Sapphire Reserve Travel Insurance

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In my post “Keep or cancel Sapphire Reserve?” I estimated how much I value each of the card’s benefits in order to decide whether or not to keep the card beyond the first year.  As several readers pointed out, I didn’t originally include the value of the Sapphire Reserve card’s substantial travel insurance benefits.  That was an oversight.

In order to estimate how much to value these benefits, I first reviewed them.  I have to admit, I haven’t given these benefits much thought before now, but I’m impressed.  The Sapphire Reserve offers valuable travel insurance coverage far beyond that offered by the similar Sapphire Preferred card.

Below you’ll find a summary of each of the Sapphire Reserve’s Travel Insurance benefits. For full details of each of these benefits, review the Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefit Guide.

I’ve also included information about how each benefit compares to coverage from Chase’s other travel card: the Sapphire Preferred.  Specifically, the Sapphire Reserve includes the following benefits that the Sapphire Preferred does not have:

  • Primary rental insurance for expensive and exotic rentals (up to $75K)
  • Free Roadside Assistance (when you are 50+ miles from home)
  • 6 hour Trip Delay reimbursement (Sapphire Preferred is 12 hours)
  • Emergency Evacuation and Transportation (up to $100,000)
  • Emergency Medical and Dental coverage (up to $2,500)

In most cases, immediate family members on the same trip are covered.  Chase defines Immediate Family Member as “your 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; grandpa.”

Also, in most cases, with the notable exception of rental car insurance, coverage kicks in even if you pay only part of your trip with your Sapphire Reserve card.  This is an awesome benefit for those of us who frequently use points and miles or even gift cards to make trips less expensive.  For example, in the emergency evacuation details, Chase’s documentation states that you are covered when:

…a portion or the entire cost of the Trip, is purchased with Your Chase credit card account (“Account”).

Does this mean I don’t have to buy supplemental travel insurance?

Personally, I’ve never bought travel insurance anyway, so the coverage provided by the Sapphire Reserve card is great just for the additional peace of mind.  For those who do usually buy travel insurance, the Sapphire Reserve could be a great way to save money by declining that insurance in the future.  The question is whether it covers enough?

Most of the coverage seems to me to be more than adequate for my needs, but everyone should judge for themselves how much risk they are willing to take on.  I could imagine people wanting more coverage for emergency evacuations, for example.  If you need to be flown internationally via a medical transport, I expect that it will cost far more than the covered $100,000.  Similarly emergency medical and dental work is likely to far exceed $2,500.

What about other premium cards?

In the future I’ll summarize coverage from other premium cards (Citi Prestige and Amex Platinum, for example) to see how they compare to the Sapphire Reserve.  Off the top of my head I know, for example, that the Citi Prestige card offers better trip delay insurance (3 hours vs. 6 hours with the Sapphire Reserve).

And now, a summary of each Sapphire Reserve benefit…

Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (Auto Rental CDW)

Primary rental car coverage, up to $75K.  You must pay for the entire rental with your Sapphire Reserve card and you must decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver (CDW or LDW).  Both the cardholder (named on the Sapphire Reserve card) and any additional drivers permitted under rental agreement are covered.

You are eligible for coverage when: You “1) Initiate and complete the entire rental transaction using your card that is eligible for the benefit. 2) Decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver or similar provision if it is offered to you.”

How this compares to Sapphire Preferred coverage: Sapphire Preferred excludes “expensive” and “exotic” rentals such as Aston Martin, Bentley, Bricklin, Daimler, DeLorean, Excalibur, Ferrari, Jensen, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Porsche, and Rolls Royce.  Selected models of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, and Lincoln are covered.

Roadside Assistance

Roadside Assistance covers flat tires, fuel delivery, dead battery, lockout assistance, towing, etc., up to $50 per service, up to 4 times per year.  You are covered by Roadside Assistance when driving any vehicle you own or lease, and when you drive a vehicle that is furnished to you by the owner, while traveling away from home.

You are eligible for coverage when: “you drive any vehicle you own or lease, and when you drive a vehicle that is furnished to you by the owner, while traveling away from home.”

How this compares to Sapphire Preferred coverage: If you use the Sapphire Preferred card’s Roadside Dispatch service, you’ll pay $59.95 per service.  With the Sapphire Reserve, service is free, up to $50.

Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption

This benefit reimburses you for change or cancellation fees if your trip is cancelled or interrupted due to injury, death, sickness, severe weather, military orders, a terrorist action, jury duty or subpoena, etc.  Coverage limit: $10K per per person per trip, up to $20K per trip (occurrence), and $40K in a 12 month period.  Coverage includes trips paid partially with points or miles.  You, the Primary Insured Person, and your Immediate Family Members are automatically covered.

You are eligible for coverage when: “Any pre-paid tour, trip or vacation when some portion of the cost for such travel arrangements […] has been charged to your Account: while the insurance is in effect, to a destination of greater than one (1) mile from your primary residence, and is for a time period that doesn’t exceed sixty (60) days in duration.”

How this compares to Sapphire Preferred coverage: Same.

Trip Delay Reimbursement

This benefit reimburses you for reasonable expenses incurred when your trip is delayed by more than 6 hours.  Coverage limit: $500 per ticket.  Coverage includes trips paid partially with points or miles.  You, the Primary Insured Person, and your Immediate Family Members are automatically covered.

You are eligible for coverage when: “A portion or the entire cost of the Common Carrier fare, is purchased with your Chase credit card account (“Account”).

“A Common Carrier is any land, water, or air conveyance that operates under a valid license to transport passengers for hire and requires purchasing a ticket before travel begins. It does not include taxis, limousine services, commuter rail or bus lines, or rental vehicles.”

How this compares to Sapphire Preferred coverage: Coverage kicks in only after a 12 hour delay with the Sapphire Preferred.

Lost Luggage

This benefit reimburses you for lost or damaged luggage, up to $3,000 per person.  Certain items are limited to $500 (jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders, and other electronic equipment).  You, the Primary Insured Person, and your Immediate Family Members are automatically covered.

You are eligible for coverage when: Traveling on a Common Carrier “when some portion of the fare for transportation has been charged to your Account issued by Chase Bank USA, N.A. and/or its affiliates. It’s also travel on a Common Carrier when free flights have been awarded from frequent flier or Rewards programs, provided that all of the miles or Rewards points were accumulated from a Rewards program sponsored by Chase Bank USA, N.A. and/or its affiliates.”

Common Carrier is defined as “any motorized land, water or air Conveyance, operated by an organization other than Chase Bank USA, N.A. and/or its affiliates, organized and licensed for the transportation of passengers for hire and operated by an employee or an individual under contract.”

How this compares to Sapphire Preferred coverage: Same.

Baggage Delay

The benefit covers up to $100 per day for up to 5 days for emergency purchases of essential items (clothing, toiletries, charging cables, etc.).  You, the Primary Insured Person, and your Immediate Family Members are automatically covered.

You are eligible for coverage when: “Some portion of the fare for transportation has been charged to your Account issued by Chase Bank USA, N.A. and/or its affiliates.” or “”when free flights have been awarded from frequent flier or Rewards programs, provided that all of the miles or Rewards points were accumulated from a Rewards program sponsored by Chase Bank USA, N.A. and/or its affiliates.”

How this compares to Sapphire Preferred coverage: Same.

Travel Accident Insurance

This benefit pays up to $1,000,000 for accidental Death, Dismemberment, Loss of Speech, Sight, or Hearing.  You, the Primary Insured Person, and your Immediate Family Members are automatically covered.  Coverage includes trips paid partially with points or miles.  You are also covered when paying entirely with points as long as “the award was made from frequent flier or rewards programs provided that all of the miles or rewards points were accumulated from a rewards program sponsored by Chase Bank USA, N.A. and/or its affiliates.”

You are eligible for coverage when: “You charge some portion of a Common Carrier fare […] to Your Account”

Common Carrier means any motorized land, water or air Conveyance, operated by an organization, structured and licensed for the transportation of passengers for hire and operated by an employee of such organization or an individual under contract.

How this compares to Sapphire Preferred coverage: Sapphire Preferred accident insurance is limited to $500,000.

Emergency Evacuation and Transportation

The evacuation benefit provides emergency evacuation and transportation if you are injured or become ill during your trip and it results in a necessary emergency evacuation.  Evacuation must be pre-approved by the Benefit Administrator.  Coverage limit: $100,000.  The emergency transportation benefit pays for a round trip economy ticket for a friend or relative to visit your bedside when you are hospitalized for more than 8 days.  This insurance also covers repatriation of remains, up to $1,000.  You, the Primary Insured Person, and your Immediate Family Members are automatically covered when you pay for a portion of the trip with your Sapphire Reserve card.

You are eligible for coverage when: “You charge a portion of the cost, or the entire cost of a Trip, made via a Common Carrier, to Your Account.”

A Common Carrier is defined as “any motorized land, water or air Conveyance, operated by an organization other than Chase Bank USA, N.A. and/or its affiliates, organized and licensed for the transportation of passengers for hire.”

How this compares to Sapphire Preferred coverage: Sapphire Preferred does not provide Emergency Evacuation and Transportation coverage.

Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit

This benefit reimburses certain emergency medical expenses incurred during a trip.  Covered trips are more than 5 days long, but less than 60 days and must be more than 100 miles from your home.  Max coverage: $2,500 with $50 deductible.

You are eligible for coverage when: “You, a person to whom a United States (U.S.) credit card has been issued (“Cardholder”), and Your Immediate Family Members when a portion or the entire cost of the Trip, is purchased with Your Chase credit card account (“Account”).  This benefit applies when You use Your Account to pay for a Trip via a Common Carrier that is greater than five (5) consecutive days but less than sixty (60) consecutive days, and is in excess of one hundred (100) miles* from Your place of Residence.”

A Common Carrier is defined as “any motorized land, water or air Conveyance, operated by an organization other than Chase Bank USA, N.A. and/or its affiliates, organized and licensed for the transportation of passengers for hire.”

How this compares to Sapphire Preferred coverage: Sapphire Preferred does not provide Emergency Medical and Dental coverage.

Travel and Emergency Assistance Services

This is like an emergency concierge who can arrange things for you.  Examples include: medical referral, legal referral, emergency transportation assistance, pre-trip assistance (required visas and immunizations, for example).  This service doesn’t cover the costs of any of these things, just the person on the phone to help.

How this compares to Sapphire Preferred coverage: Same.

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K S

As like any insurance product, chase trip interruption has its catch. If the delay is due to common carrier, then you are not going to get reimbursed. This will be an issue if you have several connecting flights and your first leg is delayed because of which you lost the subsequent connections. You will end up loosing all the money unless the first carrier gives vouchers. For trip delay, you will have to produce the reason for delay in carrier letterhead which is next to impossible.

[…] When you pay with points for travel, Chase’s automatic travel protections do apply.  So, you can be covered for things like car rentals, trip delays, trip cancellation & interruption, lost luggage, etc.  The coverage you receive will be based on which card’s rewards were used to book the trip. For example, if you have both a Chase Sapphire Preferred and a Sapphire Reserve, you would want to move your Ultimate Rewards points from the Preferred to the Reserve and then use the Reserve points to book your trip. You will get both better value (1.5 cents per point) and better travel protections.  See: Sapphire Reserve Travel Insurance. […]

Lisa

I have a question about the Chase Sapphire Reserve trip accident, evacuation, cancellation insurance. Would this apply to traveling by your auto in the US? So if I take a trip in my own vehicle and have reserved and paid for hotel rooms that are non refundable on my CSR card before leaving on the trip, do all the trip insurance benefits still apply. What if a family member dies and we can’t go on the trip or have to return early from the trip…….what if we are 1/2 way across the country from home (still in US) and need evacuation to a hospital back home for a serious medical issue….So for our trip, we have remained in the US and are just driving our own vehicle cross country.
Also very confused by the 2 separate definitions for “Common Carrier”, and then “Common Carrier Covered Trip“????
Thanks if you can give any clarification…..

Lars Anderson

I have a question…my card is on a United States address, but I am currently abroad. I will be booking a flight from Germany to Vietnam. Will I still have those benefits (emergency/medical/dental) even though I am booking the trip from a place other than my home residence? Thanks!

– Lars

Nick Reyes

I’d suggest reading over the full policy to be sure, but I’m not aware of anything that excludes flights by location in relation to billing address. I would expect that to be covered.

Andrew Golovan

Chase Sapphire Reserve Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption doesn’t work. We have medical reason to cancel our trip from US to Germany and they didn’t reimburse any dollar from it. We have provided all documnets and thy just ignored all of it. Super unpleasant experience dealing with their customer service.

Betsy

question – we’re buying 4x RTW tickets so $40k total. My husband and I each have separate sapphire reserve card accounts. should we split it up and put 2 on each as the max refund is $20k for non-refundable expenses or would that be ‘worse’ ie if my kid gets sick/hurt and they are on a different itinerary would it not be covered? any better suggestions for cards with awesome (better than this card) benefits before we buy them?

Tom

I purchased a ticket with another travel card. If I purchase a seat upgrade afterwards with my Chase Sapphire Reserve, is that considered “a portion or the entire cost of the Common Carrier fare”?

Future_traveler

Hello Greg,

What medical condition justifies the travel cancellation claim for insurance? Any link of inputs on this area?

Thanks!