Frequently Asked Questions
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.
The perils protected against are listed in your policy and include various benefits available to you in the event you must interrupt your covered trip for a covered reason. These perils are similar to the trip cancellation perils except they provide coverage once you depart for your covered trip. The insured is reimbursed for unused non-refundable travel arrangements plus additional transportation costs to catch up to their trip or return home early.
Coverage begins at 12:01 a.m. on the day after the date the appropriate premium for this policy is received. This is your “Effective Date” and begins the trip cancellation benefits. All other coverage begins when you depart on the first travel arrangement for your trip.
To be eligible for trip cancellation reimbursement, you must cancel your trip due to one of the reasons covered in your policy. Depending on your choice of policy, qualified reasons could be limited to weather and family emergencies or illnesses, while others allow you to cancel your trip for any reason.
Your credit card or domestic insurance may cover you in some instances, but few plans are as comprehensive as travel insurance. It is best to check all of your existing insurance policies before traveling abroad so that you're aware of how you're covered.
The information provided above is for general informational purposes only. While we have attempted to provide current, accurate and clearly expressed information, this information is provided "as is" and IMG makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice or as a recommendation of any kind. External users should seek professional advice from their own attorneys and tax advisers with respect to their individual circumstances and needs.