Travel Insurance with Your Credit Card: Is it Enough?

While some credit cards with annual fees come with travel insurance, it's essential to know exactly what that entails before you start your adventure.

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soNomad
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Travel Insurance with Your Credit Card: Is it Enough?

"Buy travel insurance? No need, I already have travel insurance with my credit card!" Chances are, many travellers have pondered this idea at some point. But here's the real question: do you actually have enough coverage? 

While some credit cards with annual fees come with travel insurance, it's essential to know exactly what that entails before you start your adventure.

The Limits of Credit Card Travel Insurance

You've finally saved up for that long-awaited trip to Indonesia. You dream of sandy beaches, majestic temples, and exotic cuisine. But alas, your adventure is cut short on the first day when you contract a tropical bacteria. Off to the local hospital you go, and the bill quickly skyrockets, leaving you to foot the medical expenses out of pocket.

You thought your premium credit card would cover you, but to your surprise, you hadn't noticed the $250 deductible that applies to each claim.

To avoid such setbacks, it's essential to fully understand the limits of the travel insurance offered by your credit card.

Multiple Limitations

The travel insurance offered by your credit card may seem convenient. However, there are numerous restrictions, so you must carefully read the limits of the travel insurance policy included with your credit card. 

The insured person's age is often a limitation worth paying close attention to. Older travellers may be insured for a shorter duration or unable to benefit from the travel insurance provided by their credit card.

Additionally, most credit cards stipulate that all travel expenses must be paid using the card in question to qualify for travel cancellation or interruption coverage.

Consider the aspect of accommodation, which could present a challenge as some establishments do not accept credit card payments. For instance, imagine planning a trip to France and booking a stay at a cozy inn nestled in picturesque Provence.

However, you discover that credit cards are not accepted, prompting you to pay via PayPal instead during the booking process. Then, an unexpected event arises, forcing you to shorten your trip. Unfortunately, since the payment was not made with your credit card, the interruption policy may not cover the expenses you've already incurred.

Duration of the Trip

Some credit cards can indeed come in handy for short stays of 7 to 21 days. However, these time limits can be restrictive if your planned trips extend beyond the duration covered by the travel insurance provided with your credit card.

For many snowbirds, young adults on Working Holiday Visas, or digital nomads who travel for extended periods, relying on credit card travel insurance can prove impractical or even impossible for covering the entirety of their time abroad.

The question you absolutely must ask your credit card company is: can you extend the included coverage, or can you add additional private insurance to your current coverage? You may be surprised to learn that some companies do not allow this, which could invalidate your policy.

Exclusivity 

If your credit card offers basic travel insurance, you may consider adding complementary travel insurance for increased protection. Check if your policy requires that coverage be provided by a single insurer for the entire duration of the trip.

Coverage

Above all, make sure your policy includes all the important aspects of your trip, like medical care, trip cancellation, interruption coverage, and baggage loss or theft. Remember, some credit card travel insurance plans only cover medical expenses.

Moreover, make sure the maximum amount covered by the policy is sufficient to cover potential medical emergencies in your destination country.

Exclusions

It's true that if your credit card offers travel insurance, you might as well take advantage of it. However, it's essential to be aware of potential exclusions in your credit card travel insurance. Some of the most common exclusions include:

  • Extreme sports: if you're a thrill-seeker and dream of going rafting in Costa Rica, check if your credit card covers you in case of accidents for these sports.
  • Travel to high-risk areas: If you're travelling to a country experiencing political unrest or natural disasters, this may not be covered by your credit card travel insurance.
  • Pre-existing health conditions: If you suffer from a chronic illness, there's a possibility that your insurance will not cover medical expenses related to that illness.
  • Number of people covered by the policy: Are you travelling with your family? Make sure that your credit card insurance covers all members of your group. Imagine the stress if your child gets injured on an excursion and you have to pay the medical expenses yourself.

Existence of a Deductible

Some insurance policies come with a deductible, which is the amount you need to cover before the insurance kicks in. Take a close look at the details of your policy to determine the deductible amount and understand how it might affect your finances in case of unexpected situations.

Before making any decisions, invest some time in comparing various offers and selecting coverage that aligns with your requirements and travel habits.

Complementary Travel Insurance: For Total Protection

So, is travel insurance with your credit card really enough? The answer depends on your needs and budget.

If you're someone who enjoys occasional getaways for short periods, your credit card insurance might just do the trick.

However, if you're gearing up for an extensive adventure, diving into thrilling activities, or travelling with your loved ones, it's highly advisable to opt for complementary travel insurance.

With so many limitations, the insurance offered by your credit card may seem less appealing, especially knowing that soNomad can insure you and find you personalized coverage to meet your needs. Get a quick travel insurance quote with soNomad.

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