Travel Accident Insurance is a common free 'extra' with a number of credit cards and current accounts. However, debit and credit cardholders will generally only have the benefit of limited Travel Accident Insurance which is far from a substitute for extensive Travel Insurance, such as the policy offered by Headwater.
A full Travel Insurance policy is available with some bank accounts but usually only with packaged current accounts which are subject to a monthly fee or credit cards where an annual fee is charged.
Many credit card providers say they offer some form of ‘Travel Insurance’, and especially when they throw it in for free, what they actually mean is the very limited Travel Accident Insurance.
Travel Accident Insurance differs from normal Travel Insurance in that it usually only covers extremely serious bodily injuries and fatalities whilst travelling. Every policy is different but, in general, the Travel Accident policies only provide limited compensation to the cardholder and, sometimes, selected members of the party they are travelling with, in the event of an accident resulting death, loss or serious injury.
As with all insurance policies, there are exclusions. In the case of Travel Accident Insurance, exclusions seem even more frequent than with most other insurance policies. For example, most limited Travel Accident policies only cover transport accidents in the event that the ticket to travel was specifically paid for with the credit card.The following are ‘NOT COVERED’ under a free credit card Travel Accident Policy:
Limited Travel Accident insurance from a credit card is not sufficient.
Credit card and current account holders with full Travel Insurance will know they have got it as they will be paying out for the policy in the form of an annual fee for holding the card or upgraded bank account.
Some products currently offering travel insurance are:
Account holders should consider carefully whether the cost of the account makes the insurance worthwhile as well as checking exclusions and policy terms to ensure that they are covered.