"I get free travel accident insurance with my credit card, is it any good?"

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.

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.

Credit Card Travel Accident Insurance

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:
  • Cancellation or Curtailment
  • Medical expenses
  • Repatriation
  • Loss of luggage
  • Transport delays

Limited Travel Accident insurance from a credit card is not sufficient.

Travel Insurance

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:

  • American Express Platinum charge card Worldwide travel insurance for cardholders and supplementary card holders and their families but this card has a substantial annual fee.
  • Barclays Bank Basic Bank Account The Travel Pack add on (around £8.50 a month) gives European cover while Travel Pack Plus (around £13.50 a month) offers worldwide cover.
  • Halifax Ultimate Reward current account Worldwide travel insurance for account holders, (around £15.00 fee for holding the account).
  • HSBC Premier Bank Account Worldwide travel insurance for account holders, only those with approximately £50k+ in savings/investments with HSBC or annual income of £100k+ and a HSBC mortgage, investment, life insurance or protection product are eligible for this account.
  • Nationwide FlexAccount current account Annual European multi trip travel insurance for account holders paying in at least £750 a month.
  • Nationwide FlexPlus current account Worldwide travel insurance including winter sports cover, £10.00 monthly fee for holding the account.
  • TSB Platinum current account Choose either family or winter sports UK and worldwide travel insurance, £17.00 monthly fee for holding the account.

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.

Find out more about comprehensive travel insurance

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