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Video: What does travel insurance cover?

Mar 24, 2020

This video was done when travel operator Thomas Cook collapsed last year, however it is just as relevant for holiday-makers facing COVID-19 cancellations.

Travellers may not be aware of the limits around travel insurance which has exclusions depending on the circumstances under which the trip was cancelled.

When you book a flight or accommodation with your credit card, you receive free travel insurance. However, this insurance focuses primarily on health or injury-related issues. It does not cover you if the flights or accommodation are cancelled by the provider.

However, you can still make a claim with a credit-card booking by applying for a chargeback. A chargeback forms part of the Visa and Mastercard rules and is an option that can be used by the bank to remedy a disputed card transaction. This applies to all merchants and not just for travel. Should merchants not deliver goods and services as promised, the customer can claim a chargeback.

For travel it could apply in a liquidation situation like Thomas Cook, or where an airline cancels flights and fails to refund customers. A chargeback right is processed to the merchant’s acquiring bank and it saves customers from suffering financial loss and having to engage in a lengthy dispute with the merchant, as the bank takes care of this within a clearly defined process.

If you have a dispute, notify your bank immediately to improve your chances of recovering the funds, as the dispute and chargeback process is governed by specific timelines from the transaction date. It also depends on the nature of the transaction. Also make sure you include all relevant supporting documents.

Make sure you understand your rights when making payments.

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Maya Fisher-French author of Money Questions Answered

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