Travel insurance is sometimes purchased by individuals as a way to protect themselves from loss related to the cancelation of a trip or for a delay or even for medical reasons. Such insurance, however, may not be appropriate for every trip as other forms of insurance including health and homeowners insurance may be adequate. Find out from your insurance agent what is already covered before buying additional insurance and leaving on that long planned big trip.
Credit Card Issuer
For those times that you believe that travel insurance would help out, consider a few things first. For one, your credit card issuer may provide sufficient insurance to cover the cost of a hotel reservation, provided that you paid for it with that card. For another, your current health insurance may be sufficient, with only a rider needed you to cover you under certain circumstances. Contact your health insurance provider to explain where you will be traveling and what coverage is offered.
One matter that consumers should know about insurance is that such providers are regulated at the state level. No insurer may issue a policy in your state without receiving government approval first. You can contact your state’s Department of Consumer Affairs or Insurance to find out if there have been complaints filed against a company.
When considering travel insurance, there are two types of insurance available: trip cancellation and medical insurance. There may be some variations in the terms used to describe the insurance that you will receive.
With travel insurance, there are three areas that may be covered. Make sure that you understand what is covered and what isn’t as well as exclusions and deductibles. Most policies provide trip cancellation, travel delay and trip interruption services, with various perimeters for when and how this insurance kicks in.
Another type of insurance is medical or health insurance. It takes up where your current health insurance leaves off. American health insurance usually is not in effective outside of the United States, therefore a supplementary policy may be necessary. Such policies may also have provisions accidental death while still others include medical evacuation. With medical evacuation that can include transporting you from abroad to the hospital nearest your home. With accidental death, you will want to ensure that it also covers the shipment of your remains back to a mortuary need your home.
Cautions and Considerations
Now that you know that travel insurance is available, where do you buy your insurance? Again, deal with an insurer that is registered with your state and has a verifiable reputation. Avoid those so-called providers that employ high-pressure and suspect marketing practices, or spams your email inbox or serves up robocalls. If it smells, looks or sounds odd, likely it is not the right plan for you.
When talking with an insurance agent, there are some matters to discuss. You will want to know what is covered, how much your premium will be and for how long the policy will remain in affect. Will the insurer offer additional help such as booking a new flight or making a hotel reservation if one is canceled? Will certain activities such as white water rafting or a balloon flight be covered? Leave nothing to chance — be prepared to ask the tough questions.
Lastly, if you book your trip through your travel insurance agent, you do not have to buy insurance from their recommended provider. If you do, ask to speak with an agent personally and also verify that the agent’s license is active. Your travel agent will likely receive a commission for referring you and may not possess the objectivity needed as you shop for travel insurance.
Scott Johnson is a travel writer and blogger who aspires to travel the world. He writes on behalf of companies who provide travel services such as Protect Your Bubbler travel and rental car insurance brand.