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How Can You Save Money on Travel Insurance?

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How Can You Save Money on Travel Insurance?

Million Mile SecretsHow Can You Save Money on Travel Insurance?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Phil, writes:

I’d like to see you do an article on flight insurance options for those of us who use miles for our trips.  I use miles on almost every trip I make and struggle to find private insurance that will cover delays, cancellations, etc. at a decent premium.

I typically get something off and luckily have never had to file a claim.

Thanks for your question, Phil!

It’s a good idea to make sure you’re covered if the unexpected happens during your trip.  Trip insurance from private providers can get pricey when you travel frequently.  But paying with certain cards will automatically cover you at no extra charge!

How Can You Save Money On Travel Insurance
Things Don’t Always Go As Planned When You’re on Vacation! Certain Cards May Help You Weather the Storm

I’ll explain which cards offer this perk and what’s covered!

 You May Already Be Covered!

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   My Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

I like paying for the taxes and fees on my award flights with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  Sure, it’s my favorite card because I earn 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining.  And I can transfer the Chase Ultimate points I earn to great partners like United Airlines and Hyatt.

But did you know you can also get reimbursed for the miles you use to book your flight if you or a member of your immediate family’s award flight is cancelled?

So if Phil is a Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder, he may already be covered and can avoid paying for the extra insurance.

What’s Covered?

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits Guide  

If you pay for a portion of your (or your immediate family’s) paid or award flight with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you could be reimbursed if your trip is cancelled due to:

  • Accidental bodily injury, loss of life, or sickness experienced by
    you, a traveling companion, or an immediate family member of you or a traveling companion
  • Severe weather, which prevents a reasonable and prudent person
    from beginning or continuing on a covered trip
  • Change in military orders for you, your spouse, or your domestic partner
  • A terrorist action or hijacking
  • A call to jury duty or receiving a subpoena from the courts, neither
    of which can be postponed or waived
  • Finding you or your traveling companion’s dwellingto be uninhabitable
  • Quarantine imposed by a physician for health reasons
  • Financial insolvency of the travel agency, tour operator, or
    travel supplier whose services you booked

Just be sure to read the benefits guide carefully for information about things that are NOT covered such as a change in plans, pre-existing conditions, and war.

How Can You Save Money On Travel Insurance
Sick and Can’t Make Your Flight? If Your Illness Is Related to a Pre-Existing Condition You May NOT Be Covered!
Other important terms and conditions:
  • Your trip must be more than 1 mile from your house and for a period no longer than 60 days
  • You must notify the travel provider if you’re unable to make the trip
  • If a physician has advised that making the Covered Trip is medically inadvisable, you must immediately notify the appropriate travel supplier that you are cancelling your travel arrangements.  If you don’t notify the supplier, the company’s reimbursement will not exceed the cancellation penalties imposed during the period by the supplier and in effect forty-eight (48) hours immediately following your receipt of advice from your physician that travel is not advisable.

Note:  Trip interruption and cancellation insurance through the Chase Sapphire Preferred is supplemental.  This means you can only be reimbursed after you’ve gone through any other insurance you may have.

For information specific to your situation, call the Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits administrator at 888-320-9961.

How Much Will You Get for Your Miles?

Chase will reimburse you for miles, points, or cash rewards earned through a Chase rewards program or from its affiliates.  So that includes airline and hotel transfer partners like United Airlines, Southwest, or Hyatt.

It’s up to the claims administrator to decide if you’ll be reimbursed for the monetary value of the award (if it’s documented) up to $10,000.

Otherwise, you’ll be reimbursed for award flights at 1 cent per point, up to $10,000.  So if Phil uses 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a round-trip United Airlines ticket to Europe and he can’t make the flight due to illness or another covered reason, he could get $600 from Chase to help cover his losses.

How Can You Save Money On Travel Insurance
Can’t Make Your Award Flight? The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Could Reimburse You Up to $10,000!

If you’re traveling with your immediate family on the same trip, the maximum benefit is $20,000 per incident and $40,000 per 12 month period.

How Do You File a Claim?

Contact the plan administrator within 20 days of the occurrence at:

Plan Administrator Card Benefit Services
P.O. Box 72034
Richmond, VA 23255


Within 15 days of receiving your notification, they’ll respond by asking you to provide:

  • Complete claim form
  • Copy of your travel itinerary
  • Documentation supporting your inability to make the flight such as a medical records or a death certificate
  • Receipts
  • Copy of your statement showing you paid for a portion of the trip with your card
  • Copy of the cancellation and refund policy of the travel operator or supplier

You’ll need to submit this information within 90 days or as soon as possible not exceeding 1 year after the incident.  You should then receive your payment within 60 days of the company receiving the documentation.

For more information, you can also call the plan administrator at 800-320-9961.  Or if you’re outside of the US, 804-673-1691.

You’re Also Protected Against Other Losses

You could also be covered for:

  • Trip Interruption – If you have to end your trip early you could be reimbursed for any prepaid transportation (not including miles & points) up to $10,000
  • Trip Delays – Get up to $500 per ticket when your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours
  • Lost Luggage – Luggage or items inside are lost or damaged for up to $3,000 with a limit of $500 for certain items like cameras, jewelry, and electronics
  • Delayed Luggage – After 6 hours, up to $100 a day for up to 5 days
  • Primary Car Rental Insurance – Covers the damage to your rental car in case of an accident of theft (other vehicles and injuries are NOT covered)
How Can You Save Money On Travel Insurance
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Will Also Save You Money on Your Rental Car Insurance

Other Cards That Offer Trip Insurance for Award Travel

There are other Chase cards that also offer some of the above benefits including:

The Citi Prestige also offers protection when you book award flights and pay the taxes and fees with your Citi Prestige card, Citi reward points, or a combination of both.

The plan includes:

  • Trip Cancellation – Up to $5,000 per person, per trip
  • Trip Delay – After 3 hours, up to $500 for yourself, spouse, and dependents
  • Lost Luggage – Up to $3,000 per person, per trip ($2,000 per person, per bag, per trip for New York residents) to a maximum of $10,000 per trip
  • Delayed Luggage – After 3 hours, up to $500

You can read more about what’s covered and what isn’t in the benefits guide.

Some Folks May Still Want to Pay for Additional Coverage

The travel insurance coverage you get with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and other Chase cards is much better than you get with cards from other banks.

But there are exclusions, and things like medical evacuation aren’t covered so you may still want to pay for additional coverage.  Insuremytrip is a great site for comparing travel insurance plans.

You can tailor paid plans to fit your needs.  For example, if you have a pre-existing condition you can pay more for an insurance policy that covers this.

You should also check with your health insurance provider to see if you’re covered.

Additionally, if there’s a medical emergency and you have to be evacuated, you want to make sure you’re covered.  Otherwise, this could end up costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars!

How Can You Save Money On Travel Insurance
Medical Evacuations Can Cost Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars, If You Don’t Have Insurance

Many folks gladly pay the ~$50 to ~$200, for the peace of mind!

Note:   The insurance provided by the Chase Sapphire Preferred is NOT travel medical insurance!

Bottom Line

If you want save money on travel insurance, the good news is you may already be covered!  The Chase Sapphire Preferred (and other Chase cards) along with the Citi Prestige offer you coverage for:

  • Trip cancellations and interruptions
  • Delays
  • Lost or damaged luggage
  • Primary rental car insurance

That said, some folks may still want to pay for a private travel insurance plan for issues that are excluded in the Chase policy.  And I typically buy at least a separate medical evacuation plan because if things go really wrong, a helicopter ride could be an expense you can’t afford.

Have you ever filed a claim with your Chase travel insurance policy?  I’d love to hear about your experience!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I have a concern, I booked and paid in full with my CSP for my family of 5 for roundtrip flight from JFK to CUN via Dynamic Air. It seems that they only fly once per day. If for some reason the flight was canceled, with the only option to come back tmrw. what would my options be?

Could I walk over to Delta and use my CSP and purchase 5 oneway tix for their next avail flight?

Get an Uber and go get two hotel rooms for me and my family?

Would like to know my options before hand. Thanks for any info!

Geo-blue Trekker is an excellent medical coverage that I think is an excellent supplement to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s coverage. It covers all trips outside the USA for one year. $50,000 medical, $2500 medications, $250,000 evacuation – and cost under $250 per couple.

I’ve had to use the coverage 3 times on cruise ships and they always paid the bill minus $50 deductible.

Some things to consider:

World Nomad is excellent and reasonable for travel insurance including evacuation and repatriation. They came through a few years ago when I had an accident in Laos.

If you dive, most travel insurance covers you for recreational SCUBA to 18 meters. If you dive deeper of are in a remote area you will want additional coverage, eg., DAN (Diver Alert Network).

If you spend 6 months a year out of the US you can get global coverage from IMG Global as your primary insurance and it has all the benefits you will want or need (except the extra SCUBA coverage) at much less cost than self insurance in the states.

Always examine your policy carefully. The above is based on my personal experience and should not be taken as a guarantee of anything at all.

I called Chase this weekend and was told travel suppliers such as HomeAway/VRBO are NOT covered by them. Be careful.

This is problematic:

“Your trip must be more than 1 mile from your house.”

Seriouly, 1,mile, so if my trip to my next door neighbor gets canceled, i won’t be covered!!!

I guess i will need to plan staycations that are further away. 😉

Oh well

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