Why You Shouldn't Rely on Credit Card Travel Insurance

Most people who own credit cards may be aware of many free-of-cost features that protect their journeys. However, this does not mean that their credit card will provide them the same coverage as a comprehensive travel insurance plan. With lower benefits and card limits, credit cards may fall short during an emergency. Read on to learn more about the extent of these plans.

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* Price shown is for a 15 day trip to UK with a 1 lakh dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

Do All Credit Cards Have Travel Insurance?

In India, many credit card providers have started offering credit safeguards or credit 'shield'; a type of protection offered to the customers which appear similar to insurance plans. However, not every credit card offers travel insurance plan features. You may want to confirm with your bank's customer care to know if there are any trip protection features offered.

If indeed your credit card has these benefits, you must contact customer care to learn about the exact terms and conditions before beginning your journey. Make sure you ask them the right questions so that there is no misunderstanding later:

  • Confirm if the credit card includes trip cancellation insurance with specified reasons that fit your needs
  • Ask them if they will reimburse you for the full cost of your trip in case of trip cancellation
  • If it offers any emergency evacuation or medical expenses cover when you're traveling
  • If they consider any pre-existing conditions in your or your co-travelers case

If you are not satisfied with their answers, you should definitely go for a trip cover that will meet your requirements.

How is Credit Card Travel Insurance Different from Regular Travel Insurance Plan?

The most important difference between both is the extent of coverage offered. Especially when it comes to benefits like trip cancellation, pre-existing medical conditions, evacuation coverage, and protecting your co-travelers or dependents; these credit card travel insurance may fall short in front of the standalone trip insurance policies.

Here are some factors to consider to weigh your options:

  • Pre-existing Diseases: While standalone travel insurance plans offer special add-ons or waivers for many pre-existing issues, it is highly unlikely that your credit card travel insurance will not cover your pre-existing diseases unless you’ve to pay a higher price.
  • Medical and Evacuation Coverage Benefits: If your credit card does not provide the right coverage, then in many cases it may not provide emergency medical transportation while you're traveling.
  • Customized Plans: In the case of regular travel insurance policies, you have an option to select your sum-insured and other benefits before you buy them. There are also many optional add-ons available with most plans that may not be offered by credit card coverage. However, most credit cards don’t have versatile plans to suit everyone’s needs.
  • Affordability: While trip protection offered by credit cards is often offered for free, these may be limited and not meet all your needs. If you do opt for additional features, you will have to pay a higher price which will defeat the purpose of the credit shield. You can instead buy the best travel insurance plan at an affordable price with a lot more benefits and options.
  • Floater Option: Travel insurance plans are mostly available for individuals as well as any dependents. However, it may not be available in the case of all credit card travel insurance plans.
  • Trip Cancellation: Most credit card insurance offer coverage for trip cancellation or interruption for very limited reasons. On the other hand, standalone travel insurance offers plenty of reasons that may increase their chances of getting a reimbursement.
  • Geographical Range: With many options available, you can purchase regular travel insurance policies that cover both domestic and international trips. However, most credit cards only offer limited coverage that too only if you’re going abroad. Thus, you may need to purchase a separate domestic travel insurance plan in India during your journeys.
  • Ease of Purchase: Last but not the least, anyone can buy a travel insurance plan. However, to avail of trip protection benefits under credit card insurance one must first have a credit card. While salaried people can easily buy one, it may be difficult for the unemployed or self-employed people. Also, most premium credit cards that offer insurance come with considerable annual fees and high-interest rates which may not be affordable for everyone.

Please note that different credit cards come with different benefits. It is best to read the fine print to know all the necessary details about their pros and cons.

What are the Benefits and Features of Travel Insurance?

Now that we have learned the differences between regular plans and credit card travel insurance plans, let’s quickly take a look at some of their best features:

  • Offers a lot of plan variants to choose from as per your budget and requirements
  • Vast coverage offered; from travel-related issues to flight and medical emergencies
  • Tons of optional covers like home burglary insurance, adventure sports cover, escort for a minor child, loss of personal belonging, replacement of staff, mental illness and alcohol-related disorder coverage benefits and more depending on the insurance provider
  • Easy to purchase without any activation or exorbitant activation charges

In a Nutshell,

While free-of-cost coverage is more than appealing; you should compare its advantages and disadvantages to see how helpful credit card travel insurance will be for you. You can compare different plans online at Policybazaar.com before making up your mind. Make sure that you are protected against as many eventualities as possible before you pay for those benefits.

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