to find out if your card has been affected by the changes. Cards that appear to be most affected by the changes include:

This list is by no means exhaustive, and you should check to see if your card is included in the changes.

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance Protection

Changes in Amex’s policy affect both the type of cars that are included, as well as the countries where you are covered. Key changes are as follows:

  • Cover now applies to rentals in Ireland, Israel, and Jamaica, while it still does not apply in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand
  • Coverage now extends to cargo vans, trucks and pickups, full-sized vans, SUV’s, and exotic expensive cars.

Purchase Protection

Amex’s new coverage will extend to incidents related to natural disasters, although there is a cap of $500 per incident.

Global Assist Hotline Service

The policy change will mean that Global Assist will no longer provide the online destination guide.

Other Changes

Amex has also made several updates to their definitions that affect the following coverage categories:

  • Extended Warranty
  • Baggage Insurance Plan
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Purchase Protection
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance coverage

In terms of Baggage insurance, the following are now ineligible for benefits:

  • Medications
  • Prosthetics
  • Perishables
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing aids

In addition, any losses incurred while participating in a felony, riot, or damages caused by a civil disturbance are also to become ineligible for cover.

Our Take

It is difficult to state whether overall the changes are positive or negative. While the changes to definitions are negative as it reduces your coverage, the changes to the car rental insurance are clearly positive with more countries and a greater choice of cars covered. Ultimately the changes will depend on how each person uses the coverage with their card. So, what do you think, are the changes positive or negative in your opinion?

Source: Travel With Grant

5 / 5 - (5 votes)
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  • Overall, it does not make much difference except for people who benefit from the car rental benefit. Regarding medical items, they are probably best not checked anyway. I guess this is why I just skimmed the mailed notices, and only got around to reading this post now.

  • I feel like all travel insurance is a scam, just like insurance in general. Insurance has only saved me one time in my life and it wasn’t even my fault.

    Same goes with these travel insurance, these credit card companies throw out there, like its a bonus…

    I had an issue with my previous trip and I didn’t get anything out of it. They declined my claim, even though it fell under their policy! Bullocks!

  • Hopefully this will improve the cards. Already my go to for any high price/important item

  • I’m still going to continue to use my CSR for rentals.

  • I think this is huge on AMEX. To add places not take away. As a dual US-Irish citizen I am most excited that rentals are covered now. Took the mirror off the car once. Heard horror stories about charges of €1,000 since car is out of commission. Went to a Nissan dealer and they changed for €80. Got lucky that time

  • Car rental insurance change is a big plus. Will other banks follow this?

  • Great for Ireland, they have a high car insurance rate and you usually have to book with their insurance. this will be good, thanks!

  • Interesting! Thank you.

  • Glad to hear about the rental changes since we go to Ireland often!

  • Amex needs to catch up on travel insurance & delay protection.

  • Overall not a huge change, though seems like it leans more negative than positive with the definitions changing.

  • Sebastian says:

    German Cards will change the Sign-Up Bonus – is something like this coming to the us-Cards too?

  • I second for Chase Reserve.

  • While everyone’s interpretation and needs differ, it appears this is mostly a small positive change for most people, if any difference is noticed at all.

  • Mickey Hughes says:

    I haven’t paid a lot of attention to this aspect of my credit cards but with this announcement, that is changing.

  • I’ve never used these yet, but thanks for letting us know.

  • I use my Chase Sapphire Reserve for purchases and car rentals so this change will not affect me.

  • My Amex Hilton Honors (no annual fee card) statement came with about 15 pages of info yesterday, and I noticed it includes stuff about car rental insurance. I need to look at it in more detail, but it appears this card is also included among the ones listed above.

  • Yes, I’m with Andrea on this one. CSR for car rentals.

  • Any changes to the Centurion card?

  • We had a damage claim to a rental car a few years ago in St Kitts and Amex handled it almost immediately. We were very happy with their service.

  • Jennifer Easley says:

    Love that Ireland will be covered for car rentals.

  • Chris Barnett says:

    More classes of rental cars being covered by Amex is a nice improvement. Especially SUV’s.

  • Mixed bag indeed, but in general I’d say it’s more favorable to AMEX than the consumer (no surprise).

  • I appreciate Amex will now cover in Ireland. I am disappointed they will still not cover in Italy.

  • good to keep this in mind as Hilton starts eliminating relationship with Citi

  • Always nice for expanded countries

  • I still like Chase Reserve for car rental. It serves as PRIMARY insurance. That’s a big plus!

  • For the car insurance benefit, expanding the list of covered countries is always a positive change, as I never know when I’m gonna be in one of those countries.
    Not sure how to draw a conclusion on the other changes though.

  • “damages caused by a civil disturbance are also to become ineligible for cover”

    That looks open to a very broad interpretation… does Amex clarify the term civil disturbance. Is getting mugged/robbed a civil disturbance?

  • Some changes for the better, some for the worse; overall relatively unremarkable. However, it is difficult to believe that AmEx really needs to call out the fact that they won’t cover you while committing felonious acts! That one actually made me laugh out loud.

  • Is this for cards issued worldwide or USA only?