Which travel insurance policies covers miles and points bookings?

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Most travel insurance policies explicitly exclude bookings made with frequent flyer miles and points, but there are a few exceptions.

KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes recently made their return after a two-year hiatus, with 30% off last-minute Singapore Airlines awards for travel in April and May 2022. 

Spontaneous Escapes
Full Analysis

Spontaneous Escapes are a great way of stretching your miles, but there’s one important catch: they’re strictly non-changeable and non-refundable. Singapore Airlines’ complimentary rebooking policy does not apply to Spontaneous Escapes awards, so once you book, you’re committing to fly. 

So what happens if you get hit by an untimely COVID infection or a health-risk notice that prevents you from taking the trip?

Normally, you’d turn to travel insurance for exigencies like this, but the vast majority of travel insurance policies do not cover bookings made with airline miles or hotel points. For example, here’s what AXA’s policy wording says: 

In addition to the General Exclusions (page 20) and “Exclusions applicable to all benefits under this Endorsement”, We will not pay any claims in respect of:

(b) loss of vouchers, reward points or holiday points that You have used, in part or full, to pay for Your trip;

This normally isn’t an issue, because airline and hotel awards are usually cancellable. But there are certain scenarios, like with Spontaneous Escapes, where you may not be able to get your miles or points back.

To guard against this, it’s highly advisable that you purchase a travel insurance policy covering frequent flyer miles/points, and that’s what we’ll look at in this post. 

Which travel insurance policies cover miles and points?

Here’s a few general pointers to note before we look at individual policies. 

First, it’s important to state that compensation can only be claimed if your miles/points are not recoverable. If it’s possible to pay a cancellation fee and get your miles back (e.g. regular Saver or Advantage awards on KrisFlyer), you cannot make a claim under your travel insurance policy. 

Second, your trip must have been cancelled/disrupted for a covered reason. Changing your mind is not valid grounds for a claim, unless you purchase Singlife’s travel insurance policy and make a claim under the “cancel for any reason” clause (which pays you 50% of the expenses incurred, capped at S$5,000 and once per period of insurance). 

Third, the general approach that insurers take when valuing miles and points is to look at the retail value of the flight ticket or hotel booking. That actually works out in your favour- I’d rather be reimbursed for the cash value of a Business Class ticket than at 1-2 cents per mile! 

Fourth, coverage for COVID-19 related trip cancellation may be lower than general trip cancellation. For example, Singlife’s policy offers up to S$20,000 of coverage for trip cancellation, but if COVID-19 is the reason, the coverage drops to S$2,000. 

I’ve found five policies that cover miles and points bookings, but three of them offer so little coverage that they’re practically irrelevant. For all intents and purposes, you’ll want to go with either Singlife or Chubb’s plans (though the latter doesn’t cover miles and points in the event of trip cancellation due to COVID-19). 

Singlife 

Policy NameTravel Insurance
Trip Cancellation Coverage
  • Lite: S$5,000
  • Plus: S$15,000
  • Prestige: S$20,000
Trip Cancellation Coverage (COVID-19)
  • Lite: S$500
  • Plus: S$1,500
  • Prestige: S$2,000
Policy WordingLink
Relevant SectionIf You purchase airline ticket or Entertainment Cost or book accommodation using Frequent Flyer Points or similar reward points in full and the airline ticket, Entertainment Cost or booked accommodation is subsequently cancelled due to the events for which You are covered under this policy, We will pay You the retail price for that ticket or booked accommodation at the time it was issued, provided the loss of such points  cannot be recovered from any source.

Special note about Singlife: Since trip cancellation coverage for COVID-19 is only 10% of general trip cancellation, you may prefer to invoke the “cancel for any reason” clause (available on the Plus and Prestige plans) which allows you to recoup 50% of the non-recoverable expenses, capped at S$5,000. 

Chubb Insurance

Policy NameMy VoyageGuard (referred to as My Travel Insurance in policy document)
Frequent Flyer Miles Coverage
  • Essential: S$5,000
  • Standard: S$10,000
  • Superior: S$20,000
Frequent Flyer Miles Coverage (COVID-19)

Does not apply if trip is cancelled due to COVID-19

Policy WordingLink
Relevant Section

If, during the Period of Insurance, the Insured Person purchase an airline ticket (or other travel and/or accommodation expense) using frequent flyer points or similar reward points and the airline ticket (or other travel and/or accommodation expense) is subsequently cancelled as a result of any Specified Cause (as defined in Section 15) and the loss of such points cannot be recovered from any other source, the Company will indemnify the Insured Person the retail price for that ticket (or other travel and/ or accommodation expense) at the time it was issued up to the Benefit amount specified in the Certificate of Insurance subject to the terms and conditions of this Policy, provided always that this coverage is effective only if this Policy is purchased before the Insured Person becomes aware of any circumstances which could lead to the disruption of his Journey.

ETIQA

Policy NameTravel Infinite
Frequent Flyer Miles Coverage
  • Classic: S$100
  • Deluxe: S$500
  • Suite: S$750
Frequent Flyer Miles Coverage (COVID-19)Does not apply if trip is cancelled due to COVID-19
Policy WordingLink
Relevant Section

If You purchase an airline ticket (or other travel and/or accommodation expense) using frequent flyer points or similar reward points and the airline ticket (or other travel and/or accommodation expense) is subsequently cancelled as a result of any Specified Cause (as defined in Section 22) and the loss of such points cannot be recovered from any other source, We will indemnify You the retail price for that ticket (or other travel and/or accommodation expense) at the time it was issued up to the limit stated in the Schedule.

This coverage is effective only if this Policy is purchased before You become aware of any circumstances which could lead to the disruption of Your Journey.

AIG

Policy NameTravel Guard Direct
Frequent Flyer Miles Coverage
  • Basic: N/A
  • Standard: N/A
  • Enhanced: S$500
  • Supreme: S$750
Frequent Flyer Miles Coverage (COVID-19)Unclear if covered
Covers COVID-19?Yes
Policy WordingLink
Relevant Section

We will reimburse you up to the Sum Insured limit shown in the schedule of benefits under Section P for the plan you selected for:

1. any non-refundable portion of your entertainment ticket to be used during a trip which you are not able to use; or
2. any non-refundable frequent flyer points that were used for redemption of benefits which you are not able to use during your trip including but not limited to redeemed flights and hotel accommodation,

due to the occurrence of the following events that prevent you from using your entertainment ticket or the benefits redeemed using your frequent flyer points:

1. serious illness or injury suffered by you resulting in
hospital confinement;
2. the unexpected death or injury or illness of your relative or
travelling companion;
3. a covered listed event under Section A3(a); or
4. quarantine in a hotel or hospital upon medical advice.

Tokio Marine

Policy NameTM Xplora
Frequent Flyer Miles Coverage
  • Classic: S$100
  • Premier: S$300
Frequent Flyer Miles Coverage (COVID-19)No coverage
Policy WordingLink
Relevant Section

We will pay You up to the limit specified in Section 37 of the Selected Plan for the cost of any non- refundable portion of Your Entertainment Ticket to be used during a Trip which You have purchased in advance Or any non-refundable Frequent Flyer Points that were used for redemption of benefits, which you are not able use during your Trip and cannot be recovered from any other source due to any of the following occurring:-

(i) Death or Serious Injury or Serious Sickness or compulsory quarantine of You, Your Relative or Travel Companion, resulting in a Hospital Confinement;
(ii) Unexpected outbreak of strike, riot or civil commotion, natural disaster, or events arising out of circumstances beyond Your control preventing travel at Your planned destination.
(iii) Serious damage to Your residence in Singapore from fire, flood or similar natural disaster within 7 days before the departure date and Your presence is required on the premises on the departure date.
(iv) Witness summons or jury service which were not made known to You prior to the purchase of this Policy.
(v) Outbreak of Infectious Disease at Your planned destination.
(vi) Closure of airspace or airport closure which prevents You from commencing or continuing Your scheduled Trip.

Conclusion

If you’re planning to book a KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escape award, you’ll definitely want to purchase travel insurance that provides coverage for miles and points. Your miles are as good as money, but not every travel insurer sees it the same way!

Award tickets aside, such policies can also be useful when making award night bookings at hotels with strict cancellation policies. For example, it’s not uncommon for resorts in the Maldives to impose three week cancellation policies on points bookings, and should you cancel within this window, your points will be forfeited. 

Do you know of any other travel insurance policies with miles and points coverage?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Leo

That’s very informative.. I would have missed that coverage out if I did not see your article. Thanks

Ken

I second @Leo… Another fantastic topic to cover, Aaron! ??

It certainly made me dig up my AIG Policy wordings right away as I didn’t think of it either… Chubb’s (your example) wording are more favorable for the policy holder, but AIG’s does cover too (a good thing!)… but with AIG, I find the wording a bit not-so-clear… I’ll email a screenshot to you… can you be a champ and see if you can figure out what it mean, in the few scenarios you came up with?

Thanks in advance!

Vikas Sharma

I hold Sompo travel insurance and all its plan categories cover miles and points. The exact wording is as below: Frequent Flyer Points: We will pay for loss of frequent flyer or similar travel points used by the Insured Person as a registered member to purchase an airline ticket following the Trip Cancellation or Postponement if the Insured Person is unable to recover the lost points from any other source. The payment for lost points will be calculated based on the following, whichever is the lower: 1. Cost of an equivalent class airline tickets based on the quoted retail price… Read more »

Gary

Thanks for that, my insurance broker specifically recommended Sompo as well

DK

I used to get Chubb for its higher coverage, then switched over to Sompo as it was generally cheaper with the promotions. However, I just did a comparison between Sompo and Chubb for an upcoming trip to Japan and found Chubb is slightly cheaper. Probably wise to check the price difference before buying – just my 1 cent worth of opinion 🙂

SLWYD

Annoyingly, Sompo doesn’t offer annual travel insurance when I was shopping around for one

Eugene

So it seems lately that Chubb no longer covers miles and points. Not sure if you would be making an update to this blog post, but if you do, then it might be worth noting

Happy Camper

Thanks for the heads up, Eugene!

M

I bought my Chubb insurance on 15 Feb and the wording policy still covers Loss of Frequent Flyer points. Is this a recent change?

Happy Camper

@M.. Mine, from last Apr, is still ‘in force’ .. but had renewed ‘in advance’ for the laggauge giveaway.. but will not not go ahead with it..

From a quick check, Just Sompo and Aviva still cover award redemptions, with wording and benefits slightly different.. I’ll look into both and then decide..

I looked at AIG and they (as of today’s wordings) still exclude miles..

Quite sad.. but oh well…

Happy Camper

Hey Aaron..

First link.. the greenish document..

Page 23 of 40.. What’s not covered.. Point #4..

Happy Camper

Hmmm….. now THAT’S interesting… and gosh, I don’t know… odd tho, no..? that Chubb would word the two differently? Now I’m confused.. 😰

Happy Camper

Was out and about earlier… Now that I’ve looked at both a bit more, it certainly looks like Chubb has two different products instead of what I though was ‘one-product-replacing-another’… It certainly looks like the Travel Insurance product that is marketed by Amex is as per what you were referring to in this post, and the one I’ve got.. 😊

Sune

So Aaron and team – you are getting closer on the travel insurance topic but I have yet to see you doing a comprehensive comparison of travel insurance that are either part of the credit card or independent 3 party options and it is thoroughly needed for us here in SG

Ken

Gosh you’re an idiot.. do you seriously believe you walk on water and the world owes you something?

Sune

Whau – did not think people would write like that on this forum.

Ken

“A little jab” is something between you and a friend.. maybe even you amongst other friends… I assume you have these… but not on a public forum where people are (mostly) sincerely trying to help… for the greater good… your “little jab” was like crispy chicken rendang.. and not just by me.. or are you also so thick you don’t see it… own it.. for being an idiot.. then move on..

:)

Sune, your sense of entitlement is overwhelmingly astonishing. 🙂

Thank you, Aaron and team. You guys are doing an excellent job!

K

Sune, perhaps you can do up the comprehensive comparison that is thoroughly needed and then Aaron and team can comment on your work. Afterall, didn’t he start the community pages for people that have valuable insights to share but don’t have the ability to commit to be a regular writer?

Sune

Hi Aaron Thank you for reposting this one. Seems my little jab above got a lot of people rubbed the wrong way though which was unintended as you and the team always keep a joking tone and I had jabbed you a while back on same topic incl for suggested item for the big event you had recently. But water under the bridge and so on. This link is good in shedding light on the conondrum that getting right insurance and right coverage is not easy and that programs offered by credit cards are eye wash at best and guess… Read more »

DK

Hi, if i don’t have any of the above AMEX cards, then which card should I use for the purchase. If I recall correctly, a number of banks have explicit excluded insurance as an eligible transaction. I have DBSWWC (max out), UOB PPV, CITI Rewards, CITI Premiermiles etc. Please advise.

DK

Ok, i got the answer to my own question, so i thought i will share. Can’t charge insurance to DBS/UOB cards – won’t get a single mile. Only way is to charge to Citibank where you will get 1.2miles/dollar or HSBC revolution card at 2 miles/dollar. Please correct me if I am wrong. I learn it the hard way. sigh!!

KW

Hey Aaron thanks for doing this — I hadn’t realised that most policies don’t cover the loss of miles! On a related topic, if you have the time and inclination to do so, could you also research and write an article on coverage for missing connections on separate tickets? So far I’ve found only World Nomads would cover missed flights under separate PNRs, but there’s a hefty US$100 deductible.

Asian Miler

Nice topic to post about. As with most policies in Singapore, does the insurance issued only cover bookings originating in Singapore? Will the insurance apply if I book a one-way return award and I encounter any of the covered conditions?

Ken

I have checked and confirmed with my agent that with AIG, the maximum they would compensate, if miles-redemption tickets, would be $500.. ?

So guess who’s going to drop AIG and will sign up Chubb??

Thanks, Aaron!! ??

Anne H

When there’s a delay and the airline gives us a voucher for accommodation, can one still claim for the delay? Another point is that when they divert because of weather and one misses the connecting flight, they don’t give out written statements – so how does one prove the delay/missed connection? I was caught at Atlanta once and all the flights to SFO had left. We were all told to use the banks of phones they had set up and the staff on hand were surly and not helpful – as far as the airline was concerned it was a… Read more »

Ken

Technically speaking, your insurance policy is suppose to cover you “in event..” and regardless of what said airline does/acts to compensate/mitigate the event… so you should be able to successfully claim, should you be able to prove “the event”… The one that I still don’t get.. given the number of nasty incidents in the past… is that airlines do not prepare better for “when the s**t hits the fan”.. I would imagine that this would not be too difficult to do/train/role-play..? I mean, it’s happened countless number of times, right? Videos are all over social media all over the world,… Read more »

Ken

I can’t thank Aaron enough for the write up… Fortunately, I didn’t wind up holding on the the short end of a stick, but that’s what Insurance policies are for, right? and “the bad” could very well have happened and it could happen in the future… well… thanks for Aaron, it won’t be happening to me! ? Just to show that it could well have happened just last month, I made a trip to NZ on redemption SQ F with my elderly mum… and being elderly, of course, at any time, her health could’ve taken a turn for the less-than-good… Read more »

[…] A reminder that tickets issued under the Spontaneous Escapes promotion are non-changeable and cannot be cancelled as well. This is unlike regular award tickets which at least allow you to refund your booking for a fee. Thus, your travel plans have to be very firm before taking advantage of this promotion (or you should buy a travel insurance policy that covers miles and points bookings). […]

[…] A reminder that tickets issued under the Spontaneous Escapes promotion are non-changeable and cannot be canceled as well. This is unlike regular award tickets which at least allow you to refund your booking and miles for a fee. Thus, your travel plans have to be very firm before taking advantage of this promotion (or you should buy a travel insurance policy that covers miles and points bookings). […]

[…] A reminder that tickets issued under the Spontaneous Escapes promotion are non-changeable and cannot be canceled as well. This is unlike regular award tickets which at least allow you to refund your booking and miles for a fee. Thus, your travel plans have to be very firm before taking advantage of this promotion (or you should buy a travel insurance policy that covers miles and points bookings). […]

AceAl

Will you be reviewing the current complimentary travel insurance by AMEX Platinum card in current times?

Fred Real

Does Amex Platinum card insurance cover this?

Brian

What card to use for travel insurance?

Kel

Sompo was reviewed in the 2018 review but omitted in this review. Have they stopped providing cover for air miles?

https://milelion.com/2018/10/12/3-travel-insurance-options-that-cover-airline-miles-and-points/

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