Credit Card Trip Protection vs. Comprehensive Travel Insurance
Last updated on 03/28/2023
WARWICK, R.I., July 28, 2022 -- According to researchers for InsureMyTrip.com, travel insurance benefits offered through some personal credit cards greatly vary and may not provide the level of coverage travelers expect or may need.
InsureMyTrip researchers evaluated more than 100 personal credit cards. While many cards offer travel insurance perks, few provide emergency medical coverage, robust trip cancellation protection or covered perils like hurricanes.
InsureMyTrip Travel Insurance Expert Meghan Walch answers some commonly asked questions about credit cards and travel insurance:
Question: How do you know if a credit card has travel insurance?
Walch: Many travelers will assume travel protection is included in their credit card benefits. However, many do not — or only offer limited coverage. It's best to contact the card company directly before booking a trip and ask questions like:
- Does my credit card offer trip cancellation protection?
- What are my reimbursement limits?
- What are the covered reasons, restrictions, limitations, and exclusions?
- How do I file a claim?
Q: What are some common travel insurance benefits offered through credit cards?
Walch: Travel insurance benefits can vary significantly, but we have found that some personal credit cards offer trip cancellation, or baggage loss/damage benefits. Although, credit card users may find it difficult to evaluate the level or scope of the coverage.
A select few premiere cards may advertise a "Cancel for Any Reason" reimbursement program. Many times, it is just the non-refundable flights that are covered and only if those flights were paid for with that credit card.
Q: Why should a traveler consider a policy from a third-party even if travel insurance is offered through a credit card company?
Walch: While your credit card may offer some protection, it will not provide the same amount of coverage available from traditional travel insurance.
A comprehensive travel insurance policy purchased through InsureMyTrip can cover the entire pre-paid non-refundable trip cost. Key benefits like emergency medical, emergency medical evacuation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage coverage, and 24/7 emergency assistance are also available.
Also, the "Cancel for Any Reason" (CFAR) protection, typically offered as a buy up on a traditional travel insurance plan, covers much more than a CFAR-style benefit offered through a credit card. Providers often require CFAR purchasers to insure the entire prepaid non-refundable trip cost, not just flights. (See below for CFAR details)
Travelers seeking additional assistance when evaluating their travel insurance options can contact a licensed travel insurance agent for help.
Cancel for Any Reason Coverage:
Cancel for Any Reason (also known as: CFAR) is an optional upgrade. CFAR offers the most trip cancellation flexibility and is the only option available to cover Covid-19 travel fear. Full terms of coverage will be listed in state-specific policy. If eligibility requirements are met, reimbursement is typically 50% - 75% of the insured prepaid non-refundable trip cost if all eligibility requirements are met (available in most states).
Note: coverages are governed by the specific plan certificate. Traditional travel insurance does not offer cancellation coverage for fear of travel, whether related to COVID-19 or not. Cancel For Any Reason is required.
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