What Is A Credit Card Protection Plan, And Do I Need It

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Many banks offer optional credit card insurance, also known as credit card protection plans or balance protection plans. These plans offer debt protection in the event of the cardholder being unable to settle the outstanding balance. This may be as a result of death, disability or critical illness, or retrenchment.

Credit card protection plans are affordable and simple to secure, and as a credit card holder, its worth exploring this type of insurance to determine whether its worth having.

Learn more about balance protection plans below, or, if youre not yet a cardholder, explore the range of credit card options available to you.

How balance protection plans work
Just like any other type of insurance, credit card insurance covers the policyholder in the event of the unforeseen. Every time you use your credit card, youre accumulating debt. If something were to happen to you that made it impossible for you to cover that debt, how would the bank recover its money? Thats where a balance protection plan comes in.

If you have a balance protection plan in place, your credit card debt will be covered up to a set limit in some cases, as much as R150,000 per account. This amount varies from lender to lender, and may also depend upon the type of credit card you have. During a very difficult time, the burden of paying your credit card balance will be lifted from your or your familys shoulders.

How credit card protection plans pay out
Credit card protection plans insure your outstanding balance against death, disability, critical illness and retrenchment. In the case of death, a lump sum is usually paid out to cover the outstanding amount, up until the limit set by your lender again, R150,000 for example. The same applies for critical illness. If a cardholder is diagnosed with a critical disease (as defined by his or her credit card protection policy), the outstanding balance will be settled, up until the maximum amount specified by the policy.

In the event of disability, which renders the cardholder unable to earn a regular income for more than 30 days, the policy will generally pay out in instalments over a period of time for example, equal monthly instalments over 6 months. If the cardholder is retrenched, the policy will also usually pay out in monthly instalments. In the latter instance, these instalments will not generally cover the entire outstanding balance, but a portion thereof.

The specific amount of insurance provided by your policy will depend on your insurers terms. Be sure to discuss these terms with your insurer or lender.

Applying for a credit card protection plan
When you apply for a credit card, you may be asked whether youd like to take out a balance protection policy. If not, broach the subject with your lender. You can also apply for credit card protection plans online or at a bank branch.