Don’t be left with an unexpected medical bill from a vacation. Protect yourself financially by understanding your travel insurance coverage before you purchase it!
There are many options for acquiring travel medical insurance, including the “free” coverage that may have been provided through your credit card company. The list of credit cards that will provide travel insurance coverage is endless. But is the travel insurance coverage provided by your credit card enough to meet your needs?
The following are 5 reasons why you should consider a more comprehensive coverage plan when you travel, beyond what is offered by your credit card company:
1. Are you and your family eligible for adequate travel insurance coverage on your planned trip?
Credit card policies have eligibility requirements regarding how many people they will insure on the cardholder’s policy. In some cases, this may be limited to the cardholder only. If this is the case, is there an option to add your family? Does everyone qualify for this coverage? Plans can limit (or even deny) coverage based on the age and medical history of a person.
Once you have figured out if you are eligible for coverage, does it extend through the full duration of your trip? Insurance through your credit card may limit the days of travel, not providing you with the needed length of coverage for your trip (if not, are extensions an option?). They may also only provide coverage to you if you have purchased the return trip on the specified credit card.
2) Pre-existing Conditions
It is important to disclose any existing medical conditions that you may have and understand how these will alter the coverage options that are available to you. Credit card plans may not provide coverage to you at all if you have any pre-existing conditions (even if they are stable and controlled).
3) Trip Cancellation & Interruption
In the unforeseen event that you have to cancel a scheduled trip, or to cut the trip short, your credit card insurance may not cover all of your losses.
Credit card travel insurance plans usually limit coverage for the value of the trip and the coverage may be limited to the cardholder only.
Some credit card insurance policies cover the cardholder only and might also stipulate that the full value of the trip must have been charged to that specific credit card.
4) Coverage Limitation (and Payment)
The type of coverage that is provided to you under a policy should be scrutinized very carefully. These terms dictate the maximum amount that would be payable in a claim situation (along with the policy exclusion/provisions). The coverage amount provided by the policy will also limit the total amount payable.
It is quite common for credit card policies to exclude coverage for repatriation (in the case of death), emergency air transportation (if you need to be taken to another care facility or to your home country for treatment) and prescription medications/therapeutic medical devices required for the emergency illness/injury.
5) 24/7 Travel Assistance
When in a foreign country, a language barrier can cause difficulty in obtaining important travel information or treatments. Credit cards may not provide translation services or concierge at your travel destination. These services can ensure that you have the correct understanding of your medical service provider and that your treatment is monitored – confirming that you are receiving the necessary treatment for your condition. Concierge services can help you in various circumstances, such as replacement of lost/stolen travel documents and making reservations for you at your travel destination for events, restaurants and tours.
Travelance travel insurance plans provide comprehensive travel insurance coverage options. To find a plan that is right for you, contact a licensed broker today.