Later this year, I’m taking a trip to Nepal and Bhutan with a friend. We are planning to do some trekking (as opposed to mountain climbing). Obviously this is a little more adventurous than most trips I take. I’ve never paid for travel insurance, and never really thought much about it until now. The outfitter we are working with in Nepal strongly recommends it. While attempting to research options, I didn’t find much relevant information. So I wanted to share some details I found useful with regard to travel insurance.
Several premium credit cards offer various types of travel insurance. Frequent Miler has a nice post summarizing some of these. In this post, I’ll focus on the benefits included with the card I used for my trip, Chase Sapphire Reserve. With the Reserve card, Chase covers the cardholder and immediate family members even if not traveling together. Better yet, this even covers award travel, when paying for all or part of the trip (taxes/fees, etc) with the Reserve card.
Below is a summary of some of the various travel insurance benefits with the Sapphire Reserve. Excerpted from the Chase website here.
Travel Accident Insurance
- Travel Accident Insurance consists of two benefit types, Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance and 24-Hour Travel Accident Insurance, which provide coverage for accidental death or dismemberment, or a combined loss of speech, sight or hearing, experienced on a covered trip. Benefits are available for portions of a covered trip purchased with an eligible Chase card or with rewards earned on an eligible Chase card.
- Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance provides benefit for a covered loss when entering, exiting, or riding as a passenger on a common carrier, such as airline, bus, train or cruise ship
- 24 Hour Travel Accident Insurance provides benefit for a covered loss beginning on the departure date printed on a scheduled airline ticket and ends on the return date printed on the ticket (if your trip is longer than 30 days in length, see additional terms in your Guide to Benefits)
Note: Both types of insurance are not payable for the same accident. Any payment you receive will be for the largest eligible benefit amount. Please refer to the terms in your Guide to Benefits for additional details.
- Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance
- Benefit amount for loss of life is $1,000,000
- Benefit amount for dismemberment and/or a combined loss of speech, sight and hearing expressed as a percentage of the loss of life benefit and are available in your Guide to Benefits maximum payout is $1,000,000
- 24 Hour Travel Accident Insurance
- Benefit amount for loss of life is $100,000
- Benefit amount for dismemberment and/or a combined loss of speech, sight and hearing expressed as a percentage of the loss of life benefit and are available in your Guide to Benefits; maximum payout is $100,000
Note: If more than one eligible person is injured, coverage does not exceed two times the applicable benefit amount; the aggregate amount will be divided proportionally among eligible persons
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
Trip Cancellation provides reimbursement if a covered loss prevents you from traveling on or before the departure date and results in cancellation of the travel arrangements.
Trip Interruption provides reimbursement if a covered loss on the way to the point of departure or after departure causes interruption of your covered trip. It can also provide reimbursement for trips postponed due to a covered loss and certain fees incurred if a new departure date is set.
The information below applies to both benefits. Reimbursement for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses including passenger fares, tours and hotels.
- Covers trips when travel arrangements for a pre-paid tour, trip or vacation purchased with an eligible Chase card or with rewards earned on an eligible Chase card
- Reimbursement is in excess of any travel insurance purchased, or reimbursement from the occupancy provider or common carrier such as airline, bus, cruise ship, or train
- Up to $10,000 per covered trip and a maximum limit of $20,000 per occurrence and a maximum benefit amount per 12-month period of $40,000 Examples:
- A family of four charges a covered trip to their Chase card or pays with rewards earned on a Chase card for a covered trip that costs $6,000/person. If the family experiences a loss of $24,000 for the entire trip, the reimbursement would be $20,000, as that is the maximum limit per occurrence.
- A Cardholder charges a covered trip to their Chase card or pays with rewards earned on a Chase card for a covered trip that costs $8,000. If the Cardholder experiences a loss of $8,000 for the trip, the reimbursement would be $8,000, as that is less than the maximum limit of $10,000 per covered trip.
This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:
- Accidental bodily injury, loss of life, or sickness experienced by the Cardholder, a traveling companion or an immediate family member of the Cardholder or a traveling companion
- Severe weather that prevents the start or continuation a covered trip
- Terrorist action or hijacking
- Jury duty or a court subpoena that cannot be postponed or waived
- Financial insolvency of the Cardholder’s travel agency, tour operator, or travel supplier
Emergency Evacuation and Transportation
- Emergency evacuation and transportation if you sustain an injury or become ill during your trip and it results in a necessary emergency evacuation
- Coverage for the covered trip purchased with an eligible Chase card or with rewards earned on an eligible Chase card and trip includes travel on a common carrier such as an airline, bus, cruise ship or train
- This coverage is supplemental to and excess of any valid and collectible insurance or other reimbursement
- Up to $100,000
This is not an exhaustive list. Examples include:
- Transportation, medical services, and medical supplies that are necessary for your emergency evacuation
- Transportation includes, but is not limited to, air ambulances, land ambulances, and private motor vehicles
Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit
- Reimbursement for eligible medical expenses relating to emergency treatment for sickness or accidental injury during a covered trip that are not covered by your medical insurance
- Up to $75 per day for a hotel room if upon your release the physician determines you cannot travel immediately
- Coverage for covered trip purchased with an eligible Chase card or with rewards earned on an eligible Chase card and trip includes travel on a common carrier such as an airline, bus, cruise ship or train
- This coverage is supplemental to and in excess of the cardholder’s medical insurance and any other valid and collectible insurance or reimbursement
- $2,500 (subject to a $50 deductible)
- $75 per day for hotel convalescence, up to five days (if ordered by the attending physician before returning home)
- The necessary services of a legally qualified physician, surgeon, nurse, dentist, or osteopath
- Hospital/operating room charges
- Charges for anesthetics, x-ray exams or treatments, and lab tests
- Ambulance services
- Drugs, medicines, and therapeutic services and supplies
Insurance on my Himalayas trip
My flights are a combination of award travel and paid flights. I paid for them all with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Based on the insurance coverage provided as noted above (and more), I’m not planning to buy any more insurance. Some of the coverages are on the low-end of what I’d be comfortable with. Though, hopefully any medical expenses that I would incur wouldn’t surpass the $2500 limit. Medical care in that part of the world isn’t generally as expensive as in the US.
Note that this isn’t insurance advice, not that I’d qualified to give it anyway. Rather this is a discussion of my personal plans with regard to this trip and of travel insurance in general.
There are strong benefits provided with many travel credit cards. Everyone has different needs, and this is the first time I’ve thought much about travel insurance. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is an excellent card for my needs. These included insurance benefits are among the best that I’m aware of with travel credit cards. As of now, I’m planning to use these insurance benefits as my only coverage for this trip.
Do you buy travel insurance? What has been your experience. Is the coverage provided by Chase enough for your comfort level?