How to Claim Trip Delay Insurance – Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit card continues to be one of the most popular travel cards for the millennial and professional traveler. Even with some of the recent changes for 2020 such as the increased annual fee of $450 (previously only $300) the card continues to be very popular. 

There’s a ton of travel credit card reviews out there, so we won’t bother adding another card review to the mix. We’ll share our first-hand experience with perhaps one of the most overlooked perks: Trip cancellation reimbursement. 

This perk was a lifesaver on a recent international trip we took, saving us nearly $800 in unanticipated expenses covered 100% by Chase. We thought we’d share how this worked out for us and how it made the annual fee completely worth it. It might just be enough to sway anyone out there wondering how all those additional perks actually work and if they add any real value.

So what is this perk? 

For a full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card benefits, you can check out well-researched reviews bynerdwallet or the points guy.

This travel protection really falls into two categories, the first is trip cancellation or Interruption insurance and the second is trip delay reimbursement. So let’s take a look at the first one:

Trip cancellation or Interruption insurance   

This perk allows you to get reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip if you have a trip that’s canceled or cut short by sickness weather or other covered situations. Of course, you must use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card for the trip booking in order to receive this benefit. Reimbursement applies only to prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses

The second perk is trip delay reimbursement. 

Trip delay reimbursement

This provides protection for trips on airlines, trains or buses or other ticketed travel that experiences a delay of more than six hours or requires an overnight stay. Basically, you’re covered for up to $500 per ticket of incurred expenses including meals, hotel stays, taxis, wi-fi, or other items that you would not have otherwise have spent on during the delay. 

The other really important fact to keep in mind is that the $500 coverage applies to any traveler that is on the itinerary. The only requirement is that the itinerary must be purchased using the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. So, for example, if the primary cardholder booked a trip for a family of four then each person in that family has the ability to be reimbursed for up to $500 or a total of $2,000.

Our international trip delay situation

During our recent trip there were two people listed on the itinerary and of course, we were both delayed. We just happened to be traveling in the Philippines and were on our way back to San Francisco (via Seoul). This protection allowed us to be reimbursed for up to $1,000.

Related: A Weekend in Bohol Philippines

Now of course this perk would be in addition to whatever expenses are reimbursed by the airline or travel company but typically they will not be covering expenses incurred due to delays. At most you may be rebooked for free or receive some sort of voucher for a meal… maybe. So for folks that are impacted, you’re usually left out in the cold by travel companies but of course, this is where your Chase Sapphire Reserve card membership steps in to fill the gap. 

A typhoon in the Philippines

In our particular situation, we were on the last day of our trip and ready to fly back to San Francisco from a wedding. That same day a typhoon roared into Manila shutting down the airport for nearly 14 hours with no flights in or out, and of course Manila was our main Port of Entry. Our flight from Bohol to Manila was cancelled but the airline that was able to put us on a flight out the next day. However, our connecting flight from Manila to Seoul was also canceled but in this case we were only able to be rebooked on a flight departing two days later. 

Where the airlines fall short the Chase cards steps in

Now while we were able to make arrangements for an adjusted itinerary, the two and a half-day delay was not at all covered by the airlines (one regional, one international) nor did they provide any assistance for expenses incurred.  The airlines of course claimed that typhoons are not situations for which they were responsible. This is where having the peace of mind of the Chase card protection was amazing. 

We made the necessary arrangements for hotel stay in Manila (Grand Hyatt Manila) for two nights, which was really very nice. During the day for our meals, transportation, snacks, and other expenses we just made sure to keep all receipts. In fact some of those meals even included room service (a little bit of a splurge we must admit). Other expenses such as laundry service, wi-fi or supplies would have been likely covered under the same benefit as well

It turned out to be a really nice visit because we were able to connect with a few friends in Manila and work out of the local office for our work. 

What we needed coverage for

In total we incurred $826 of unanticipated expenses during the two-and-a-half-day delay. 

The table below summarizes the expenses we incurred. A copy of this table was included as part of the reimbursement and claims process.

Travel Delay Summary of Incurred Charges 12/3-12/6        
Expenses Amount Currency Date Receipt
Dinner (Amorita) 12/3 $31.80 USD 12/3 Yes
Air Asia Bag Charge 12/3 $43.07 USD 12/4 Yes
Hotel (2 x nights)

(including Dinner 12/4 charge)

$572.40 USD 12/3 – 12/5 Yes
Dinner 12/5 (CPK) $18.54 USD 12/5 Yes
Airport transport (Grab) 12/5 $11.38 USD 12/5 Yes
Dinner/Snacks (ATIN ITO) 12/5 $42.07 USD 12/5 Yes
Lunch 12/6 (Jindaigam) $55.27 USD 12/6 Yes
Starbucks 14.34 USD 12/6 Yes
Paris Baguette 3.54 USD 12/6 Yes
Jamba Joose 6.08 USD 12/6 Yes
Transport (Bus) $27.00 USD 12/6 Yes
Total $825.49      

In the end, our claim was approved for reimbursement of $782.42 which was basically everything we claimed minus the $43.07 baggage check fee we were charged by Air Asia

The claims process

Now the claims process is not handled directly by Chase, It’s handled through their card services division and is processed by Eclaimsline. Fortunately, the entire process is handled online where you can submit a summary of your expenses and documentation for each expense including receipts. just remember to have copies or pictures of each expense and upload it to their system (PDFs are fine)

Proof of cancellation

Proof of trip delay or cancellation directly from the airline is also required to save all emails or notifications via text email or other screenshot in-app messages as proof of delay or cancellation from the airline. This is an important point because many airlines will keep cancellation notifications as a last resort. so be sure to find clear documentation of cancellation otherwise this may be a sticking point. The Eclaimsline FAQ is fairly useful in listing out the items requested as part of the claim submission.

Documentation to collect

The documents needed for your claim include the following. For ease of reference, examples of certain documents are linked below.

  • Copy of monthly billing statement showing last 4 digits of the account number to confirm the travel fare was charged to the covered account. Please note: If your complete original itinerary includes the last 4 digits of your covered account number, then your monthly billing statement may not be required. 
  • Copy of the statement from the common carrier to verify the reason the flight was delayed.
  • Copy of itemized receipts for claimed expenses. For meal expenses, the credit card receipt is sufficient for meals less than fifty ($50.00) dollars per covered traveler.  If the cost of the meal exceeds fifty ($50.00) per covered traveler, an itemized receipt is required. 
  • Copy of detailed original travel itineraries and/or common carrier tickets showing the date and time of the original flight(s), as well as the total amount charged for the covered trip. 
  • Copy of updated travel itineraries and/or common carrier tickets showing the date and time of the rescheduled flight(s). 

Information about delayed flights may be available at www.flightaware.com which you may send or upload in addition to the above documents required to support your claim. Note that this website may not provide information for canceled flights. 

Please note: If you opted to take an alternative means of covered transportation (such as bus, train, or taxi) instead of re-booking with the airline, you must provide documentation from the airline that verifies the date and time of the next available flight. This is to substantiate that the delay length meets the minimum length requirement (6 hrs)

Watch out for “common carriers”

One caveat to keep in mind is that Eclaimsline enumerates a list of “common carriers”. While this list includes many international airlines it is not an exhaustive list and may not include some regional carriers in your part of the world. For example AirAsia was not part of the selectable common carriers as of Nov 2019. This list may be updated, but we would recommend contacting eclaimsline ahead of time to request clarity on specific carriers if you suspect your affected travel is by regional or smaller airline.

Other information to have handy

Other data points to have handy include:

Trip Details

  • Traveler’s Name
  • Relationship to Cardholder
  • Scheduled Departure Date
  • Scheduled Return Date
  • Purchase Date of Tickets 
  • Date of Delay 
  • Claimed Amount
  • Sources for Reimbursement

Reimbursement From Insurance

  • Insurance Provider
  • Amount from Insurance

Reimbursement From Carrier

  • Name of the Carrier
  • Amount from Carrier
  • Reason for Delay:

Claims approval

In all we claimed $825.49 and received $782.42 in expense coverage. The only item that was not covered was a $43.07 baggage check fee that we were charged by the airline during check-in,  which was reasonable enough.

A few days after submitting the claim eclaimsline reached out to verify or clarify any questions on the claim. They did cover both travelers on the itinerary. They also required a printout of your Chase Sapphire Reserve statement indicating the date of purchase of the itinerary. 

After verification you receive an email confirming your claim amount and method of payment which includes direct deposit, check or card refund. A few days later payment is received.

Now while this particular experience with the travel delay reimbursement we have yet to use the trip cancellation insurance. you should also keep in mind several other important travel protections that again we have not experienced personally but that would seem to be equally valuable for those that travel on a regular basis. Here are two other important travel protections to keep in mind.

Other important travel protections

LOST LUGGAGE REIMBURSEMENT

This provides up to $3,000 of coverage per passenger if your checked or carry-on luggage is damaged or lost by the airline. Applies to the cardholder and immediate family members.

MEDICAL EMERGENCIES DURING TRAVEL

If you or an immediate family member get sick or injured while traveling and need emergency evacuation, you can be covered for up to $100,000 for medical services and transportation.

For more details on the full set of covered protections and exactly what is required for filing a claim the eclaimsline FAQ page lists all the necessary documentation that is requested.

So is it worth it?

Our verdict is YES it is absolutely still worth it.

Based on our experience Chase’s travel protections are totally worth it. The travel protections alone may save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in unanticipated expenses. For those that travel regularly especially internationally, at some point you will encounter a trip delay or cancellation and it’s at those precious moments where Chase Sapphire Reserve’s trip protections will be a godsend. At the very minimum, you will have peace of mind when others are stressing out about their options and alternatives. There’s nothing like being able to rely on the protection that you know will keep you covered in the worst-case scenario. and not only cover you but give you the flexibility to choose when and where do you use it.  

We know that sometimes annual fees charged by cards like this can make it difficult to decide whether or not to sign up and to be quite honest many of the perks that are listed are either rarely-used or their potential benefit is poorly understood. In our case, this particular perk not only covered us during a tricky situation (ie. a natural disaster), but it also puts in perspective the safety net that it provides during international travel. It also makes the annual fee totally worth. The claims process was fairly streamlined with very straightforward documentation and were overall a fairly painless experience.

Peace of Mind

There was no restriction on the type of hotel, location, or quality level as long as the cap was maintained. This choice is completely up to you. So not only do you have the peace of mind of the travel protections but you can ride it through with a certain level of luxury and comfort. You might even be able to have the Chase Sapphire Reserve concierge make the arrangements for you! The concierge works well especially when language barriers may be an issue. The concierge can be reached at 1 (877) 660-0905. If you’re traveling abroad, call collect at 1 (312) 900-4290.

If you have your own experience with Chase’s travel protections we’d love to hear from you and hear your story. leave comments below. happy traveling! 

 

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