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What Travel Insurance Coverage do Credit Cards Offer Travellers?

Last updated: 5th July 2023

One way to reduce the stress of travelling is by taking advantage of travel insurance that can provide coverage in case of unexpected events.

When using a credit card for your travels, you may believe that the right coverage is automatically taken care of; however, there are specific elements that you need to consider when assessing whether these cards will meet your requirements in providing adequate travel protection.

In this guide, we will take a look at what limited travel insurance is provided with credit cards and why investing in standalone cover could be beneficial for travellers seeking more comprehensive protection during their next trip.

Travel insurance coverage provided by credit cards

Credit cards typically offer a range of travel insurance coverage options that may include protection against trip cancellations, interruptions, or delays, lost or delayed baggage, and travel accidents. Some cards may also provide emergency medical and dental benefits, as well as emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage.

However, the extent of these benefits can vary significantly depending on the card issuer, card type, and individual cardholder agreements. In many cases, the coverage is limited in terms of maximum payout amounts, specific conditions under which coverage is provided, and the duration of coverage.

Additionally, certain types of travel-related expenses, such as pre-existing medical conditions and adventure activities, may be excluded from these policies. As a result, travellers should carefully review their credit card's travel insurance benefits to ensure they understand the scope of coverage and any potential limitations before relying solely on these policies for protection during their journey.

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Differences between standalone travel insurance and credit card travel insurance

One of the key differences between standalone travel insurance and credit card travel insurance lies in the extent and comprehensiveness of coverage. Standalone policies are typically more comprehensive, offering a broader range of coverages that can be tailored to the individual traveller's needs. This may include coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, adventure sports, and other specific activities or circumstances that credit card travel insurance might exclude.

Additionally, standalone policies often provide higher coverage limits, ensuring that travellers are adequately protected in case of significant expenses. Another notable distinction is the claim process; while credit card travel insurance claims may require dealing with the card issuer and can be subject to strict eligibility criteria, standalone travel insurance providers often have dedicated customer support and a more straightforward claims process.

Ultimately, while credit card travel insurance can provide a basic level of protection, travellers seeking more extensive and personalised coverage should consider investing in a standalone policy.

Benefits and drawbacks of relying solely on credit card travel insurance

There are both benefits and drawbacks to relying solely on credit card travel insurance. On the one hand, the coverage provided by credit cards can be convenient, as it is automatically included with the card and does not require purchasing a separate policy. This can lead to cost savings for travellers and ease of use, as there are no additional steps to secure coverage. Additionally, credit card travel insurance can offer some peace of mind and a basic level of protection in the event of unforeseen incidents during the trip.

On the other hand, the limitations of credit card travel insurance can leave travellers vulnerable in certain situations. As mentioned previously, coverage is often limited in terms of maximum payouts, specific conditions, and duration of coverage, which may not be sufficient to cover all potential costs or scenarios. Furthermore, the exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions and adventure activities can leave travellers without coverage if they require assistance related to these factors. Lastly, the claim process for credit card travel insurance may not be as streamlined or supportive as that of standalone providers, resulting in potential delays or complications when seeking reimbursement for expenses.

In summary, while credit card travel insurance can provide a basic safety net for travellers, it is essential to consider the drawbacks and assess whether a standalone policy would be more appropriate for one's specific needs and circumstances.

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Can you top-up the coverage provided by your credit card?

Yes, it is possible to top-up the coverage provided by your credit card travel insurance. Many standalone travel insurance providers offer supplementary policies that can be purchased to complement the existing coverage offered by credit cards. These top-up policies can fill gaps in coverage, such as increasing payout limits, extending coverage duration, or providing coverage for excluded activities or pre-existing medical conditions.

It is essential to carefully review the benefits and limitations of your credit card travel insurance and then identify the areas where additional protection is needed. By topping up your credit card travel insurance with a supplementary policy, you can create a more personalised and comprehensive safety net while still benefiting from the convenience and cost savings associated with credit card-provided coverage.

Questions to consider when deciding whether to purchase standalone travel insurance cover

When deciding whether to purchase standalone travel insurance cover, it is crucial to consider several key questions.

  1. Assess your individual needs and circumstances, including your destination, trip duration, planned activities, and any pre-existing medical conditions. This will help determine the type and extent of coverage required for your trip.
  2. Carefully review your credit card travel insurance benefits, limitations, and exclusions to identify any gaps in coverage that may necessitate a standalone policy.
  3. Consider your budget and weigh the potential cost savings of relying solely on credit card travel insurance against the peace of mind and comprehensive protection offered by a standalone policy.
  4. Research various travel insurance providers and compare their policies, customer support, and claims processes to ensure you select a reputable and reliable provider that can offer the most suitable coverage for your specific needs.

By addressing these questions, you can make a well-informed decision on whether to opt for standalone travel insurance or rely on your credit card-provided coverage.

A woman uses a credit card to purchase travel insurance coverage online

Researching and comparing different types of standalone travel insurance policies

For Canadian travellers seeking resources to research and compare different types of standalone travel insurance policies, there are several options available.

One starting point can be online comparison websites, such as Compare Your Travel Insurance, which allow users to compare quotes and policy features from multiple providers in one platform.

Additionally, the Canadian government provides resources through its official travel website,, which offers guidance on selecting a suitable travel insurance policy and understanding its terms and conditions.

Don't forget to check reviews and ratings of insurance providers on websites like Trustpilot to ensure you choose a reputable and reliable company for your travel insurance coverage. By utilising these resources, you can make an informed decision when selecting a standalone travel insurance policy that best suits your individual requirements and preferences.

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Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, having worked with some of the worlds largest insurers. Tommy’s primary focus has been developing the best possible online experience for travellers looking to compare travel insurance rates. Music and travel are two of Tommy's greatest interests, and even better when he can combine the two together!


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