American Express…That will do nicely!!

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  MartynSinclair 6 Sep 2010
at 18:48
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  • Anonymous

    Binman62
    Participant

    For most this will not be news however for the second time this year my family and I have been saved from the vagaries of travel by American Express. Like many companies they have their detractors and in the past I have complained bitterly to them about the odd matter. However, the insurance offered by the Amex Platinum card must surely be the best out there (IMHO) and even the BA Amex card insurance is pretty good.

    In April, in the midst of the volcanic disruption, they paid our out of pocket expenses of almost £1000 without hesitation. I have recently just enjoyed the experience of my bags not arriving at the same time as I did, and once again Amex stepped in and £1200 was on offer to us as a family of 4 (not all of which was required).

    The annual fee is hefty but it is worth its weight in gold in terms of the insurance on offer and in my case many years of fees have been recouped this year alone.

    Does anyone have a better policy?


    PaulJennings
    Participant

    The Amex policy is excellent, no doubt about it.

    Policies from Direct Travel at http://www.direct-travel.co.uk are highly rated by Defaqto and get positive feedback via moneysavingexpert.com.

    My only concern about the Amex policy is its exclusion of pre-existing conditions, as for all other standard policies. So I either have to travel uninsured or take out a separate travel insurance policy.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Binman62 – having used the Amex Centurion service since inception and being a Charter member (what ever that means) I can categorically say that the Amex BENEFITS are probably the very best set of benefits available on the market today. For over two years, I have been trying to find a set of terms to equal the benefits offered by Amex, but have failed to come close. There is an open offer on anotehr thread for anyone able to offer these benefits to contact me becasue I would not hesitate to buy them.

    The problem I have with the benefits, for which I am meant to pay over £1800 per year is that they are exactly that, FREE BENEFITS. It is not an insurance policy written in the our indivudually names and this brings with it a set of circumstances that casues me concern as has been evidenced by a previous claim:

    1. becasue they are free benefits, you have no legal rights to a claims dispute service.

    2. the policy is wirtten in the name of an obscure company. You are not the policy holder but merely the beneficary of a set of free gifts, which is dependant upon the card membership you subscribe to or benefits being purchased through Amex insurance services.

    3. this means that Amex are able to publish/market benefits that can be changed without notice (to be fair Amex do give notice) but more importantly, are able to change the rules about claims with no recourse. An example of this is contained in Amex brochure CAM5817, page 6

    “If you do have to go into hospital, call us, and we’ll arrange direct settlement of all your
    treatment fees: up to £5 million. As well as pay for those little, but important things
    which make your stay that bit more comfortable, like books, magazines and flowers.”

    The above statement is simply untrue – but Amex do not have to change this statement, because they are not regualted and even if theu were, you are not a policy holder but the holder of a free benefit.

    4. Claims are handled by Axa a totally independant company, who claim to subscribe to service standards and in the main do. However, when things go wrong or there is a complicated claim, you are left in the hands of claims handlers whom are not accountable to any regulator or to any internal complaints system.

    If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in the States and ending up in a hospital at 2am trust me, you need your credit card. When you eventually get reimbursed, there is often a shortfall due to currency conversions and bank charges.

    To be fair to Amex claims, any claim needs to be checked for to make sure that there has been no non disclousre at the time of the claim or a previous medical condition that would preclude cover. But when GP’s can take weeks to respond to inquiries, guess what Amex do, they hold the claim, hence quite often the card holder can be out of pocket by having to front the costs, hence why the above quite is untrue.

    I agree with you Binman and Paul that the set of benefits are fabulous, but what gets to me is the fact that this is not a true insurance policy offering full protection to the person but rather a set of benefits being offered which is not governed by any regualtor or set of rules to protect the end user, if things go wrong.

    Sorry for the rant on this, but it is a subject that is extremely close to my heart and no one yet has come up with a solution. There is a very nice chap called Jeff Rush who is likely to join this thread who has on many times promised a solution (he is the MD of an Insurance company) and I would gladly give him my business, but I am still waiting for his promised solution.

    I am happy to supply any evidence to support this post.


    MarcusUK
    Participant

    Annual Amex policies apart from the premium cards, start from £59 on the UK website, with the limitations of being a “free insurance policy”.

    Having bought them for many years & used the services several times, they are surely consistent & one of the best policies on the market, & not subject to the “Complimentary” policy limitations.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Marcus

    It depends what you consider as being “one of the best policies”. Do you know offhand, exactly what you are covered for becasue £59 per annum may sound a good premium but the benefits of that policy come no where near the benefits Centurion cover.

    When I speak to both business and leisure travellers, very few are aware or even investigate the benefits of a travel policy , merely commneting that the policy they use is “the best and cheapest” on the market.

    Take a serious look at the benefits of the policy, they may suffice for you, thats great, but when I checked for me, my wife, child and other family members covered, it was very unsuitable.

    I am very interested to hear your comments on this.

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