Using Chase Trip Cancellation Coverage
As I mentioned on Friday, we had to cancel our planned trip to present at the Chicago Seminars at the last minute due to Baby S getting hit with her first virus and upper respiratory gunk. As with most airfare, our tickets were "non-refundable" and as such we would pretty much be out the $800+ for the three round trip tickets for my mom, my little one, and myself. There are many reasons I couldn't just fly by myself and leave the baby at home including I wouldn't be comfortable as the mom being away from my sick and not-quite-3 month old baby, but also the little stinker won't even take a bottle right now so I'm her sole food source.
Even if the money we spent on the airline tickets all went to waste, we had to stay home with Baby S so it was an easy call, but I would certainly prefer to recoup as much of that expense as possible. Thankfully I learned years ago to pay attention to which credit cards I use for airfare purchases so that I have built-in trip interruption and cancellation coverages for unexpected surprises without having to purchase separate trip insurance. This is important across the board, but when you have babies and little kids who inevitably will get numerous illness in their first few years it is virtually essential. Many Chase credit cards have similar protections, but the purposes of this post I will quote from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Benefit's Guide since it is a very good all around travel credit card that I think many of us have.
Details of Chase Trip Cancellation Insurance:
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Trip Cancellation Insurance will reimburse you or your immediate family members up to $5,000 for each covered trip if a covered loss prevents you from departing on your trip and results in cancellation of travel arrangements if you charged a "portion of the cost for the travel arrangements to your account". In this case the covered loss we are using is "Accidental Bodily Injury, Loss of Life, or Sickness experienced by you, a Traveling Companion, or an Immediate Family Member of you or a Traveling Companion." Bolding mine.
It also says that if a physician has advised that making the covered trip is medically inadvisable, you must immediately notify the appropriate travel supplier that you are cancelling your travel arrangements. If you don’t notify the supplier, the company’s reimbursement will not exceed the cancellation penalties imposed during the period by the supplier and in effect forty-eight (48) hours immediately following your receipt of advice from your Physician that travel is not advisable.
So, we used the Chase credit card to purchase the airfare, we have a sick immediate family member, and we cancelled the flights right after learning she should not fly based on her doctor's advise. Check, check, check, and so far so good. I'm still in the middle of the claim process, but I wanted to share which documents the company has requested thus far in case you are faced with a similar situation. Most of the items requested are easily obtained and pretty common sense, but there are a few curve balls in the process that I wasn't totally expecting.
Documents Needed to Utilize Trip Cancellation Coverage:
- Confirmation of the non-refundable amounts for the unused Common Carrier tickets, and/or travel vouchers;
- Confirmation that the tickets were cancelled with the Common Carrier;
- Copy of the travel itinerary showing the passenger names and ticket cost;
- Confirmation of the reason for the trip cancellation; (Completed attached physician statement, confirmation of death of immediate family member or documentation confirming any other cause of loss);
- Please complete and return the Trip Cancellation claim form attached below;
- A copy of the cancellation or refund polices of the Common Carrier, Tour Operator, or Travel Supplier;
- A copy of the credit card statement which shows that the purchase of the Common Carrier ticket was charged to your credit card; (We must be able to see the first six digits of the credit card number and the pre-printed accountholder name and address. However, for security purposes we suggest that you block or remove the remaining digits of your card number.).
I had taken Baby S both to urgent care and to her pediatrician in the 24 hours before making the claim because I was worried about her and wanted her checked out by a physician, but since I knew I would probably need some sort of documentation of her illness I had her pediatrician write a brief note while I was there indicating the date, the illness, and that she cannot fly in her condition. I was hoping that would be sufficient documentation, but it seems there is a specific form that the physician needs to complete. I really hope what I have will suffice as I hate to go back to the doctor's office if I don't have to, but here are the sections on the form that the physician is asked to complete.
Physician's Form for Trip Cancellation Coverage:
Date of accident, injury or illness: ____/____/____ (MM/DD/YY)
Date of first treatment or onset: ____/____/____ (MM/DD/YY)
Please describe the nature of the patient’s injuries or illness:
Was this a referral from another doctor? YES / NO
If yes, date of referral: ____/____/____ (MM/DD/YY)
Was the patient hospitalized? YES / NO
If yes, please list the names and location of all hospitals and all admission/discharge dates:
Hospital Name Location Adm. Date Dis. Date
__________________________ _____________________ ___________ __________
__________________________ _____________________ ___________ __________
Was the patient recommended by you to curtail their trip/travel due to this condition?
YES / NO
If yes, travel restriction dates advised:
____/____/____ (MM/DD/YY) to ____/____/____ (MM/DD/YY)
Did this travel restriction affect any other family members or travel companions? YES / NO
If yes, why did family member/travel companion need to curtail their travel? _____________________________________________________________________________
Did the patient have any condition (including pregnancy) prior to trip booking that contributed to their present condition? YES / NO
If yes, please describe:__________________________________________________________
For pregnancy: EDC: ____________________________
If yes, at what date did patient originally begin treatment with this previous condition: ___________________________________________________________________
If yes, was the patient’s previous condition stable at least 60 days prior to booking the trip? YES / NO
Please describe: _________________________________________________________
Putting the Trip Cancellation Claim Together:
It will take a little time to put all this requested information together and send it back to the company, in this case a Claim Benefit Services operated by Broadspite, a Crawford Company. You can scan in the documents and upload them to a website or just mail them in the old fashioned way. I'm hopeful that all will go well and within a few weeks we will have a check for the value of the cancelled airfare since that amount is well under the covered maximum. I'll be sure to update when the process is over, or if I hit any unexpected road blocks in the process. Fingers crossed our little one is healthy in time for our next trip or we'll be working on yet another trip cancellation claim...
Have you ever used built-in trip cancellation coverage from one of your credit cards? Do you pay attention to the coverages provided by your cards when booking trips?