Your credit card can come to your aid in times of crisis, and earn you rewards if you adopt the right strategy and are financially disciplined. Apart from all that, credit cards also provide insurance benefits, which you may not be aware of.
Various kinds of insurance policies are built into the credit card and each company has its own set of covers and respective limits. Some of the popular ones include accident insurance, travel insurance, credit insurance, purchase protection, and life insurance.
Based on the type of credit card, there are different kinds of insurance covers on offer. Most credit cards offer insurance as an add-on or incentive aimed at making the card more relevant to the users. For instance, several travel cards offer some form of travel insurance. If you meet the eligibility criteria for the card, you automatically qualify for the insurance.
“At the same time, it is essential that you read the terms and conditions to understand very clearly what is covered by the insurance and what isn't, as most policies come with exclusions and limitations on coverage. For instance, your card insurance may cover for lost baggage, passport, etc.
However, that cover may be applicable only in the case of domestic travel. There may also be a particular time limit within which you need to make the claim for it to be considered. Not knowing these details can be a cause for pain,” says Adhil Shetty, CEO, Bankbazaar.com, an online financial services website.
You would find all information related to the insurance benefits with the welcome kit of your credit card. Here are some of the covers that credit cards offer.
Accident Insurance: In case of a mishap or accident, the credit insurance waives all the outstanding balances up to an amount of Rs 50,000 on the credit card. This amount varies from one card to another. In case, the credit card is not active, then the death certificate of the person must be provided with the claim.
Rental Car Insurance: Suppose you have taken a car on rent. You chose not to pay the insurance offered by the car company. Unfortunately, the car meets with an accident and its parts are damaged. Instead of paying for the damages from your own pocket, you could easily opt for the rental car insurance offered by the credit card. However, personal injuries or car theft will not be covered under this.
Personal Accident Insurance: As the number of personal accidents continue to rise, it is advisable to get personal insurance cover plan. The personal accident insurance scheme offered by credit cards can help you claim an amount of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 4 lakh, in the event of death or injury in road accidents. In case of an air accident, a claim of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 40 lakh can be made. The coverage amount usually differs based on the type of credit card and the credit card issuer.
Trip Cancellation Insurance: In case of cancellation of any trip, you end up losing a substantial amount of money on non-refundable flight tickets. If you’ve booked your ticket through a credit card, the insurance policy will reimburse the loss incurred due to trip cancellation.
However, it’s important to watch out for certain factors while opting for insurance on credit cards. It is not a good idea to mix insurance and other additional freebies with credit card. “The primary purpose of a card is to provide you with a payment alternative that is rewarding and that suits your lifestyle. So, you must look at all the card features in their entirety and not just one aspect. For instance, you may be offered a travel card with a life cover of Rs 5 lakh. However, if you are not someone who travels regularly or has much use for the facilities and benefits that come with the card, you would be left with an expensive card that provides you with no relevant benefits and inadequate life insurance,” explains Shetty.