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Compare credit cards with complimentary insurance for domestic and overseas travel including your luggage and car rental.
No. The higher your annual fee, the more likely it is that your card will have travel insurance. Rewards points and frequent flyer points cards also tend to have travel insurance since many of the points redemption options involve travel. But cards with a lower, or zero, annual fee may not have any travel insurance benefits.
You will need to read the details in the product information booklet (either a printed copy or a downloaded PDF file) to find out exactly what is covered, and what the payout limits and conditions are. Some of the items commonly covered are:
Again, this varies from card to card. The primary cardholder is invariably covered if there is a travel insurance policy in place. The vast majority of policies (but not all of them) also cover the cardholder’s spouse and children when accompanying the cardholder, provided the policy activation conditions have been met for all persons travelling. Many cards also have cover for supplementary cardholders, which means that a spouse who is a supplementary cardholder is still covered, and children accompanying the spouse are still covered, when travelling without the primary cardholder. Accompanying extended family members, such as parents or siblings, would not be covered (unless they were a supplementary cardholder). Check the product disclosure statement to find out what your particular policy covers.
Although there is usually no limit on the number of trips covered in any year, there is a limit on each trip’s duration. For trips within Australia there is often a 14-day limit, and the trip must involve interstate air travel. Overseas trip cover generally allows for longer periods of cover, from 30 days to as long as six months. Once again, the insurance information booklet or product disclosure statement will have more information about this.
Most credit card travel insurance policies have some kind of activation condition, involving travel spending using the credit card. For domestic travel insurance (interstate flight inconvenience cover) you will usually have to pay the airfares in full for everyone needing to be covered. Overseas travel policy activation normally has either the same airfare payment condition, or a target amount (e.g. $500) to be spent using the card for the trip’s prepaid expenses (fares, accommodation, tour or activity costs, &c) before departure. Rewards and frequent flyer points cards sometimes accept activation where the airfares were purchased with points.
No. The card issuer will have made a master agreement with an insurance underwriter (e.g. ACE, Allianz, QBE) to provide cover for its cardholders.
You will need to make a claim directly with the insurance underwriter, although your card issuer’s service centre will usually help you to get in touch with them if you don’t have the contact details with you while travelling. But it is a good idea to take the policy and insurer contact details with you (or have them available on your mobile device). The insurance underwriter’s product disclosure statement will often provide a list of emergency contact telephone numbers for popular overseas destinations. If you need to make a claim but do not need financial, legal or practical assistance through the policy while you are away, you can wait until you return home before you contact the insurer. Retain any paperwork that you will need to support your claim, and don’t wait too long: there will be a time limit after your return during which you must make your claim.