Using Chase Trip Cancellation Coverage
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We recently 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 for 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 $10,000 per person (up to $20,000 per trip) if a covered loss prevents you from departing on your trip and results in cancellation of travel arrangements. You must have charged at least “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, reimbursement will not exceed the cancellation penalties imposed during the period by the supplier.
So, we used the Chase Sapphire Preferred 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 advice. 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.
Related Reading: Best credit cards that offer trip delay reimbursement
Documents Needed to file a Trip Cancellation Claim
- Completed and signed claim form
- Travel itinerary
- Documentation confirming the reason for Trip Cancellation or Interruption (e.g., medical documents, death certificate, etc.)
- Credit Card Account statement (showing the last four (4) digits of the Account number) reflecting the charge for prepaid travel arrangements (for Trip Cancellation), and proof of expenses incurred (for Trip Interruption)
- Copies of the cancellation or refund policies of providers involved in the trip, such as the Common Carrier, Tour Operator, or Travel Supplier
- Proof of expenses incurred due to a Trip Interruption
- Any unused vouchers, tickets, or coupons
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.
Physician’s Form for Trip Cancellation Coverage
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.
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: _________________________________________________________
Related Reading: Your guide to Chase’s trip insurance coverage
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. 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?
How to keep earning miles from home
Your routine may be changing but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop earning valuable rewards. These cards help you rack up points from the comfort of your home.
American Express® Gold Card – For grocery and food deliveries from Grubhub and Seamless. Use this card to earn 4x points when ordering groceries online or ordering meal deliveries via Grubhub and Seamless (up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x). TPG values these points at 2 cents each, so that’s an 8% return on spending. You may even be able to score additional savings via Amex Offers. Once things get to back to normal, your stash of Membership Rewards points will go a long way toward booking a much-deserved vacation.
Chase Sapphire Reserve – For free food delivery, credits and bonus points. If you’re already tired of cooking your own meals, switch things up with a food delivery service. CSR cardholders get up to $120 worth of free delivery credits ($60 through 2020 and $60 through 2021). Plus, enjoy complimentary DashPass membership, which includes free deliveries via DoorDash and Caviar.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express – For select U.S. streaming, gas at U.S. gas stations and groceries at U.S. supermarkets. Whether you’re stocking up on groceries or re-upping your Netflix subscription, this card has you covered with generous category bonuses. You’ll earn 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets every year (then 1%), plus 6% on select U.S. streaming services. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
Chase Sapphire Preferred – For future travel insurance. You may not be traveling now, but once things go back to normal you’ll be glad to have this card in your wallet because of its generous sign-up bonus and suite of travel protections. We’ve all learned the value of travel insurance and these protections lately. The Chase Sapphire Preferred includes trip cancellation/interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance services and more.
Featured photo by Rafa Elias via Getty Images.
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