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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 the 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.
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:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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
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