Travel Insurance: What Your Clients Should Know

Here are some facts from the UStiA commissioned “Myths and Misconceptions” study, comparing various other coverage to travel insurance, that home-based agents can share with their clients:


• Events beyond an airline’s control, such as delayed or cancelled flights caused by weather or strikes, are not necessarily reimbursable for non-refundable fares. There are also no federal mandates requiring refunds, and each airline has its own policy. Most comprehensive travel insurance policies, however, do provide coverage for such non-refundable expenses.


While airline policies regarding lost luggage are inconsistent, most travel insurance allows for greater reimbursement

• Each airline reimburses for lost or delayed luggage according to its individual policy. On the other hand, travel insurance reimburses up to a maximum amount for a wider range of expenses incurred because of baggage delay.

Credit Cards

• Credit cards don’t automatically cover medical emergencies, and most will not cover medical transportation and evacuation, where costs can be $50,000 or more. Most comprehensive travel insurance policies cover both medical emergencies and medical transportation/evacuation.

• Trip cancellation and interruption coverage provided by comprehensive travel insurance policies allows customers to cancel for three times as many reasons as credit cards do.

• If the credit card does offer coverage for cancellation and interruption, usually it’s only in the case of death, illness or injury of the insured or a family member. In some cases, coverage can extend to financial default of the carrier. Travel insurance, on the other hand, covers a wider range of circumstances and individuals, including traveling companions and situations like work-related issues, having to serve jury duty, accidents en route to the airport, and more.

• Eighty-five percent of credit-card insurance policies reviewed did not provide built-in trip cancellation insurance and of those that did, reimbursements were generally limited to a maximum of $1,500 per person. By comparison, comprehensive travel insurance policies will cover trips over $20,000.

• Credit cards offer limited coverage for baggage delays, damage or loss, and only if travel was purchased with the card.

• Credit-card coverage doesn’t reimburse expenses for weather and other travel delays. In contrast, comprehensive travel insurance policies reimburse for incidental expenses and overnight accommodations up to a specified limit if a plane flight is delayed, usually beyond four to six hours.


• Traditional domestic health insurance plans typically limit coverage for out-of-country medical expenses to those that are emergency-related. This coverage is subject to high deductibles and co-pays.

• Most domestic healthcare plans do not cover out?of?country emergency medical transportation, routinely covered by travel insurance.

• In more than half of its policies, Medicare does not typically provide coverage for medical expenses incurred outside the U.S. Coverage under Medigap C and other more expensive policies is limited to 80 percent of emergency treatment costs, with a $250 deductible.

FREE Virtual Event

Pivoting Back to Travel: Phase 4

Are you prepared to guide your clients through the “new normal” of travel? Join us December 15, 2020 from 1pm-2:20pm EST for Pivoting Back to Travel: Phase 4. The upcoming installment of our FREE virtual series will feature presentations from the Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, and Seabourn on their most up-to-date travel procedures, health & safety protocols they’ve implemented to keep guests safe, activities that are open to visitors, what your clients need to know while on their trip and more! Visit www.pivotingbacktotravel to view the full agenda and register for your FREE pass.

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