travel insurance supplemental coverage options

Travel Insurance: Supplemental Coverage Options

In addition to travel insurance basics like trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage, many supplementary travel insurance options are also available. Here’s a practical overview of the insurance you can get.

Swiss travel insurance providers offer a range of policies and riders in addition to basic travel assistance (trip interruption) insurance and trip cancellation insurance. Depending on the insurer you use, certain additional coverages may be bundled with your basic policy at no additional premium, while some will be available at an additional cost.

Supplemantary benefits which, when offered, are often covered by your basic premium:

  • Mobile phone SIM blockage: If your mobile device is lost or stolen, some insurers will assist you in having your SIM card blocked to prevent unauthorized usage. Insurers that provide this service include Allianz Global Assistance, Europäische, smile.direct and VCS.
     
  • Credit card account freezing: Some insurers will take care of freezing your credit card and other card accounts if your cards are lost or stolen while you are traveling. This service is generally offered around the clock. Allianz Global Assistance, Europäischen, smile.direct, VCS and some other travel insurance companies provide this service.
     
  • Home care: In the event that your home in Switzerland is affected by certain hazards while you are traveling, the insurance company will assist you in organizing the most urgent tasks required. This service can be beneficial if your home is hit by a burglary or damaged by fire or water while you are away. Allianz Global Assistance, smile.direct, VCS and a few other insurers offer this perk.
     
  • Interpreter service: This benefit can help you avoid becoming lost in translation. For example, Allianz Global Assistance provides interpretation services for a number of languages including English, Chinese, French and Italian, although calls are limited to 24 minutes per year.
     
  • General hotline: All Swiss travel insurance providers operate hotlines. These usually run 24 hours a day and provide tips relating to your travel destinations.
     
  • Medical assistance hotline: This service provides basic assistance over the phone when minor medical emergencies occur. It is offered by Allianz Global Assistance, among others.
     
  • Out-of-pocket cost insurance for car rentals: This coverage is offered by some annual travel insurance policies and even comes as a benefit with some credit cards. This is not rental car insurance. What it does is cover your out-of-pocket costs, like the deductible required by your rental car insurance policy, if you have an accident in a rental car while traveling outside of Switzerland.
     
  • Event ticket insurance: If you are unable to attend an event (a concert or airshow, for example) because your flight was delayed or cancelled, some trip cancellation insurance policies will reimburse the cost of your tickets.
     
  • Search and rescue costs: All travel insurance policies include this benefit, but the coverage you get towards the cost of search and rescue operations ranges from 10,000 to 50,000 francs.
     
  • Emergency cash advances: If an emergency lands you in a hospital, for example, you could use this benefit to get funds to pay the bills. However, you will have to repay these advances, so the usefulness of this service is limited.
     
  • Trip replacement coverage: Some insurance policies cover the cost of booking new flights and hotel stays to replace the bookings which you lost due to a trip interruption or cancellation. However, this benefit is usually limited to certain circumstances, such as a mid-trip repatriation to Switzerland due to a medical emergency.
     
  • Airline bankruptcy protection: This coverage protects your airline ticket investments when an airline is grounded following a bankruptcy.
     
  • Pet insurance: Some travel insurance policies provide special coverage for your dogs, cats and other pets. If you already have pet insurance, certain benefits may overlap.

Supplemental benefits which, when offered, normally come at an extra cost:

  • Roadside assistance: Some insurers let you add this rider to your basic policy. Important: This benefit is not an actual car insurance. It only covers the cost of certain services (towing, rental cars) which you may require if your car breaks down while you are traveling. Typically, there is a limit on the coverage it provides (1000 francs, for example). This benefit is often bundled with driver’s legal protection coverage.
     
  • Legal protection: Some insurers let you add this coverage as a rider to your basic travel insurance policy. If you already have legal insurance, adding this coverage to your travel insurance may not be  necessary because most Swiss legal expenses insurance policies cover you worldwide.
     
  • Luggage insurance: If you already have a household insurance policy with the rider “simple theft away from home” then getting luggage insurance isn’t absolutely necessary. However, travel insurers can be more generous than household insurers and unlike household insurance, no deductible applies. Some insurers let you add this coverage to your basic policy.
     
  • Travel accident insurance: If you are killed or permanently disabled in an airline accident, this insurance pays out a benefit to you or your dependents. This coverage is not normally included in standard policies, but can be obtained separately. Many credit cards automatically give you travel accident insurance coverage when you use them to pay for your bookings. Make sure your dependents know that you are covered by this insurance so they can claim the benefit on your behalf, if necessary.
     
  • Healthcare expense coverage: This covers the costs of medical treatment and hospital stays outside of Switzerland. Some travel insurers let you add this rider to your basic policy. If you already have supplemental health insurance coverage for healthcare abroad (usually bundled in Swiss outpatient health insurance policies), this travel healthcare expense coverage usually isn’t necessary. As a secondary insurance, this travel healthcare protection covers costs above what is covered by your other policies.

Comparing the benefits offered by different travel insurance providers is generally a good idea. The unbiased travel insurance comparison by moneyland.ch lets you easily find policies with the coverage you need using simple sort options and filters.

The moneyland.ch team

More on this topic:
Travel insurance: compare coverage and premiums
Travel insurance: practical tips

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