Like many of you I’m the proud owner of a shiny new Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Unlike many of you I’ve had extensive experience with travel insurance claims. Because I’m an accidental expert on travel insurance a number of you have asked me if the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance is comparable to what I would buy through a company like Allianz.
The answer is an emphatic NO. For our upcoming trip to Chile and Argentina I will not be relying on my Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance. Here’s why I shelled out the $102 for 5 weeks of family coverage:
Deal Dad rang up over 5K in bills during a five day hospital stay in Gran Canaria last year. In the grand scheme of things his malady was minor compared to the worst that can happen. Chase’s $2500 wouldn’t have even begun to fill the bill.
The other thing to know about Allianz is that their medical insurance is PRIMARY. That meant I didn’t have to deal with my insurance company at home. We also saw 100% of our expenses reimbursed in 14 days.
Chase’s coverage is SUPPLEMENTAL. That means they pay after your home insurance company. Even great coverage in the USA will require a co-pay. In our case we would have paid 30% (of course we were out of network) after our annual deductible was satisfied. If we were lucky our health insurance might have covered the $2500 Chase wouldn’t have. They certainly would have taken longer than two weeks!
The $100,000 Chase offers sounds like a lot. However, FT4RL alum Michael used to operate emergency medical charters and clued me in on the cost. From a remote area 100K might not even cover one person. What if you’re in an auto accident and multiple family members need evacuation? Take out a 2nd mortgage.
Use Chase to Hack Allianz
That’s not to say that Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Insurance doesn’t have value. Chase offers terrific insurance when it comes to trip cancellation, lost luggage, and delays.
Here’s the cool thing about Allianz: their medical coverage remains constant no matter the cost of your trip. So the difference between a 5K trip and a 1K trip is significant in cost, but nil in benefits.
So here’s what you do: use your Chase Saphire Reserve Travel Insurance for all of your tangible items, then claim the cost of what’s left over as your true trip cost for Allianz. You’re being honest- just leveraging to your best benefit.
For our five week trip coming up we have about 20 flights booked (5 trips, four people). The cost to cancel 20 individual tickets is 20 x $150 (average)= $3,000.
For five weeks we have 35 nights hotel. The vast majority of those are cancellable, so we could recoup those charges. Let’s say we lose $500 if we have to cancel something out of the cancellation window.
All of my car rentals are cancellable and most aren’t charged until pickup, so no lost cost there if we have to cancel. We do have $200 in ferry tickets, though.
Let’s say we book one activity in each city at a cost of $50/each. That’s $200 per city X 5 cities=$1,000. Activities are the hardest to refund so we could lose that money.
Adding $3,000 + $500 + $200 + $1,000 I come up with a trip value of $4700, or $1175/person.
Chase covers up to $10,000 per person per trip up to $20,000 total. We are well within their limits.
Therefore we don’t need Allianz to cover anything but medical. I usually set a floor value of $1,000 because no trip is worth $0.
For a $4700 trip an Allianz policy would cost $214. For the same trip at a value of $1,000 I paid $112. The limits for baggage, cancellation, etc. went down accordingly but the medical stayed the exact same.
Please share your travel insurance experiences. I’m sure other companies are great, also, I’ just have experience with Allianz. I’m happy to try to answer any questions as well.
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