Travel Insurance – What You Need To Know
The weather is warming up with spring break and summer travel plans beginning to form. Depending on your next trip, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance. Purchasing travel insurance can minimize substantial financial losses resulting from:
- Lost luggage
- Missed flights
- Canceled tours
- Stolen belongings
Every trip is unique. How much of your travel is non-refundable, the value of your belongings, where you will be traveling, and even your personal health plays a part in determining if travel insurance is right for you.
The purchasing of travel insurance makes complete sense for some. While for others, the expense doesn’t justify the coverage afforded. Evaluate your personal situation and understand the options available so you can make an informed decision.
Cancellation or Interruption Coverage
When thinking of travel insurance, the coverage available for the unexpected cancellation or interruption of travel plans is usually the most worthwhile coverage. Airlines especially charge a premium for refundable tickets. For a fraction of the ticket price, travel insurance may be an affordable alternative.
Cancellations or interruptions, however, must be a result of cause as defined within your policy. Often coverage is afforded if plans are altered due to natural disasters, governmental intervention, and terrorism events.
Policy language is very specific. Be sure to review the wording carefully. Even in the event of natural disasters, certain stipulations apply. Also, be sure the airlines and tour operators you’ve arranged travel with are covered. For varying reasons, companies may be specifically excluded from coverage.
Most major medical plans provide some coverage while traveling, including overseas. However, your financial exposure can increase if you are traveling into out-of-network locations, overseas, or rely on Medicare, which completely excludes coverage outside of the U.S. Preexisting medical conditions may also be covered under certain travel insurance policies.
One aspect of medical coverage which is unique is providing funds to get you back home in case of a medical emergency. Medical transportation costs can be exorbitant. Having travel insurance which includes medical transportation can cover the thousands of dollars it costs to move you from your travel destination back home.
Personal Belongings Coverage
If you are traveling with high-value belongings, purchasing theft coverage may be a good idea. Electronics, watches, phones, and jewelry are all expensive to replace.
When considering coverage for theft, be sure to review the coverage with your insurance agent as to how the value of a stolen item will be determined. Having an inventory of your belongings is recommended. In a secure place, record the make, model, and the serial number of each high-value item.
Before purchasing travel insurance with theft coverage, check your homeowners or renters policy for possible coverage. Although coverage for certain items may be limited, as is the case for jewelry, endorsements may be available to increase and extend coverage while away from home.
Not unlike other types of insurance, there is an array of add-on coverages available for travel insurance. Each additional coverage will increase the policy’s premium. A few possible features which may be available include:
- Lost passport
- Travelers checks
- Rental equipment
- Airline failure/bankruptcy
- Emergency dental coverage
Claims against travel insurance policies are very rare. Choosing your coverages wisely, however, may prevent significant financial burdens in the face of an emergency.
Limitations of Coverage
If you decide travel insurance makes sense, be sure to become familiar with any limitations of coverage. Most travel insurance policies have specific exclusions or limitations which may preclude you or your family for reimbursement. Review your policy for the following:
- Limit of trip duration
- Excluded destinations
- Reporting requirements
- Alcohol or drug exclusions
- Preexisting health conditions
- Required care of personal belongings
- Excluded activities (such as scuba or sky diving)
Insurance companies do not add exclusions to avoid paying claims. The exclusions create reasonable expectations for the insured to follow to help in making coverage affordable. Without certain exclusions, claims and fraud quite possibly could make coverage too expensive or not available at all.
One of the benefits of most travel insurance policies is access to a toll-free number. Although not all situations justify the filing of a claim, may insurance companies offer travel assistance services. These services can assist you with locating certain places such as hospitals or providing valuable information such as how to navigate a particular border crossing.
Like any insurance policy, review your coverage with a licensed agent to ensure you have the coverage you need. Unexpected gaps in coverage could make for a dreadful trip!
To learn more about travel insurance, contact the experts at demontinsurance.com at (800) 800-522-1997. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.