Does My United Credit Card Have Travel Insurance?

Yes, but you may consider purchasing an additional policy to cover gaps in United card coverage.
Anya Kartashova
By Anya Kartashova 

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“Did I turn off the oven? Did I close the garage? Did I lock the front door?” With all these thoughts running through your mind on the way to the airport, the last thing you want to worry about is an interrupted trip or delayed luggage.

But if those issues are on your mind, you might also be wondering, does my United credit card have travel insurance? The good news is, many credit cards, including United MileagePlus cards, offer travel protections. Those protections won't help you with things like forgetting to close the garage door, but they'll come to the rescue if your trip is interrupted or if the airline delays your bag.

How it works

If you hold the following co-branded credit cards, you have some travel insurance coverage:

The United Gateway℠ Card doesn’t offer as many travel protections as the other United cards, but it does offer an auto rental collision damage waiver as well as trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

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What travel insurance benefits do United credit cards provide?

United cards come with an array of trip protections. These are the kinds of protections you’ll be glad to have but hope you'll never have to use. You must use your eligible United credit card to pay for a part or all of the trip to qualify for travel protection benefits.

The primary cardholder and their immediate family members traveling together are covered for most travel benefits, except the auto rental collision damage waiver. Immediate family includes:

  • Spouses or domestic partners.

  • Siblings.

  • Parents and grandparents.

  • Children and grandchildren.

  • Aunts and uncles.

  • Nieces and nephews.

Knowing this, let’s take a look at the travel mishaps that are covered by a United credit card.

Auto rental collision damage waiver

To be eligible for an auto rental collision damage waiver (for rentals of up to 31 consecutive days) make sure to use your United credit card at the rental counter and decline the rental company’s own collision damage insurance.

The cardholder must be the primary driver on the contract, and all additional drivers listed on the rental agreement will be covered as well.

The waiver included with the United Gateway℠ Card offers secondary coverage for U.S. rentals, which means that you have to file a claim with your primary insurance provider first. Coverage for rentals outside of the United States is primary.

All other United credit cards provide primary coverage for theft, damage, towing charges and administrative fees, which means that your personal auto insurance company doesn’t need to be involved in the claim.

Baggage delay insurance

The baggage delay benefit applies if your luggage is delayed or misdirected for more than six hours. Once this perk kicks in, you can purchase eligible essentials, such as clothes, toiletries and a cell phone charger, and get reimbursed for up to $100 per day for a maximum of three days.

The following items aren’t covered by this baggage delay insurance:

  • Hearing aids.

  • Artificial teeth, dental or prosthetic devices.

  • Tickets, documents, money, securities, checks (including traveler’s checks).

  • Business samples.

  • Jewelry and watches.

  • Electronic equipment.

  • Recreational equipment.

  • Losses resulting from warlike acts, such as civil war, rebellion, revolution or insurrection.

Lost luggage reimbursement

If your checked or carry-on luggage is lost, stolen or damaged during a covered trip by a common carrier or cruise line, you should be covered for up to $3,000 per covered passenger per trip for the cash value of your bag as well as personal property.

The following items aren’t covered by the lost luggage reimbursement insurance:

  • Items you accidentally left behind on a common carrier or cruise line.

  • Valuable documents.

  • Money.

  • Securities.

  • Tickets.

  • Checks (including traveler’s checks).

  • Furs.

Certain losses — such as watches and jewelry, as well as cameras or other electronic equipment — have additional limitations. Each has a sublimit of $500.

Trip delay reimbursement

If you experience a travel delay of at least 12 hours or one that forces you to stay overnight, you’re eligible for the trip delay reimbursement benefit. As part of the benefit, you can get reimbursed $500 per passenger for covered expenses incurred during your delay, such as meals, lodging and medications.

The United credit card trip delay benefit doesn't cover:

  • A delay due to a covered hazard you were notified about prior to departure.

  • Prepaid expenses, such as activities or tours.

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

If your trip is canceled or cut short because of severe weather, an illness or other covered event, you’re eligible for trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance benefits.

United's trip cancellation and interruption coverage is generally limited to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip. These caps differ for certain cards: The limit is $10,000 per person/$20,000 per trip with the United Club℠ Infinite Card and the United℠ Business Card.

United credit cards' trip cancellation/interruption insurance covers you if your trip is canceled or interrupted for the following reasons:

  • Accidental bodily injury, death or illness that prevents you, your immediate family member or your travel companion from going on the trip.

  • Severe weather.

  • Change in military orders.

  • Organized strikes that affect public transportation.

  • Terrorist incidents within 25 miles of your residence (for trip cancellation).

  • Terrorist incidents within 25 miles of the airport, booked lodging at destination location (for trip interruption).

  • Travel warning due to terrorism within 25 miles of the airport, booked lodging at destination location (for trip interruption).

This insurance does not cover trip cancellation or interruption that results from the following:

  • Change of plans, financial circumstances or work obligations.

  • Pre-existing conditions.

  • Loss of tickets or travel vouchers.

  • Pregnancy (after the 26th week).

  • Medical treatments.

  • Civil unrest.

  • Felonies.

  • Suicide.

  • Pandemics.

  • Default of the common carrier.

  • Losses resulting from warlike acts, such as civil war, rebellion, revolution or insurrection.

How to make a claim

To file a claim, call the benefits administrator at 1-888-880-5844 (from the U.S.) or at 1-804-281-5768 (if outside of the U.S.) within 20 to 60 days of the incident, depending on the claim. Provide the details of what happened. An agent will then send you paperwork to complete and return within 90 days.

The supporting documents you'll need vary based on the claim you're filing, but expect to provide some of the following items:

  • Completed and signed claim form.

  • Travel itinerary.

  • Written confirmation of the claim filed with the travel provider.

  • Credit card account statement reflecting the travel charge.

  • Settlement or denial from the travel provider.

  • Receipts for purchases of essential items.

  • Any other necessary documentation.

If you’re considering booking travel with your United MileagePlus credit card

If you travel often, having travel benefits provided by a credit card is a good idea. Whether you get in a car accident in your rental car or your flight is canceled and you’re stranded overnight, you’re likely covered by your United credit card travel insurance.

However, because many situations aren’t claim-eligible, consider purchasing an additional travel insurance policy that covers you when the credit card insurance doesn’t.

The information related to the United Club℠ Business Card (annual fee: $450) has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

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