According to the latest InsureMyTrip poll, about 4 in 10 Americans* (40%) are unclear whether their primary credit card offers any travel insurance benefits — so does it?

Maybe?

InsureMyTrip researchers evaluated over 100 personal credit cards and found while many cards offer basic travel insurance perks, few offer emergency medical coverage or robust trip cancellation protection.

The findings suggest that travelers should review their credit card policy to understand what exactly it covers — and what it doesn’t. “One big concern is when travelers assume their credit card offers trip protection coverage but do not check in advance of a trip,” says InsureMyTrip Product Manager, Meghan Walch.

Brian Kelly, the founder of The Points Guy, a site dedicated to helping travelers score the best travel rewards, also agrees that credit cards aren’t a replacement for traditional travel insurance.

In an article titled, “Does Your Credit Card Give You Adequate Travel Insurance Coverage?”, Kelly writes, “don’t expect your credit card company to cover the contingencies of your trip to the extent that full travel insurance can provide.”

However, Kelly and InsureMyTrip researchers do agree that some credit card companies offer decent coverage options. So, here’s a breakdown of how to know for sure — and why the uncertainty should convince value seekers to do some research and consider traditional travel insurance.

Trip Cancellation

Some premium credit cards may offer trip cancellation benefits. However, benefits vary significantly, and card users may have difficulty evaluating the scope of coverage.

How to find out: check your credit card policy for details on trip cancellation coverage. If you can’t find it, your card likely doesn’t offer it. You can also contact your card company and ask these types of questions to get clarification on caps and requirements:

• What is the reimbursement limit per trip, per occurrence, and maximum benefit per year?

• What are the covered reasons, restrictions, limitations, and exclusions?

• Does coverage extend to my family?

• Do you cover longer trips? (most don’t)

Cardholders must also use the card for travel purchases in order to be eligible for coverage.

Trip Interruption

Some premium credit cards may offer trip interruption benefits.

How to find out: check your credit card policy for specifics on trip interruption coverage. If you can’t find it, your card likely doesn’t offer it. You can also contact your card company to request clarification.

Travel Delay

Some premium credit cards may offer travel delay benefits.

How to find out: check your credit card policy for details on travel delay coverage. Look closely at the maximum amount available per ticket and the length of delay required to be eligible for benefits.

Researchers found that many credit cards with this benefit require a flight to be delayed for more than 12 hours to be eligible for benefits. Traditional travel insurance generally may kick in as little as three hours.

Emergency Medical Coverage

Some premium credit cards offer emergency medical coverage for travelers.

How to find out: check your credit card policy to learn whether it includes any medical coverage. If you can’t find it, your card likely doesn’t offer it. You can also contact your card company and ask these types of questions to get clarification:

• If I get sick or injured abroad, will my policy cover me? Will it also cover traveling family members?

• Does my credit card cover pre-existing conditions? (Researchers failed to find credit cards that covered pre-existing medical conditions)

• Do I pay health expenses abroad out-of-pocket and file a claim for reimbursement?

Emergency Medical Evacuation

Few credit cards offer emergency medical evacuation.

How to find out: check your credit card policy for medical evacuation coverage. If you can’t find it, your card likely doesn’t offer it. Researchers failed to find credit card policies that covered pre-existing medical conditions. If you can’t find it, your card likely doesn’t offer it. You can also contact your card company and ask these types of questions to get clarification:

• If I get sick or injured abroad and need transportation for further care, will my policy cover me? Will it also cover traveling family members?

• Does my credit card offer hospital of choice? (It likely won’t.)

Baggage Coverage

Some credit cards offer baggage protection, but benefit amounts may not be high enough to protect all your valuables.

How to find out: check your credit card policy for baggage or luggage benefits. Policies vary.

Cardholders should also be aware that they must file a claim in order to request reimbursement.

Why You Still Need Travel Insurance

Bottom line — your credit card may offer some protection. However, it will not provide the same amount of coverage available from traditional travel insurance.

A comprehensive travel insurance plan purchased from InsureMyTrip can cover the entire trip cost in addition to providing key benefits including emergency medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage coverage and 24/7 emergency assistance. Typically, these plans will run 4-8 percent of a total trip cost.

Get Help

Travelers seeking additional assistance when evaluating their travel insurance options can contact a licensed travel insurance agent for help.

*Methodology: The 2017 1-question survey was administered to the U.S. internet population from July 12, 2017 to July 14, 2017, receiving 2,092 responses. InsureMyTrip is a travel insurance comparison site.