Credit Card Travel Accident Insurance

When you’re planning your next vacation it might be a good idea to charge it to your credit card, especially if it has travel insurance coverage. This insurance can include travel medical insurance (which protects you in the event you need medical care), trip cancellation insurance (which covers you in the event you need to cancel a vacation), or travel accident insurance (which covers you in the event you suffer a permanent physical loss). When planning your next vacation be sure to check if your credit card has this type of coverage. Here’s a look at what’s typically offered by travel accident insurance.


What is travel accident insurance?

Travel accident insurance covers you in the event that you (the cardholder), your spouse, and any dependent children travelling with you suffer the loss of life, limb, sight, speech, or hearing. Coverage extends to accidents that take place while you’re occupying a common carrier (airplane, train, cruise ship), at the airport, terminal, or station at the beginning or the end of your trip. Typically, the card will have a maximum amount it’ll cover per occurrence. This amount will vary between cards though you can expect it won’t be more than $2 million.

Note: If you already have coverage through your credit card, purchasing additional travel accident insurance is usually not necessary.

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  • $1 million maximum benefit for any one occurrence
  • A claim should be made within 90 days of an accident
  • Benefits extend to cardholder, spouse, and dependent children

Who is covered by travel accident insurance?

Travel accident protects not only you (the cardholder) but extends to your spouse and any dependent children travelling with you. Dependent children are those under the age of 22, or under the age of 26 if they’re enrolled in post-secondary education on a full-time basis.


What is covered under travel accident insurance?

The amount of travel accident insurance you can vary between different cards. In general, travel accident insurance can provide coverage for the following:

  • Loss of life
  • Loss of limbs (including arms, legs, fingers, hands, and feet)
  • Loss of sight, speech, or hearing
  • Total permanent disability (may not apply to dependent children)
  • Paralysis (including quadriplegia, paraplegia, and hemiplegia)
  • Coma (may only apply to dependent children)

What isn’t covered by travel accident insurance?

There are a few instances in which travel accident insurance will not provide coverage. Here are situations that are typically excluded:

  • Suicide, attempted suicide, or intentional self-inflicted injuries
  • Emotional trauma, mental or physical illness
  • Pregnancy, resulting in childbirth or miscarriage
  • Bacterial or viral infections including accidental death resulting from ingestion of substance contaminated by bacteria
  • Bodily malfunctions
  • Declared or undeclared war, not including acts of terrorism
  • Illness or disease
  • Accident occurring while acting or training as a pilot or crew member

How do you make a travel accident insurance claim?

If you require travel accident insurance, you should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. Most insurance providers require you to give notice within a given time period (typically 30 to 90 days).

The next step varies among different insurance providers. They may ask you to fill out a claim, which they send you, or provide a written statement.

If they require you to fill out a claim form, you’ll be asked to provide:

  • Account number that ticket was charged to
  • Name and address to whom claim form should be sent

Whether you receive a claim form or have to provide a written statement, it’s likely the provider will ask you for one or more of the following:

  • A copy of the invoice to prove method of payment
  • Certified death certificate, if applicable
  • Medical reports pertaining to accident
  • Police report or other accident report as filed

The devil is in the details

When booking your next vacation, be sure to check out the travel insurance provided by your credit card. The coverage often varies from card to card. Therefore, it’s important to find out what’s covered in the event you need to use travel accident insurance on your next trip.

Also, prior to receiving a payment, you should inquire about what you must do to qualify for coverage. Most credit cards require you to pay for at least a portion of the trip using your credit card. But in some cases, the entire trip must be purchased on the card in order to receive travel insurance coverage.

The most important thing to note is to always gather as much information about your travel insurance prior to going on a trip. If you’re unsatisfied with the extent of your coverage, look into buying additional coverage or switch to a card that provides greater coverage.

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