Many credit companies may offer you “free travel insurance” or “ flight insurance.” But, have you ever wondered if they offer enough protection? Often most travelers don’t purchase international travel insurance, believing their credit card protects them from any losses during their travel overseas. However, it is often found that the so-called free travel insurance offered by credit cards don’t match up to the protection offered by a travel insurance company.
Credit cards often advertise that they offer travel insurance protection for:
- Travel delays
- Trip interruption
- Trip cancellation
- Lost or destroyed baggage
- Rental cars
- Accidental Death & Dismemberment
- Emergency assistance & concierge services
- Flight accident insurance
However, not all credit cards offer all the aforementioned travel benefits. Some credit card travel insurance policies may not cover lost items, such as loss of wallet, passport, or luggage, and certain types of medical conditions. However, those that claim to offer these benefits often charge a higher annual fee than what you would otherwise pay for a basic travel insurance plan. Besides, you must charge all your traveling expenses to the credit card to be eligible to derive those travel benefits, and your overseas trip should not be more than 30 days long. Your credit card insurance might not cover you for cheap holidays.
- Read the fine print and complete details of the credit card travel insurance coverage and look out for limitations and exclusions.
- Notice if there is any such wording as “We will not pay for items left behind, forgotten, or misplaced.”
- See whether there’s any discrepancy between different parts of the same credit card insurance policy. There might be a generous claim limit in one part, with exclusions a few pages later.
- Make sure your credit card travel insurance policy has the right coverage for the adventures you plan during your trip overseas.
Credit Card Travel Protection: Most Common Limitations
Gold credit card insurance is usually only valid for three months and cannot be extended, unlike international health insurance policies. If you change your itinerary to extend the stay beyond a fixed period, your credit card travel insurance coverage would immediately cease. Likewise, credit card travel insurance:
- Is limited and offers low maximum coverage limit which is usually $10,000 or less
- May only cover accidents and not sicknesses
- May not cover emergency or medical evacuations
- May not cover trip cancellation just for any reason, as only certain scenarios are covered, including accidental serious injury, natural disaster, airlines labor strike, travel provider goes on strike or sudden termination from job.
No credit card travel insurance will cover you if you tend to change your mind at the last minute and cancel your trip. If you still decide that credit card insurance is the best option for you, make sure you have read the fine print and are aware of the coverage and limitations to avoid being stranded in a foreign country!