Travel Insurance: Are you covered?
Updated: Jan 10, 2019
Why buy travel insurance when you can get it for nothing, right?
If you use a gold, platinum or diamond credit card to pay for your air tickets and other travels you might be eligible for travel insurance from your card provider at no cost. What's not to like? But does it really stack up against the travel insurance you buy on the internet, or through a travel agent? Not according to many industry professionals.
With everything in life, you get what you pay for… yes, you may pay a hefty annual fee to have that fancy credit card, but when it comes to insurance, are you adequately covered for all the things you need?
Gone are the days of big travel agent commissions for selling insurance, it’s a dog eat dog world out there and agents are up against online bookers who make you feel, because you get it cheap, that you are looked after – maybe? Or maybe not.
Travel agents offer Insurance as part of their service and want to ensure their passengers/guests are adequately covered providing an end to end service.
Here are some items to consider:
What is the activation requirement for the “free” travel insurance?
How much of the trip must you pay for by the card to be covered by the policy?
If you book a side trip while you are away will you be covered?
What if you pay for a hotel by cash, are you still covered?
Is the cover comprehensive or minimal due to the level of card you hold?
Do you have a copy of the policy or know where to find it?
Do you have a policy number to provide hospitals in the case of an emergency?
Are your travelling companions or family members covered or only the primary card holder?
Can you extend your policy if you decide to stay longer?
If you have an existing medical condition, will this be assessed at no extra cost?
Are you covered if you use frequent flyer points to travel?
A credit card policy will usually end at the time you return home. A retail travel insurance policy will usually cover you for such medical expenses for 12 months after you return home. Note too that if you purchase travel insurance for a trip to Indonesia in two months’ time and a week before you're due to travel an erupting volcano grounds your airline, you'll probably receive compensation if you've paid for your travel insurance policy, but that's less likely if you're relying on the insurance that comes with your credit card.
Finally, travel agents will assist with your claim and work with the insurance company to make the process easier, often while you are still away, not when you get home…who will assist with your claim?