Why Travel Insurance Included with Your Clients’ Credit Cards May Not be Their Best Option

When Amazon introduced its Amazon Prime credit card in January, the online retailer included travel insurance, 24/7 concierge service and roadside assistance among the card’s benefits—features found in many of today’s leading credit cards. While credit card-provided travel insurance can seem like a prudent approach to avoiding additional travel expenses at checkout, it can be important for your clients to note the differences between these complimentary credit card features and more robust travel insurance plans offered by providers specializing in the space.

Here are some good questions for your clients if the topic of credit cards versus travel protection comes up:

  1. Does your credit card include trip cancellation protection?

If your client, a family member or a traveling companion has to cancel due to a sickness or an injury, their credit card probably won’t be able to help if it doesn’t include trip cancellation. Trip cancellation provides coverage for certain unexpected events that force your client to cancel their arrangements and trip cancellation coverage offered by third-party travel insurance providers typically covers for flight delays and cancellations due to adverse weather among a number of other potential mishaps such as a documented theft of their passport or visa. Only about 15% of credit cards include trip cancellation coverage and even those that do typically include a limited number of covered events compared to third-party travel insurance and won’t cover pre-existing medical conditions.

  1. Do you need out-of-network medical coverage or emergency assistance and transportation?

Depending upon their primary health insurance plan and where they’re traveling to, your client may want (or even need) to secure additional medical coverage before they depart. While they likely aren’t planning to use it, it’s wise to consider the risks of leaving home without coverage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical evacuations by air ambulance can cost $50,000-$100,000. Some countries and travel operators even require a minimum amount of medical coverage in order to issue their visa or allow your client to board. While many credit cards provide travel accident coverage at no additional cost most do not include coverage for medical expenses and evacuations.

  1. Who do you need coverage for?

Most credit cards limit benefits to the cardholder’s spouse and children whereas purchasing a separate travel insurance plan allows your client to choose who they’re buying coverage for. CSA Travel Protection, your trusted partner and a reputable insurance provider, offers travel insurance plans that can insure up to 10 people and your client has the opportunity to add each traveler to the plan at purchase. If your client is traveling with extended family or friends they may want to ensure everyone in their party has adequate trip delay, baggage or medical coverage, which credit card coverage can fall short on providing if their traveling companions are unable to meet the card’s limited definition of family member.

Key coverages and plan flexibility are significant reasons for your clients to explore travel insurance options in addition to their credit card’s benefits. Travel insurance sales grew nearly 13% last year and that growth is predicted to continue through 2017, illustrating travelers’ increasing demand for these third-party products and credit cards’ inability to close important coverage gaps. Before you finalize your next booking, encourage your client to do their research, weigh their options and make an informed choice for themselves and their traveling companions.

Travel insurance plans are administered by Customized Services Administrators, Inc., CA Lic. No. 821931, located in San Diego, CA and doing business as CSA Travel Protection and Insurance Services.  Plans are available to residents of the U.S. but may not be available in all jurisdictions. Benefits and services are described on a general basis; certain conditions and exclusions apply. Travel Retailers may not be licensed to sell insurance, in all states, and are not authorized to answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance and cannot evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance.  This plan provides insurance coverage for your trip that applies only during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home and automobile policies. The purchase of this plan is not required in order to purchase any other travel product or service offered to you by your travel retailers. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer, insurance agent or broker.  This notice provides general information on CSA’s products and services only. The information contained herein is not part of an insurance policy and may not be used to modify any insurance policy that might be issued. In the event the actual policy forms are inconsistent with any information provided herein, the language of the policy forms shall govern. 

Travel insurance plans are underwritten by: Generali U.S. Branch, New York, NY; NAIC # 11231. Generali US Branch operates under the following names: Generali Assicurazioni Generali S.P.A. (U.S. Branch) in California, Assicurazioni Generali – U.S. Branch in Colorado, Generali U.S. Branch DBA The General Insurance Company of Trieste & Venice in Oregon, and The General Insurance Company of Trieste and Venice – U.S. Branch in Virginia. Generali US Branch is admitted or licensed to do business in all states and the District of Columbia.

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