American Express to Refund Incorrectly Billed Travel Insurance Premiums

By Paul Riegler on 24 May 2015
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DSC_0708American Express is notifying card members who are enrolled to automatically receive insurance such as baggage protection, flight insurance, and medical protection when purchasing an airline ticket that it has billed some of these charges in error.

“On occasion,” the card issuer said, “a premium may have been billed for charges that were not covered” and the company has created a process that will permit card members to get these refunded.

The problem stems from American Express’ computer systems not knowing if an airline ticket was purchased for the card member, a “covered person,” or a third party.  A covered person could be the card member, any additional card members on the account, a spouse or domestic partner of the card member or of an additional card member, and dependent children up to an age that varies by state.

Insurance products include Automatic Flight Insurance, Premium and Executive Baggage Protection, Baggage Delay and Loss Protection, Hospital Cash, International Medical Protection, Travel Delay Protection, and TravelAssure/TravelAssure Classic.

“We do not know if a ticket was purchased for a Covered Person or not,” American Express said.  The purchase of an airline ticket for a non-covered person, however, would still result in a charge for an insurance premium.  In addition, American Express’ computer system cannot distinguish between a ticket purchase and the purchase of an upgrade or fees such as for baggage or a change in flight.  The system “may” have not automatically refunded an insurance premium in the case of a cancelled or unused ticket.

Card members who believe that they were charged insurance premiums in error can request a refund by calling 866 403-6560 or going to a dedicated web page.  Refund requests must be submitted no later than August 31, 2015.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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