Going abroad? Protect your trip with travel insurance

Why You Shouldn’t Depend on Credit Card Travel Insurance?

By Pratima Singh
  | Published: 24 November 2021

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Going abroad? Protect your trip with travel insurance

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At the time of traveling, there are chances of several things going wrong. While there is always the looming chance of something going wrong with the flight, there may be other issues such as loss of luggage, theft, etc. Travel insurance is designed especially for these contingency situations. These days, there are various alternatives to purchasing a travel insurance policy. Generally, travel insurance can be subdivided into three categories: credit card, retail and corporate retail. Airlines, as well as travel booking portals, offer travel insurance schemes that can be feasible for commuting passengers. Credit cards may also have add-on features of insurance for travel purposes. There is also the traditional option provided by insurance companies as part of their routine services.

While people have to take responsibility for arranging their own insurance options about various possible scenarios, everyone loves to have some extra protection provided by facilities that one has already subscribed to. Here lies the appeal of the travel insurance made available by a credit card company. One has already made a certain financial decision while subscribing to that credit card, and it is tempting to believe that it has additional benefits, beyond what one is paying for.

At the time of the pandemic, several passengers, as well as flight customers, were confused about the features of their credit cards. Several people were left stranded in uncomfortable situations, possibly at unknown airports. In this situation, one needs to have a clear understanding of whether their credit card entitles them to any decisive protection.

Does having a credit card automatically qualify you for travel insurance? That may not necessarily be the case. The fastest way to check is to call the customer service number provided on the brochure of the credit card and to verify from a company executive. But first of all one needs to be clear about what it really means to have travel insurance on your credit card. If it means providing a refund in case the trip is canceled or something on the flight goes wrong, then yes, the credit card companies are usually bound to provide insurance. However, credit card companies may not provide full insurance in case of

If the credit card is one that offers to provide travel protection, there are certain factors that may be considered to determine whether the features are good enough or not. The client needs to think about cancellation options, coverage for luggage, emergency hospitalization treatments, etc. There is often doubt in the mind of the client, with the concern being that he should not face an embarrassment due to dependence on the credit card, and of not having thought out the possible situations beforehand.

Of course, it must be admitted that there are certain advantages that result out of subscribing to credit card travel insurance schemes:

  • Credit card insurance schemes are usually underwritten by the same companies as standalone policies; hence, there is an expectation of legitimacy in their case. Credit cards may also provide coverage if the client becomes a liability to public damage or for damage to public property.
  • Credit cards may come in handy in case of logjams when one is traveling abroad or faces adverse circumstances in a foreign country. Imagine that you have made all arrangements for a business visit to a foreign outpost where you have to meet company officials. However, the best-laid plans may be thwarted by unforeseen economic circumstances or perhaps natural disasters and so on. The company executive may have to face much embarrassment in such a situation, and they may be spared these troubles if their credit card has certain options for travel insurance.

However, there are several issues when one relies merely on the credit card that they hold as compared to going for full-fledged travel insurance that has been designed explicitly for the purpose.

  • Trip cancellation coverage

Most trip cancellation or contingency coverage measures offered by a credit card are strictly limited to specific circumstances such as illness or death. In case these do not apply, it may not be possible to activate the travel insurance scheme.

  • Medical and evacuation coverage

In order to qualify for coverage protection under credit card travel insurance, there will often be several conditions that need to be fulfilled. These obligations may become a hassle, and the protection provided by the credit card might not really amount to much. Moreover, credit cards may not have the same level of comprehensive medical coverage as compared to a health insurance plan.

  • Loss of high-value items

Unless the credit card has a specifically in-built feature mentioning new-for-old replacement terms, items of a higher economic value such as electronics, appliances, cellphones, and cameras may not be reimbursed upon loss for their full value, as they will be subject to costs of depreciation.

  • Pre-existing medical conditions

One major issue is that credit card travel insurance does not allow pre-existing medical conditions to be taken into account while applying. Most travel insurances offered by credit cards have exclusions of pre-existing medical conditions. One should make sure that if they suffer from conditions such as diabetes, asthma or cancer, the credit card travel insurance makes an undertaking to cover all of them.

  • Card limits and covering other travelers

Credit cards also tend to limit the benefits available on retail outlets that have an arrangement with that company or so on. Additional travelers are unlikely to be covered under the same.

  • Holidaying activities

If you wish to enjoy fun activities during your holiday such as skiing, cruise, bike rides, you should check with the credit card company if these are protected under its insurance scheme.

Conclusion

It makes sense to have a credit card handy for the various features and benefits that it offers, but you should not rely exclusively on the travel insurance schemes that it offers. For international trips or for visits abroad, a credit card travel insurance might be a sensible option if it has international coverage or unlock options in banks or hospitals that one may not have in the foreign country. However, as far as the concern of security in one’s domestic country is concerned, you should place more faith in your health insurance, or insurance options provided by the company, etc.

Pratima Singh
Pratima Singh

Editor | This is me saying HEY! from behind the screen you're staring into. I am a pop culture junkie who derives pleasure in writing fresh, informative, and fun content.