Is Credit Card Travel Insurance Sufficient on Its Own?
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
“Reader Questions” are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.
Traveling is supposed to be a relaxing and joyful experience, but when you’re far away from home, things can still go wrong. Weather events, medical problems, accidents and other mishaps all have the potential to derail your trip. Thankfully many of our favorite travel rewards credit cards offer some form of travel insurance, but TPG reader Martin wants to know if that’s enough or if he should consider additional coverage as well …
We recently got a Chase Sapphire Reserve card and we’re wondering if the card’s travel insurance – specifically trip interruption and more importantly, medical expense and emergency evacuation – is sufficient to preclude the need for third party coverage?TPG READER MARTIN
At the end of the day, Martin is asking a very personal question. It’s up to each and every individual to decide what risks they are comfortable taking and which they would like to insure against. The good news is that Martin picked the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which offers a comprehensive suite of travel insurance and protections. Let’s take a look at the limitations of his coverage and highlight some instances where he might want to supplement his coverage.
Scale of Coverage
Martin asked specifically about medical expense and emergency evacuation. His Sapphire Reserve covers him, his spouse and his dependent children (under 18 unless they are enrolled in college) for up to $100,000 of transportation, medical services and medical supplies needed for an emergency evacuation. Of course this is a pretty dire scenario to think about, but assuming Martin speaks to a benefits administrator and gets the evacuation pre-approved, this should be sufficient coverage for most cases. There are some exclusions listed on the Sapphire Reserve benefits page, including travel for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment, non-emergency services or experimental care. Unless Martin is taking a trip that is not eligible for this coverage (less than 5 days, longer than 60 days or less than 100 miles from his home) or is worried about an even more expensive medical concern, the Sapphire Reserve coverage should be sufficient.
Scope of Coverage
The Sapphire Reserve comes with a lengthy list of travel protections, many of which you may not even know you have. These include:
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- Auto rental collision damage waiver (which is primary in most cases)
- Baggage delay insurance
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Roadside assistance
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Travel accident insurance
- Emergency evacuation and transportation
- Emergency medical and dental benefit
Each of these policies has its own terms and conditions, which I strongly encourage you to read to see how they might apply to your specific trip. If you’re unsure, you can always call Chase and speak to a benefits administrator.
That being said, here are a few potential circumstances that are not covered by the Reserve’s various insurance policies where you might want to consider buying a supplemental plan:
- If you have to cancel your trip for work-related reasons like rescheduling a meeting or interviewing for a new job or promotion (though changes in military orders are typically covered)
- If you are traveling against the advice of a physician
- If the trip is less than 100 miles from your home
- If your lost luggage includes items like valuable documents, cash, cash equivalents or furs
This is by no means an exhaustive list, as with most policies the list of eligible circumstances is far shorter than the list of excluded ones. That being said, if you’re planning an upcoming trip and stuffing your suitcase full of expensive furs, travelers checks and your entire family’s passports, you might want to consider a supplementary insurance plan.
How much insurance is right for any one person or any trip is a personal question more than anything else. It’s impossible to foresee all the things that might possibly go wrong, but a good place to start is thoroughly reading the terms of your credit card’s insurance benefits (and calling to ask questions if you have any). This will give you a clearer understanding of what is and isn’t covered, and, in the event you need to seek out additional third-party insurance, help you look for a plan that meets your specific needs.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees