How does credit card travel insurance work?

Find out what credit card travel insurance is, how it works and what benefits you might be eligible for.

Ever found yourself in a travel hiccup, booking alternate flights or scrambling for lost bags? These events can be stressful—and costly. Credit card travel insurance might protect you from travel expenses beyond your control.

Many cardholders have travel insurance as part of their credit card benefits. Coverage varies by card, issuer and network, so you might want to do your homework on how travel insurance can help you in a travel snag.

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance can help protect you financially in case of a vacation gone wrong. Whether you’re visiting family, flying abroad or road-tripping across the country, credit card travel insurance could be the safety net you need.

By booking and paying for a trip with a credit card that offers travel insurance benefits, you could get compensation—up to a set limit—for unplanned costs. For example, some Capital One rewards credit cards offer benefits like travel accident insurance and lost luggage reimbursement.* 

Is my family covered under travel insurance?

Your family’s travel insurance coverage can depend on your credit card issuer and network. For example, if you’re a Mastercard® or Visa® cardholder, your spouse and kids, depending on their ages, are typically covered. Capital One cardholders can learn about specific card benefits by reading their benefits guide.

What are the benefits of credit card travel insurance?

Imagine traveling with peace of mind, knowing that a potential accident or expensive mishap could be reimbursed. With credit card travel insurance, you could be covered in a number of scenarios. Consider checking your credit card benefits to see what events are covered—and the level of coverage provided.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

Canceling a trip at the last minute or cutting it short can be disappointing. But getting your money back on outstanding flights and reservations might relieve your stress. If you booked and paid for your trip with a credit card that offers trip cancellation insurance, you may qualify for it for reasons like health issues or a death in the family.

Your maximum reimbursement depends on your credit card. Some cards might offer up to $2,000 per trip, while other cards could offer up to $20,000 per trip. 

Trip delay insurance

Travel schedules don’t always go as planned. Flights may get delayed, or the weather can go south. And you may need to pay for a meal or a last-minute hotel room while you wait. If you paid for your trip with a card that has trip delay insurance, any reasonable costs during the delay might be covered.

Credit cards may vary in how long the delay must be to qualify. But having travel delay insurance can help take care of your most urgent needs.

Travel accident insurance

While most trips can be smooth sailing, accidents happen. But travel accident insurance might provide a layer of support. In cases of severe injury or death, you or your family members could receive benefits if you booked and paid for your trip with a credit card that offers travel accident insurance.

Lost or delayed baggage insurance

Say you’re waiting at baggage claim, confident that you packed everything you need to start your trip—once you get your suitcase. But it never rolls by on the carousel.

Lost, delayed or even stolen baggage can happen. If you need to buy replacement items, you could be reimbursed.

Rental car insurance

If you pay for a rental car with your credit card, you might be able to skip the added cost of buying insurance through the rental company. Credit card rental car insurance could cover collisions, theft and towing while traveling.

This type of insurance usually goes into effect after your regular auto insurance policy. And whether you rent domestically or internationally may determine how much additional coverage you need. Just remember, rental car insurance usually only covers the vehicle. You might still need to buy liability coverage when traveling internationally if your personal auto policy is limited to the U.S.

How do you file a travel insurance claim?

You might be leaving money on the table if you don’t file a travel insurance claim you’re qualified for. A few extra steps can go a long way toward helping you recover from unexpected purchases.

You can start by reading the fine print on your card’s benefits guide. It helps to know beforehand what travel events are covered and for how much.

As you navigate any travel troubles, save your purchase receipts. If you want to be reimbursed for replacement articles of clothing, a last-minute hotel or a trip to the emergency room, it’s a good idea to have a paper trail.

Finally, you can file a claim by contacting the administrator listed in your benefits guide. Check if there’s a time limit on how long you have to file after the travel incident. And you may have to answer a few questions and complete a form. But with a little effort, you can bypass a travel roadblock and continue on your way.

*Some benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product.

We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

Capital One does not provide, endorse or guarantee any third-party product, service, information, or recommendation listed above. The third parties listed are solely responsible for their products and services, and all trademarks listed are the property of their respective owners.

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