Travel insurance has become a common perk with major credit cards, including American Express, World MasterCard, and Chase Sapphire. It may seem like a safe bet to simply rely on the benefits that your card offers you, but it won’t give you all the necessary benefits that a more comprehensive travel insurance plan can. Here are a few common features that come with credit card travel insurance benefits—and harsh restrictions.
If you want to ensure that your parents, friends, or extended family members have travel insurance, don’t rely on your credit card’s plan. Many travel insurance plans offered through credit cards only cover the spouse and children of the cardholder. It may work for a short family vacation, but little else.
Cancellations and Delays
Many people purchase travel insurance to protect against flight cancellations or delays that may occur, be it due to weather, illness, or technical glitches. However, some credit card travel insurance benefits don’t include cancellation or interruption protection as one of their features, leaving you vulnerable to extra charges and potentially having to scrap your trip altogether.
Moreover, even if credit card travel insurance benefits do offer some form of cancellation or interruption protection, chances are that they only cover for a limited number of potential events (such as weather and not illness, for example). Many credit card plans don’t cover cancellations or delays due to pre-existing conditions.
Unfortunately, accidents and illnesses happen. Travel insurance plans can help those in need of medical and emergency care during a trip, even if they are out-of-network. Credit card travel insurance plans don’t offer extensive coverage for evacuation or medical purposes, so if you are planning an adventure trip where the likelihood of getting injured is high, you absolutely want to explore outside coverage apart from what your credit card offers.
Lost or Stolen Baggage
Whether you lose your valuables in the security line, on the tarmac, or during your vacation, travel insurance can help you recoup some, and in some instances, all, of your losses for those items. Credit cards have finicky deadlines to make claims on lost or stolen items, and some are quite stringent on how much they are willing to cover for your items.
In short, while having a travel insurance plan through your credit card is convenient, you must make sure to read the fine print to see what benefits you will receive from it. If you want full protection during your travels regardless of whom you’re with or what circumstances you may face, an outside travel insurance plan will grant you the most coverage.