Travel insurance you didn't know you have: Chase Sapphire Card

David Landsel, June 01, 2014
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    Chase Sapphire Card Travel Insurance

    Official contract

    Chase Sapphire is justifiably famous for friendly agents answering the phone without the usual "press 1" and "key in your credit card number to speak to an agent." But it also has a pretty solid travel insurance policy that comes free with your card, covering you when you have to cancel a trip due to illness or injury, when a trip is delayed, or when your baggage is lost or delayed. Here is a synopis but check the link above to read all of the fine print.

    Trip cancellation

    Who is covered?
    The cardholder, plus Spouse or Domestic Partner and their children, including adopted children or step-children; legal guardians or wards; siblings or siblings-in-law; parents or parents-in-law; grandparents or grandchildren; aunts or uncles; nieces or nephews on or before the trip departure date.

    What is covered?

    A trip that must be canceled before departure  for a covered reason, which is limited to accidental injury, death, or sickness experienced by the card holder or immediate family or traveling companions; severe weather; and for a few other reasons such as unavoidable jury duty. If the trip was arranged with points or miles, you'll be reimbursed with the same number of points or miles you used for the trip. Needless to say, some part of your airline fare must be charged to your Chase Sapphire card. 

    What is not covered?

    Trip cancellation insurance does not cover you if the airline cancels or changes your flight, unless the cause is severe weather. Pre-existing conditions are excluded. And if you've bought travel insurance elsewhere, you must make a claim on that policy first.

    Trip interruption

    Trip interruption insurance kicks in after you've departed on your travel and a covered reason "interrupts" your trip.

     What is covered?


    Trips interrupted by injuries and sickness are covered unless a pre-existing condition, as is severe weather, but not much else.  Same $5000 in coverage, same immediate family. Your covered trip cannot exceed 60 days in duration.

    What is not covered?

    Most importantly for air travel, this part of the insurance does not "apply to any…loss caused by or resulting from, directly or indirectly…travel arrangements canceled or changed by [an airline], tour operator or travel agent unless the cancellation is the result of severe weather…" So a mechanical delay appears to be not covered, which is pretty limiting ("Trip Delay" coverage, below, helps a bit with mechanical delays). If the crew "times out" (has worked too many hours and can no longer fly), it's not covered.  Basically, there are about a dozen possible ways your trip could be interrupted besides severe weather that would fall through the cracks.

    Trip Delay

    Then there's trip delay insurance with this card, which is different apparently than trip interruption insurance. Stick with us now. This is when you've started your trip and your progress is delayed by a covered reason.

    What is covered?

    A trip that is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay due to equipment failure, weather and labor strikes only. At least some of your fare must be charged to your Sapphire card (many cards require the entire amount to be charged). This is excess coverage (if the airline pays for part of your hotel stay, Chase would pay the rest). Trip delay insurance only applies to round-trip travel.

    What is not covered?

    Delays caused for any reason other than equipment failure, weather and labor strikes; delays under 12 hours; one-way trips. Also, "pre-paid expenses" are not covered.

     Lost baggage


    What is covered?

    Up to $3000 if your bag is lost or stolen. It's replacement value minus depreciation (I always wonder how insurance companies calculate depreciation). You need to report the loss or damage immediately (which really means you need to check the contents of your luggage before leaving the airport, which no one ever does, to make sure there's nothing missing) and submit a claim to the airline. Chase will pay up to $3000 but only after the airline has done its part (airlines for domestic U.S. travel cover up to $3400, but it's a lot less if any portion of the trip has been international, so this coverage is much more relevant to international travel). Of that $3000, only $500 can be for electronics and valuables, which airlines don't cover in any case, so at least you get something back. Keep those receipts! You'll need them to file your claim. If the airline denies your claim, or only pays, say, $1000 of a $3000 claim, Chase would presumably step up.

    What is not covered?

    Any loss over $3000, or over $500 for valuables/electronics.

    Delayed baggage

    If your baggage is delayed more than six hours, coverage of $100 per day up to five days. It doesn't appear that this coverage is in excess of whatever the airline gives you; it's in addition. You must provide proof of the delay from the airline and submit receipts for any item over $25.

    How to file a claim

    Call 888-320-9961 or outside the U.S. collect 804-673-1691

    Compare cards:


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