The true cost of credit card’s ‘free’ travel insurance…

Millions of people go abroad without travel insurance each year, some in the mistaken belief that they have free cover with their credit card. In this blog we’ll look into what level of insurance cover is actually offered…

Research by Post Office reveals that 46 per cent of people are looking for ways to reduce the cost of their holiday, and travel insurance is just one of the ways they’re looking to cut back.* Some consumers may be tempted to rely on free travel insurance that comes with their credit cards. However, most holidaymakers do not fully understand what free credit card travel insurance actually covers them for.

Level of cover
Whilst some credit card providers offer comprehensive travel insurance to their cardholders, the majority provide a very different free travel insurance policy known as ‘travel accident insurance’.

Many holidaymakers are under the mistaken belief that the travel accident insurance will provide the same cover as a traditional travel insurance policy, yet this is not the case.

Brian Brown of Defaqto, the financial research company, says: “If you get sick, that’s not an accident, so you’re not covered, if the accident is caused by your bad heart, you’re not covered, if you fall over on the beach once you’ve reached your destination, you’re not covered. In all honesty the cover is usually so pathetic it isn’t worth thinking of.” **

More often than not, credit card travel accident insurance will not cover the traveller before they travel to or when they arrive at their destination – meaning they will be unable to claim compensation for cancellation, travel delay, missed departure and lost or stolen possessions.

Furthermore, such policies are likely to include only very limited personal accident insurance, which means travellers could be hit by costly medical expenses if they are involved in an accident and possibly, have even less cover if struck by illness whilst away.

What to look for in a travel insurance policy?
A comprehensive travel insurance policy should cover medical expenses up to £2m if you are travelling in Europe, much more if you plan to visit North America.

Repatriation cover, to pay the cost of getting you back to Britain if you fall ill, should be included, as should personal liability insurance. This pays out if you are liable if you unintentionally hurt someone or damage their property. Your policy should also include enough cancellation cover to match the cost of your holiday.

Travel insurance
Travellers should be fully aware of the terms of their credit card travel insurance policy, and should take out additional travel insurance if they are in any doubt about level of insurance cover.

Read the policy wording, check the level of cover and ensure you are covered for any activities that you want to undertake. Carry your holiday insurance documentation with you on holiday and keep the 24 hour emergency assistance number on you at all times along with your policy number.

Contact us for an instant 24/7 travel insurance quote, for just £5.91† 24/7 travel insurance will cover you for a 3-day trip to Europe!

* Source – Sep 09

** Source – Sep 09

Premium £5.91 includes Insurance Premium Tax; based on an individual traveller aged under 55 taking out a Standard single-trip policy for 3 days in Europe including personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (Sep 2009) and are subject to change.