I already have coverage...or do I?
Do you know if any type of travel insurance coverage is included with your credit card? How about your health care policy? Maybe your homeowner’s plan? Medicare?
Travel insurance is designed to provide coverage where none exists, or at least fill in major gaps that exist in other types of insurance programs. Coverage gaps are caused by a complete absence of coverage, deductibles, exclusions, coinsurance or co-payment penalties. Review your personal credit card, health, homeowner’s and other insurance programs that you already own, and use this guide to make an informed decision about the purchase of travel insurance.
- Credit Cards - Recent estimates suggest that the average American has four credit cards. A review of over 136 credit cards revealed that less than 15% actually provided some type of travel insurance as a credit card benefit, and if they did it was on a very limited basis. Trip cancellation and Interruption benefits are not typical benefits offered by credit card programs.
- Homeowner’s or Renters Insurance - Personal Property Coverage in a Homeowner’s insurance coverage generally provides for loss to personal property, anywhere in the world, subject to named perils (i.e. fire, theft, vandalism, etc.), less a deductible (usually $500 or $1,000), contained in “temporary living quarters” occupied by the named Insured. Homeowner’s insurance does not provide coverage for trip cancellation, interruption, baggage delay or medical benefits.
- Health/Medical Insurance Plans - Traditional domestic health insurance plans may not provide coverage outside the U.S. If they do, the plans may impose high deductibles ($1,000 to $5,000) and co-pays (60 – 80% of eligible charges). Out-of-country emergency medical transportation services are not commonly offered under health care plans due to the cost for this service.
- Medicare - To be eligible for Medicare, a U.S. citizen must be aged 65 or older. Medicare does not provide coverage outside the U.S. unless a Medigap (C or higher) plan is purchased. Medigap plans generally limit coverage to 80% of emergency treatment costs less a $250 deductible. Most Medigap plans also have a lifetime maximum of $50,000.
- U.S. Embassies - The U.S. government will not provide coverage for medical costs or medical transportation needs. The State Department may assist in arranging medical transportation, but the responsibility for payment is yours alone.
Check your other insurance carefully to understand what benefits are offered with your credit card and how those benefits are activated. Airlines, cruise lines, hotels, tour operators have cancellation penalties. A discussion with your travel agent will help you become aware of your financial exposure should the unexpected happen.
Protect your financial investment with an iTravelInsured plan.