Travel Insurance

 

Introduction

Travel insurance is often misunderstood and underutilized, but it can be a valuable tool for protecting your vacation investment. Travel insurance helps you to recover from health emergencies, lost luggage or missed connections. It also provides financial protection should something unexpected happen on your trip.

Travel Insurance


What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers your travel expenses if you have to cancel or interrupt your trip. It can also cover medical emergencies, lost baggage and other travel-related problems.

There are many different types of travel insurance policies, so be sure to read the fine print before buying one.

How Do You Go About Buying Travel Insurance?

It's easy to find travel insurance. There are many ways you can purchase it, including:

  • From an insurance agent

  • Online

  • Through your travel agent

  • The airline or cruise line

What Does a Typical Travel Insurance Policy Cover?

Travel insurance covers you for medical expenses, lost luggage, trip cancellation and interruption and other travel-related emergencies.

A typical travel insurance policy will pay for the following:

  • Medical costs incurred due to an accident or illness while traveling abroad. The amount of coverage varies depending on your age and destination. For example, if you're traveling to India and have a medical emergency requiring hospitalization at a top-rated hospital in Mumbai, you may get up to $100,000 worth of coverage from our partner Allianz Global Assistance (view more details here). If your child gets sick on board their flight home from Disney World—and has to be hospitalized at one of their hospitals—they may be covered up to $300 by Emergency Travel Medical Insurance from Travel Guard International.* Lost luggage reimbursement up to certain limits depending on the type of baggage involved;

  • Trip cancellations or interruptions due to sickness; natural disasters; war or terrorism; strike or civil unrest; or mechanical breakdowns.* Damage caused by theft within 72 hours after departure at hotels where it is customary practice not to leave valuables unattended in public areas such as lobbies or restrooms.* Airline cancellation fees when purchased as part of an airfare package (see "Does Travel Insurance Cover Cancellation Fees?" below).

What Does Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Coverage Mean?

What is trip cancellation coverage?

Trip cancellation coverage reimburses you for the cost of canceling a pre-paid, nonrefundable travel package due to illness, injury or other covered events. The goal is to enable you to cancel your trip and get back some of what you paid.

What is trip interruption coverage?

Trip interruption coverage reimburses you for the cost of interrupting a pre-paid travel package for covered events, such as illness or injury; delays in transit; a death in the family; an act of terrorism; or natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes. This benefit can be used if your journey was delayed due to these events and has been eligible for reimbursement from both your airline carrier(s) and/or tour operator(s).

What Is "Cancel for Any Reason" (CFAR) Coverage, And Should I Buy It?

If you're shopping for travel insurance, the words "cancel for any reason" may sound pretty appealing. It sounds like an all-encompassing type of coverage that will compensate you if something crazy happens and you need to cancel your trip. But don't get too excited: CFAR (or "cancel for any reason") coverage is only available under certain circumstances.

First off, it's important to know that CFAR is not included in every policy—it's an optional add-on feature that can be added onto many policies so long as the policy has been purchased within 14 days of booking a trip. Also important: CFAR coverage does not cover trip cancellation; it just means that if you have CFAR coverage, your travel company will refund everything they've already paid out on your behalf (for example: airfare). However, according to Travel Insurance Reviewer (a website dedicated to helping consumers make informed decisions about their travel insurance), "[CFAR] will provide some financial security in case something goes wrong."

Why Are Pre-Existing Conditions Sometimes Excluded?

Pre-existing conditions are not covered if they have already been diagnosed, treated or complained about before you bought the insurance policy. This is because some insurers do not want to take on the risk of paying for a pre-existing condition that was unknown when you took out your policy. This can happen for a number of reasons:

  • You did not disclose your pre-existing condition to the insurer at the time of applying for cover. This is sometimes known as non-disclosure and may result in a claim being declined or refused.

  • Your doctor did not inform any medical professional who sold travel insurance to you about your condition prior to its being diagnosed.

Am I Covered If I Get Sick On A Previous Trip Before My Current Trip Begins?

If you get sick on a previous trip before your current trip begins, you may be covered. But it's best to check with the insurance company first to make sure. You can usually submit a claim by phone or online. You will also probably need to provide proof of your previous trip (e.g., an itinerary).

The specifics vary between companies, so call them and ask if they will cover this scenario.

When Does The Grace Period End On Pre-Existing Conditions?

Your travel insurance can start on a date of your choice as long as it is within the grace period. If you buy your policy within 90 days of departure and your trip is less than 30 days from then, then the policy will start on the day that you depart on holiday. Otherwise, it will begin at the time when you have purchased it.

If you are travelling in more than one direction and there are more than 4 weeks between trips, then each leg counts as a separate journey and may not be covered unless they are all part of one continuous trip (e.g., if you fly from London to New York with an overnight stopover in Los Angeles before flying back again).

What Is The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Medical Coverage?

  • Primary medical coverage is the first insurance company to pay for the claim.

  • Secondary medical coverage is the second insurance company to pay for the claim. It only comes into play if your primary insurance company denies your claim.

Can I Buy Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Coverage If I Paid With Frequent Flyer Miles or Points From a Credit Card?

Yes, you can buy trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage if you paid with frequent flyer miles or points from a credit card.

You can buy trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage from the airline that issued the frequent flyer miles or points, or from an independent travel insurance provider.

Do I Need Travel Insurance If I'm Just Driving Across The Border to Mexico, Canada, or the Caribbean Islands?

Maybe you're planning to spend your vacation cruising around the Caribbean islands on a yacht. Or maybe you're renting an RV and driving across Canada. No matter the destination, however, it's important to be prepared for possible emergencies that could arise while you're away from home. It doesn't matter if it's a two-hour trip into Mexico or a weeklong excursion around Europe—you still need travel insurance coverage in case of emergency!

The good news is that we offer short-term travel insurance policies that are perfect for those situations where you want limited protection or are traveling near or through another country with different health care costs than those back home.

Travel insurance can protect you from costs associated with health emergencies and trip interruptions.

Travel insurance is not a substitute for health insurance. Your travel insurer does not pay for medical expenses that are already covered by your regular health plan or Medicare, and it does not reimburse you for lost wages or other costs related to unexpected illness or injury.

Travel insurance can help you avoid financial hardship if you have a medical emergency while traveling. If you're insured when something goes wrong, the insurer covers some of your costs—up to certain limits—and makes arrangements so that you don't have to worry about them.

Conclusion

Travel insurance is a great way to protect your trip from unexpected expenses. We’re happy to have helped you understand what travel insurance is, how it works and when you might need it.

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