A lot of people do not purchase international travel insurance because they believe they are already covered by the travel insurance offered through their credit card. However, insurance protection through a credit card provider often times does not cover to the degree offered by a true travelers health insurance plan.
Credit Card Fees
For one, a higher annual credit card fee may be required to get the travel benefits. Often, the annual fees charged by credit cards are higher than you’d expect to pay for a basic travel insurance plan. An additional caveat is that a traveler must charge all travel expenses to the card for the coverage to be in effect, and your trip must be less than 30 days long.
Trip cancellation coverage through your credit card is typically limited to canceling for illness, injury, or death of you, a close family member, or your traveling companion reasons only. By comparison, trip cancellation with travel insurance includes:
- Injury or illness of insured, travel companion, family member, or business partner
- Required to work, terminated, or transferred
- Theft of passport or visa prior to trip
- Traffic accident prior to trip
- Jury duty, a required court appearance, or military redeployment
- Victim of felonious assault prior to trip
- Hurricane or natural disaster strikes destination
- Loss of accommodations abroad due to an illness or death of host family or friends
- Death or hospitalization of destination host
- Legal separation or divorce
- Bankruptcy or financial default of travel company
- Terrorism or mandatory evacuation at destination
- Home or business damaged, vandalized, or burglarized
- School year extension
Travelers health insurance also offers optional “Cancel For Any Reason Coverage”. This coverage lets you cancel for any reason and receive reimbursement such as concerns about civil unrest or political upheaval at your destination. If this becomes a concern, coverage can ensure you get at least a portion (half or more) of your travel investment back.
Credit card protection for travel delay often includes coverage for reasons such as delays due to inclement weather, common carrier equipment failure, and lost or stolen passports. In comparison, travel insurance covers for reasons such as:
- Delays due to common carrier problems, including inclement weather
- Delays due to severe weather causing a route to be closed by U.S. Department of Transportation
- Delays due to unannounced strikes
- Delays due to civil disorder, riots or unrest
- Delays due to lost or stolen passports, money, or other travel documents
- Delays due to quarantine of you or your traveling companion
- Delays due to hijacking
- Delays due to natural disasters
Insurance protection through a credit card provider often times does not cover to the degree offered by a true travelers health insurance plan. Look into both insurance plans so you can make a thorough decision before you leave.