Can Travel Insurance Compensate for Coverage Gaps?

Published by November 23, 2012

Travel insurance providers often share valuable travel information on their websites, blogs or agent newsletters. The following information is from iTravelInsured’s agent newsletter, and details what may or may not be covered through a traveler’s existing insurance.

Credit Cards – The average American has four credit cards. Less than 15% actually provide some type of travel insurance as a credit card benefit, and then on a very limited basis. Trip cancellation and interruption benefits are not typical benefits offered by credit card programs.

Homeowner or Renter’s Insurance – Personal property coverage on this type of insurance generally provides for loss to personal property, anywhere in the world, subject to named perils (i.e. theft, vandalism, etc.) less a deductible (usually $500 or $1,000), that is contained in temporary living quarters occupied by the named insured. This insurance does not provide coverage for trip cancellation, interruption, travel or baggage delay or medical.

Health Insurance – Traditional domestic health insurance plans may not provide coverage outside the U.S. If they do, the plans may impose high deductibles ($1,000 and up) and co-pays of 20% to 50% of eligible charges. Out-of-country emergency medical transportation services are not commonly offered under health care plans due to the cost for this service.

Medicare – To be eligible for Medicare, a U.S. citizen must be aged 65 or older. Medicare does not provide coverage outside the U.S. unless a Medigap (C or higher) plan is purchased. Medigap plans generally limit coverage to 80% of emergency medical treatment costs less a $250 deductible. Most Medigap plans have a lifetime maximum of $50,000.

U.S. Embassies – The U.S. government will not arrange or provide coverage for medical costs or medical transportation needs. The State Department may assist in arranging medical transportation, but the responsibility for payment is yours alone.