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Since Amex upped it to proper travel insurance a few years back (when the annual fee jumped significantly) I have always used the Gold to pay for flights. I did originally spend a bit of time double checking whether policy was comparable to 3rd party overseas insurance (I think I used to pay around $400 for a month to the UK) on the key things such as liability, medical etc and it was pretty good.
Having never claimed against the travel can't comment on the payout, however did do an Amex claim for a DVD repair under the extended warranty and payout was fine.
Personally I would pass on the points to avoid spending real $$