What is the difference between “free” credit card travel insurance and comprehensive travel insurance provided by a Travel Agent?
Many people assume that if there is some kind of insurance on their credit card that they are covered for their travels – whether medically, or for trip cancellation. The truth is that most credit cards typically don’t cover enough for you to feel secure in your vacation investment.
Most travelers don’t realize that hospital expenses in the USA can cost over $10,000 per day, yet OHIP only covers $400 maximum per day. A credit card will likely limit what they will cover from this type of medical expense, while comprehensive travel insurance through a Travel Agent does not have the limitations which credit cards do. It’s important to read the fine print of your current plan to make sure you are fully covered. Medical expenses in the US are a good example of why out of country medical coverage is extremely important and definitely a necessity whenever you leave Ontario, whether it’s just one day or 30 days.
A few things to check your current travel insurance plan for:
Is coverage just for the cardholder, or for the family and traveling companions as well?
Do you have to purchase all travel expenses with the card for all travelers?
Does it include all medical expenses, or are certain things excluded such as ambulance, hospital stays and medications?
What is the maximum amount they will refund you? Will you have to pay up front while in destination?
What reasons are covered for cancelling your trip?
Are missed connections covered if your flight or bus is delayed and you miss your flight/cruise?
After reviewing the most popular banks and the most commonly used credit cards, most have zero trip cancellation coverage, or up to a maximum claim of $1000 per person. If your trip is costing $1700 per person, that’s still $700 that you will lose if you can’t go on your trip. Also, if your family isn’t covered under your card, your refund would only be $1000 per family in this case. For comprehensive plans through a Travel Agent, cancellation insurance covers up to the full cost of the trip. If you need to return home from your trip in an emergency, most regular credit cards only cover a return expense of up to $2000 or none at all, while comprehensive travel insurance plans have no limit. For medical coverage on credit cards, most regular cards only cover you up to age 64, have a limit on how many days you can travel (usually 7-15 days), and have a maximum amount they will refund for medical expenses. However, comprehensive travel insurance plans have unlimited medical coverage.
Overall, credit cards insurance plans are very limited, unless you have a premium travel card where you pay an extra monthly fee to have extra coverage. It’s important to go over the fine print of your plan and check with a Travel Agent to see what kind of coverage you may be able to get for not much more.
Call Robert Q Travel if you have any questions about travel insurance coverage. 1-800-265-5972