A lot can happen when you're traveling. From lost keys to getting the flu, you want to make sure you're safe and sound with the best travel medical insurance you can get – no matter where in the world you are.
And if you’re loyal to your credit card company, you might also be wondering if travel insurance (and peace of mind) comes with your card.
However, credit card travelers insurance varies in coverage. Some companies offer trip insurance, but only as far as rented cars go, whereas others offer global assistance and damages even if you’ve taken part in adventure sports.
There are even some like Chase Sapphire Reserve that have travel insurance which will reimburse you for up to $10,000 in non-refundable expenses per covered trip.
So if you’re wondering what kind of (medical) travel insurance you can expect, read on. We’ll tell you everything you need to know before you go and see who you should bank with if you want to be completely covered.
How to know if you’ve got the best travel insurance?
When it comes to buying travel insurance, consider different types of coverage. The ideal coverage is umbrella which essentially means you’re safe no matter what.
Credit card trip insurances usually cover categories such as:
1. Travel accident insurance coverage
Even though none of us like thinking about it, accidents happen. And if they do, you want to make sure that you and your family are taken care of.
Travel accident insurance usually covers death or dismemberment as a result of an accident in transport. Others include coverage for instances such as medical evacuations.
The payouts normally vary from $50,000 to $200,000, and the credit card company will clearly outline what kind of damage degree qualifies for what kind of payout. It may not be pleasant to think about, but it’s good to know if the worst happens.
When it comes to credit cards, Chase JP Morgan Reserve definitely offers the broadest travel accident coverage (and the highest level of customer satisfaction). Travelers who purchase with JP Morgan Reserve cards can receive up to $1 million after an emergency.
2. Trip cancellation insurance
If you have an emergency or a sudden bout of illness, you may get a refund from your credit card company.
However, only 15% of card companies offer it, even though it's the most common cause for insurance claims in the U.S.
Having a card provider who offers travelers insurance that covers trip cancellation can be a great asset for you or your family.
Some companies even go as far as covering jury duty.
For example, if you’re using Chase Sapphire Preferred (whose annual fee is $95), you’re covered in case of incidents such as death, illness, life actions (including jury duty), or catastrophic events (hijacking, the bankruptcy of the travel provider).
3. Lost luggage travel insurance
With all the technology at our fingertips, you’d think our luggage would stop getting lost. However, it happens – and it happens often.
So when you’re considering who to bank with, know that the usual coverage amount is up to $3,000 if your baggage is stolen or completely lost. There are some things credit card companies just won’t cover, and they can include items like glasses and hearing aids.
Of course, most travelers insurance won’t reimburse you until you’re home and ready to file a claim. This is another one of the reasons why people choose to complement their credit card insurance with specialized travel insurance. Credit cards can significantly help you (and some insurance is better than no insurance at all), but it’s always good to get more coverage than you think you’ll need.
When it comes to credit cards that offer good lost luggage travel insurance, the winner is definitely Chase Ink Business Preferred. If a common carrier loses your luggage, Chase can reimburse you up to $3,000 – and they offer lost phone coverage, too.
4. Luggage Delay Travel Insurance
If your luggage is later than your plane, and you’re forced to wait for it for hours, you may be eligible for reimbursement from your credit card company.
This kind of coverage isn’t as common as lost luggage, but it can still come in handy if you’ve had to delay your travel plans as you wait for your items to arrive.
Policies on luggage delay vary. Some credit card companies offering travel insurance will require you to wait for 6 or 12 hours before you can claim the benefits. Others will reimburse you after only three hours.
Citi Prestige Card is one of the good ones when it comes to trip insurance, as they offer up to $500 in baggage delay benefits. That’s $500 per traveler, per trip, if you don’t get luggage within three hours.
However, the benefit has its limitations: it doesn’t cover delayed luggage if you’re returning home.
5. Rental Car Collision Travel Insurance
Rental car companies can be brutal with collision insurance, so it’s a good idea to get travel insurance that covers any possible accidents.
A lot of credit cards cover collision repair so if you pay the repair with your card, you’ll be reimbursed.
Of course, if the accident was your fault, credit card companies usually won’t help you with liability and injuries. The same goes for lost items.
If you’re using Visa Platinum, you can expect better travel insurance coverage. Their car rental insurance protects the vehicle against damages from collisions, theft, vandalism, fires, and partial or total accidents. It also covers the cardholder, as well as all other registered drivers in the contract.
Which credit card has the best travel insurance?
Even though we hope you won’t have to use it, our vote for best travel insurance goes to…
Sapphire Reserve may have a $450 annual fee, but there’s a lot it covers.
If you're traveling with this credit card, you can travel worry-less (and that means a lot, especially if you're away on business).
Some of the things Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance covers are:
- Trip cancellation reimbursement up to $10,000
- $500 trip delay benefits
- Baggage delay benefits after 6 hours
- Car rental collision damage waiver
The travel insurance benefits are also extended to your immediate family members, even if you (as the cardholder) aren't traveling.
Now that’s what we call good travel insurance!