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Does my credit card have travel insurance benefits?

adequate travel insurance benefitsThe question of whether your card provides adequate benefits depends on which one is in your wallet. Credit card companies offer different levels of coverage, depending on the type of card the customer has.

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If you are going on a short trip that is only going to last a day or two, the coverage available may be enough.

In the case of a family vacation where you are planning on being away from home for a week or more, you may want to consider other options for travel insurance coverage.

Travel Insurance Basics

Travel insurance coverage protects the policyholder from losses ranging from travel delays and cancellations to emergency evacuation. Policies are available that provide coverage for medical costs. Insurance plans offering a benefit for accidental death and dismemberment are also available.

Trip cancellation insurance compensates the policyholder when he or she is unable to leave as scheduled due to death or illness.

It also pays out if the policyholder is unable to leave home because of jury duty or required military service. The conditions under which this type of policy pays out can be quite narrowly defined, so it pays to review them carefully before deciding to buy.

Credit Card Travel Coverage

travel insurance benefitsThe level and type of travel insurance offered by credit card companies can vary greatly. Some companies interpret this type of protection in a very narrow fashion, and only offer coverage to a cardholder while he or she is actually en route to a particular destination. This type of policy does not cover airline travel delays, cancellations or missed departures. It also doesn’t pay out for lost luggage.

A customer who has a premium credit card, such as one with a Platinum designation, may have a higher level of travel protection. To find out exactly what is covered under the travel insurance policy, the cardholder can check out the credit card company’s web site to see if this information is posted there.

If checking the credit card issuer’s web site does not reveal the full details about what the travel insurance offered to card holders covers, the customer can contact the company for more information.

The customer service department should be able to provide this information, and a cardholder should not be hesitant about asking for a printout that explains exactly what benefits are offered by the company.

Once this information has been received, the customer can decide whether the coverage available from the credit card company will provide the desired level of protection.

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Separate Travel Insurance Policy

If the coverage offered by the credit card company is not sufficient to fully meet the cardholder’s needs when traveling, he or she has the option of buying a separate insurance policy.

A credit card customer can choose to buy a policy that covers travel delay, trip interruption or cancellation, if he or she wishes to do so.

If the policyholder’s travel plans are delayed because of a mechanical failure, labor dispute or severe weather, the insurance company would pay compensation to the policyholder. The benefit paid is meant to be used toward the cost of overnight accommodation or meals if the delay lasts for more than 12 hours. If the delay lasts longer than that, additional funds will be paid out.

credit card travel insurance benefitsAnother type of travel insurance is medical coverage for when the policyholder is away from home. It covers medical expenses for injuries or illness, and may even pay out a death benefit if the policyholder dies while on his or her trip. The insurance plan would pay for the cost of arranging transportation for getting home after the illness or death occurred.

The cost of travel insurance plan depends on the type and level of coverage chosen and the length of the trip. Comprehensive travel insurance coverage is available that includes trip cancellation and delay coverage, as well as coverage for medical expenses and a death benefit. Coverage is available at special rates for students, groups of people traveling together and seniors, and spending some time online looking at different options is the way for a credit card customer to find the right protection.

A credit card can provide adequate travel insurance benefits in some cases. A cardholder should check out the benefit offered by the credit card company to determine whether the coverage is sufficient to meet his or her needs. The cardholder can then choose to buy a separate travel insurance policy if the benefit offered by the credit card does not provide the right level of protection.

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