Credit Card Coverage: Is it the Smart Travel Insurance Option?


Travel insurance benefits are included with many credit cards these days. But more than half of travellers actually carry additional travel insurance. Is it smart to spend a little more to get that extra coverage?

Smart Travellers Know What’s Covered

At first glance, it might appear that people who buy additional travel insurance are spending money they don’t have to. In fact, they’re buying insurance because they know all insurance isn’t created equal.

It’s a small price to pay to travel with peace of mind.

Before you rely on credit card travel insurance, make sure you know what you’re getting. Here are some points to consider.

Limits for Medical Coverage
The coverage limit and the number of travel days your credit card provides can vary. Some companies even reduce the number of covered days depending on your age. If you need more days, you can top up your coverage.

If you need medical help while you’re away, will your expenses be paid up front?
• Yes. If not, you will have to apply for reimbursement when you get back. That means paperwork, uncertainty and perhaps a lot of out-of-pocket expenses.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Coverage
Many credit card companies only cover you if you or a fellow traveller has a serious illness.

Will they also cover:
• Minor emergencies
• Family illness
• Jury duty
• Loss of job

Those are all valid reasons for cancelling a trip or returning early. Are they covered by your credit card insurance?

Exploring Canada?
Every province in Canada has a Government Health Insurance Plan. But it’s not the same across the country. Your OHIP coverage might not get you the same care or services everywhere in Canada.

Many credit cards don’t offer medical coverage if you’re still in Canada. So you may need additional travel insurance, even for a quick trip out of province.


It might feel like a waste of money to buy insurance when it’s included with your credit card. And, if the credit card company’s insurance gives you everything you’re looking for, perhaps it’s a good deal. Just make sure it’s the insurance you think it is.

Before leaving on your next trip, talk to your credit card provider about what’s really covered. You can find resources to help you, including a credit card coverage checklist, at