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2 Types of Travel Insurance: Medical Coverage Vs. Trip Protection

2 Types of Travel Insurance: Medical Coverage Vs. Trip Protection

Million Mile Secrets2 Types of Travel Insurance: Medical Coverage Vs. Trip ProtectionMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Nancy, commented:

Do you have any advice for travel insurance carriers?

Travel insurance is broad and complex.  Because there are separate insurances that cover trip related incidents vs. medical issues.

For example, you’ll get coverage for mishaps like trip delays just by paying with credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige.

But if you’re looking for medical coverage while traveling outside the US, you might consider purchasing a supplemental travel medical insurance policy.

Travel Insurance Coverage
Are You Looking for Trip Protection Benefits, Travel Medical Insurance, or Both?

I’ll explain what you should consider when looking for travel insurance.

Get Automatic Trip Insurance Paying With Certain Cards

Link:   Best Travel Insurance Credit Cards

Link:   How Can You Save Money on Travel Insurance?

Link:   Which Has Better Travel Protection: Chase Sapphire Reserve Or Citi Prestige?

Several credit cards have built-in travel protection.  So just paying for your trip with a certain credit card can save you from purchasing a separate travel insurance policy for items like:

  • Trip delay or cancellation
  • Delayed or lost luggage
  • Travel accidents

These benefits can help if you have a sudden illness or injury.  Or if you’re in a foreign country and your flight is delayed or cancelled.

Here’s a comparison of the benefits you get with certain cards.

CoverageAmerican Express CardsChase Sapphire PreferredChase Sapphire ReserveCiti Prestige
Primary Rental Car Insurance• Enroll for free in the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection program

• But you’ll pay ~$25 (~$18 for California residents) per rental for up to 42 consecutive rental days (30 consecutive rental days for Washington State cardholders)
• Cardholders covered when you rent a car with your card and decline the car rental agency's collision damage waiver

• Cardholders covered when you rent a car with your card and decline the car rental agency’s collision damage waiver• Cardholders and authorized designated drivers covered when you rent a car with your card and decline the car rental agency’s collision damage waiver

• Coverage is secondary in the US and primary elsewhere
Delayed BaggageNone• If your baggage is delayed for more than 6 hours, you could be reimbursed for emergency purchases of essential items (i.e. clothing, toiletries, cell phone charging cables, and more)

• Up to $100 per day for a maximum of 5 days
• If your baggage is delayed for more than 6 hours, you could be reimbursed for purchases of essential items (i.e. clothing, toiletries, cell phone charging cables, and more)

• Up to $100 per day for a maximum of 5 days
• If your baggage is delayed for more than 3 hours, you could be reimbursed for emergency purchases of essential items (i.e. clothing, toiletries, cell phone charging cables, and more)

• Up to $500 maximum per covered traveler
Lost Luggage• Up to $1,250 (or more) per person per trip for loss of carry-on baggage

• Up to $500 (or more) per person per trip for loss of checked bag

• Up to $250 per person per trip for loss of high risk items (i.e. jewelry & electronics)

• Not all cards have the same protection, click here to see what your card covers
• Covers the cost to repair or replace lost luggage and personal items inside

Up to $3,000 per person each trip with a limit of $500 for items such as jewelry and electronics
• Covers the cost to repair or replace lost luggage and personal items inside

• Up to $3,000 per person each trip with a limit of $500 for items such as jewelry and electronics
• Covers the cost to repair or replace lost luggage and personal items inside

• Up to $3,000 per person each trip

• Up to $10,000 per trip
Trip Delay ProtectionNone• If your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours, you could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items)


• See my post on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card's Trip Delay Insurance for more details
• If your trip is delayed for more than 6 hours, you could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items)• If your trip is delayed for more than 3 hours, you could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items)
Trip Cancellation & Interruption InsuranceNone• Up to $10,000 for per occurrence, with a maximum of $20,000 per incident, if you pay for your trip with points you'll get a value of 1 cent per point

• No more than $40,000 per 12 month period
• Up to $10,000 per person per covered trip (maximum $20,000 per occurrence)

• Up to $40,000 per 12 month period

• See the Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits Guide for more details
• Up to $5,000 per person per trip
Emergency Medical and Dental CoverageNo coverageNo coverage• Up to $2,500 for medical expenses if you or your immediate family member becomes sick or injured 100 miles or more from home on a trip

• See my post on the Chase Sapphire Reserve's coverage for more details
No coverage
Emergency Evacuation & TransportationCoverage is provided with no limitNo coverage• Up to $100,000 in coverage• Up to $100,000 in coverage
Travel Accident Insurance• Up to $500,000 per person ($3,500,000 maximum)

• Not all cards have the same protection, click here to see what your card covers
• Up to $500,000 per person ($500,000 maximum payout)• Up to $1,000,000 per person ($2,000,000 maximum)• Up to $500,000 per person
Benefits GuideAMEX Benefits GuideChase Sapphire Preferred Benefits GuideChase Sapphire Reserve Benefits GuideCiti Prestige Benefits Guide

Note:   The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card provides similar coverage to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Keep in mind, each card has different rules for who is covered.  For example, some cards will cover immediate family members AND traveling companions if you paid for their trip.

I recommend checking the benefits guide for each card to review coverage details.

If you don’t have one of these cards, are looking for additional coverage, or would like to bundle trip protection insurance with medical travel insurance, visit InsureMyTrip to check travel insurance prices and benefits.

Consider a Supplemental Travel Insurance Policy When Traveling Outside of the US

Link:   Medical Coverage While Traveling Outside the US

Many US health insurance plans offer limited coverage outside the US.  And credit cards typically do NOT provide benefits for medical treatment while traveling.

So purchasing a supplemental travel medical insurance policy might be a good idea for:

  • Travelers with a history of medical problems
  • People traveling outside the country for more than 6 months
  • Older travelers insured through Medicare
Travel Insurance Coverage
Traveling Internationally for an Extended Period? Consider Purchasing a Supplemental Travel Medical Insurance Policy

Similar to searching for trip protection coverage, I like to use InsureMyTrip to check prices and benefits for travel medical coverage.  Prices can vary, similar to regular health insurance, because of:

  • Age of the travelers
  • Number of travelers
  • Length of travel
  • Type of coverage

It’s possible to find supplemental medical travel insurance plans for less than $20 for a week-long overseas trip.  Having one of these plans might have saved Emily and me 200 Euros, when we paid for a doctor’s visit when Emily had an allergic reaction in Paris.

Before your purchase insurance, research what type of medical treatment you can get in the country you’re traveling to.  In many developed countries, you can get treatment for much less than what you’d pay in the US.

Travel Insurance Coverage
Before You Travel to a Foreign Country, Check How Much Medical Treatment Costs to See If Purchasing a Supplemental Policy Makes Sense

For example, team member Harlan’s friend broke his wrist in Iceland and didn’t have medical travel insurance.  He went to the hospital and paid $300 out of pocket for a cast, medication, and x-rays.  In the US, you’d pay significantly more for the same treatment.

Bottom Line

Travel insurance can be separated into 2 types of coverage: trip protection or medical coverage.

When you pay for a trip with certain credit cards, like the Citi Prestige or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you get automatic coverage for things like:

  • Emergency evacuations
  • Trip delays or cancellations
  • Travel accidents

But if you’re traveling overseas and looking for insurance to cover medical treatment, I recommend using InsureMyTrip to check prices and benefits for a supplemental travel medical plan.

Do you have any experience purchasing or using travel insurance?

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As far as cruises ago, there is cruise specific coverage that adds in things that credit card coverage (and most comprehensive plans) doesn’t have. Such as:

Return Home Early

Port of Call Change

Shipboard Service Disruption

Pre-Paid Excursion Reimbursement

Missed Connection (missing your cruise departure)

Ship-to-Shore Coverage (evac coverarage)

https://www.insuremytrip.com/travel-insurance-plans-coverages/travel-insurance-for-cruises/

my wife’s father just passed away. we are about to take off to on a trip to The Cove Atlantis in the Bahamas for 10 days (thanks to you Darius!), but now need to re-route our return flight to Miami instead of Charlotte. I have taken care of this, but it cost me ~$150 in fees. Do you know if any credit cards will cover our fees on an event like this?

You don’t have to decline CDW with Citi Prestige. I used this benefit several times when i booked from rentalcars.com, which typically includes the CDW. Citi Prestige will work with the other insurance and picks up the excess coverage., which is useful when some car rentals force you to take some kind of CDW coverage for expensive cars.

Both Amex premium auto insurance and Chase primary insurance don’t cover tires and wheels, unless part of an accident. Only Citi Prestige covers tires and wheels and no vehicle with 4 wheels under 100k is excluded.

@Pat…I payed with the same Chase Reserve card for anything that was related to my trip. That would include the airfare and the cruise…just making sure to cover all the bases.

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