Many credit cards offer benefits like trip cancellation insurance, rental car protection or other travel insurance benefits that can help your family when problems arise during a trip. However, these perks are beneficial only if you can use them as advertised.
We receive an alarming number of emails complaining about travel insurance claims, often telling a similar story: The claim has been submitted and has gotten stuck in a loop of asking for the same documents repeatedly with seemingly no way to move forward. The vast majority of these complaints are related to one company: eClaimsline.
EClaimsline provides travel insurance benefits for many of our favorite travel credit cards, particularly ones issued by Visa. Unfortunately, the process of dealing with eClaimsline has left many of our readers wondering what to do.
Here’s what you should know about travel insurance provided by eClaimsline and how to improve your odds for a smooth claims process — or whether you should rely on these benefits at all.
What is eClaimsline?
EClaimsline has contracts with numerous credit card issuers to provide travel insurance benefits like rental car protection and trip cancellation insurance on Visa credit cards. As this is a third-party service, you deal with eClaimsline directly to submit claims and receive reimbursement for claims — not with your bank.
As a benefit provider, eClaimsline does not issue credit cards, nor is it owned by the bank that issues your credit card.
Which credit cards use eClaimsline?
Most Visa cards issued in the U.S. use eClaimsline if they have travel insurance benefits, including these popular travel cards:
The information for the Premium Rewards Elite and Altitude Reserve cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
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Problems reported with eClaimsline
As some readers report, the experience of using these benefits is frustrating — and sometimes akin to not having benefits at all.
The Better Business Bureau has not accredited eClaimsline, which has a customer rating of 1 out of 5 stars on the BBB website.
And reviews on Trustpilot are overwhelmingly negative. Out of 189 recent Trustpilot reviews of eClaimsline, 87% of these are one-star reviews. Numerous reviewers report the same problem: submitting documents, being asked for those same documents again and then repeating this process multiple times.
Many of us do not rush to leave reviews on an insurance benefit that functioned as expected — meaning reviews of these products tend to skew negatively.
The process of repeatedly sending requests for the same documents (which were already submitted) is why readers ask us if eClaimsline is intentionally creating roadblocks, hoping people will abandon their claims. Unfortunately, eClaimsline didn’t respond to our inquiries about these complaints.
Some of our readers’ experiences with eClaimsline
Here are four examples of experiences that readers have shared with us just over the past month:
- Vicki called the number on the back of her credit card to confirm that rental car insurance benefits would apply to her trip to Italy. After receiving a bill for scratches on the vehicle, she submitted a claim and supporting documents. She reported a series of long hold times, being transferred to different departments repeatedly and even an agent hanging up on her. When asking for calls at prearranged times or emails with details, the promised communication never arrived. Her claim has been “pending” since September 2022.
- Jeff had a canceled flight last year. No alternate flights were available within 24 hours, so Jeff and his wife “were told to find alternative transit.” Jeff submitted a claim for a hotel stay and train tickets in August 2022 and was told to submit the same documents again several times. Jeff says eClaimsline closed his claim after sending an email to the airline and not receiving a response, and Jeff is unsure how to reopen his claim or move it forward.
- James called to request information before submitting a claim. He was provided a different number to call, and that department provided yet a different number for him to call. Then, he was told to visit a website — one unrelated to his claim or benefits. He contacted us asking how to submit a claim because he felt phone representatives were making the process difficult intentionally to discourage people from submitting claims.
- Michael took a bike trip to France last July for two weeks. His bicycle didn’t make it, so he filed a claim for extra expenses incurred during his trip. He uploaded a total of 75 different documents and still hasn’t received a response on his claim, despite being asked to upload the same documents multiple times.
How to improve your chances for a successful, smooth claim
It’s possible to file a claim by mail. However, you may find it easier to submit your claims online at eclaimsline.com — especially since the cardholder benefits guides and eClaimsline website advise this method leads to processing your claims faster.
Before you submit your claim, it’s important to know the claim deadline and to ensure you file before this date. You also should know what is and isn’t covered under your policy or policies to avoid spending time on claims for expenses that aren’t covered.
Related: What your credit card’s trip protection covers — and what it doesn’t
When submitting your claim, ensure you have all of the following:
- All receipts for which you want reimbursement (should be itemized).
- Facts related to the claim, including not just costs but also dates, times, places and names of relevant people, if possible.
- All documents related to the claim, such as doctor’s notes and letters from an airline stating the reason for a flight delay.
- Translations of any documents not in English.
Adding a cover letter explaining the nature of your claim, the claim amount and a brief overview of why you’re submitting the claim also may help. If you choose to file your claim by mail, do not send original documents. Instead, send copies and ensure you keep all original documents in case you need to submit them again later.
After submitting your documents, you must be your own advocate. Be polite but persistent in following up to know the status of your claim and the reason for delays.
What to do if your claim isn’t moving forward
Unfortunately, many of our readers have reported confusing messages from eClaimsline asking them to submit documents that were already provided. Many of them encountered this same issue more than once. This can cause your claim to get stuck, never being processed or evaluated for payment.
What should you do if you’re stuck at this point?
You can call 866-390-9735 to ask for the status of your claim and the reason for delays, as well as to explain that you have submitted the requested documents previously. While the representative answering the phone likely doesn’t work in the claims evaluation department, this person may be able to add notes to your claim saying the requested documents were submitted (ask them to note the date that you submitted these if you know it).
You also have the right to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and with consumer advocate organizations in Virginia (where eClaimsline is headquartered).
While you have the right to complain to your credit card issuer, this may not make a difference. Likely, you will be told to contact the benefits administrator — eClaimsline — for any issues related to your claim. That said, enough complaints about benefits providers may get the attention of decision-makers at the credit card-issuing bank.
Should you buy additional insurance?
After reading the information above, you may wonder whether you should rely on eClaimsline-provided insurance benefits or purchase your own insurance instead.
This will be a personal decision based on how worried you are about the claims process, how much money you may need to float while waiting for reimbursement on a claim and an understanding of what is and isn’t covered by your credit card’s insurance.
Director of content Eric Rosen chose to buy rental car insurance from the rental agency on a recent trip. “While I’ve had good experiences and quick responses from eClaimsline for rental car fender benders here in the U.S.,” numerous delays over several months with a rental in France led him to purchase rental car insurance in South Africa recently. He decided to pay “$7 extra a day … because of the hassle it would save me should something go wrong.” His claim in France left him waiting for several months to receive a $500 reimbursement (which he needed to pay upfront), leaving him anxious about fronting hundreds of dollars again.
I also don’t rely on my credit card’s travel insurance. There are several reasons why, including gaps in coverage, lack of coverage for certain activities and the fact I may not remember which part of my trip was paid for with which credit card. To me, having an annual policy that covers all of my trips is much more convenient.
Chris Wyde, senior vice president of engineering at TPG, also carries an annual policy. This is because his policy covers everyone in his household, not just the cardholder or authorized users of the credit card. He thinks it’s worth paying for the policy, rather than relying on his card’s insurance, due to this benefit and extra coverage for political strife or medical evaluation.
Not everyone will come to the same conclusion, but it’s worth evaluating your credit card’s insurance benefits — and doing so before you need them. You may decide they’re sufficient or may decide you don’t want to (or can’t) pay for an extra policy. Make this decision based on your situation and what’s best for your next trip.
Why credit card issuers should pay attention to this issue
We don’t know the exact number of claims that eClaimsline evaluates each year, and it’s likely that many of these claims are processed and paid in an efficient manner. However, the number of complaints from our readers and written about online merit consideration before your next trip.
The credit card companies do not own or manage eClaimsline, and they will remind you of this if you contact them about your claim or problems with eClaimsline. This is despite the fact that many complaints about eClaimsline describe them as “Chase insurance” or “Capital One insurance,” for example — so we believe the credit card issuers contracting eClaimsline have a vested interest in looking into these issues related to a company acting on their behalf to provide services to their customers.
Travel insurance provides a safety net and peace of mind on your next trip. Many travel credit cards provide these benefits, and receiving these perks from your card — rather than buying a separate policy — can be advantageous.
However, your cardmember insurance benefits are worthwhile only when they function as advertised. With eClaimsline, we receive reports weekly from frustrated readers who wonder whether these benefits are “as advertised.” After understanding what’s covered, what isn’t and others’ experiences, you can decide whether to rely on the insurance benefits from your credit card or purchase a separate policy.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.