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10 Things Only Experts Know About travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is to protect your travel investment, cover emergency medical expenses, and provide peace of mind. It is considered essential for the customer to hold suitable travel insurance. Whether travelling for business or fun, travel insurance protection packages provide financial security for those unforeseen perils that may occur. Travel Insurance is usually purchased from a private company or the tour operator.

It has the following benefits:

  • It provides coverage for medical emergencies abroad such as illness, any injuries, air ambulance or any kind of medical need.
  • It covers trip cancellation or interruption.
  • It covers baggage loss or damage.
  • It also provides coverage for accidental death/dismemberment.

People refer to products in many ways. Travel insurance, vacation insurance, travel medical insurance, travel health insurance etc. Whether for fun or business travel, travel insurance is critical in today’s uncertain world to protect your travel investment, health, belongings and vacation memories.

Travelling can be exciting and rewarding, but it can also be costly when the unexpected occurs far away from home such as some health problem, travel delay, luggage loss etc. But there is always a way out of every problem. Travellers purchase travel insurance in order to protect against unforeseen situations. If an emergency occurs during your vacation it could be a major disaster if you do not have the right travel insurance.

To avoid this, there are 3 questions you should ask yourself:

1. Where should I buy Travel Insurance?

Most travel websites and tour/cruise operators either automatically include insurance or may hard sell you their own policy. This can be much more costly and may include large administration charges. If you are forced to take insurance, print out your policy EOB (evidence of benefits) page and compare it to the market-leading policies. At least you’ll know if you’re missing out on some important coverage.

2. When should I buy Travel Insurance?

Most insurers offer full coverage for pre-existing medical conditions if you buy their policy within 10-14 days from making the trip deposit payment. If it’s more than 14 days since your deposit, coverage is provided for claims not connected to existing medical conditions. Most insurers also only look back 6 months to determine pre-existing medical conditions.

You could purchase anytime up to the day you are travelling although if you leave it this late beware coverage does not start until midnight on the day of purchase. Your policy will cost the same whether you make the purchase a day or a year before you travel so it’s always better to purchase sooner rather than later as you get extra cancellation coverage without extra charge.

3. How much should I pay For Travel Insurance?

Every identical policy costs the same regardless of who sells it, however, some tour companies may add an “administration” charge.

  • Travellers under 40 – expect to pay around 4-7% of your total trip cost.
  • Under 50 – around 5%.
  • Under 70 – 6 -10%.
  • Over 70 – 9-12%.

Things To Remember While Buying Travel Insurance.

You can begin your trip without any travel insurance and be self-insured. But did you know that if you become ill abroad the costs to treat you could be very high? How would you find a doctor? Where would you find appropriate healthcare facility? Where would you seek advice? Did you know that HMO’s, PPO’s and Medicare typically do not cover you abroad? So its always safe to get travel insurance from your tour operator or any company.

There are certain instances where you really need to ensure that whether the coverage offered is sufficient or not:

  • You should read an insurance document carefully. It gives full details of what is and is not covered and the conditions of the cover. Cover can vary from one policy to another so you should familiarize yourself with this particular insurance.
  • It is always a good idea to speak to the insurers you are thinking of using to check whether they will include your condition on the policy. If you don’t do this, and you require medical treatment because of one of your conditions, you could end up facing a massive bill for your treatment.
  • Travel Insurance contains restrictions regarding pre-existing medical problems concerning the health of the people travelling and of other people upon whose health the trip depends. You are advised to read the document carefully.
  • Some sports and activities are excluded from standard schemes, so it is always a good idea to check whether something you want to do on your holiday is covered before you do it.
  • You may not be insured by your travel insurance if you are going to take part in dangerous sports or pastimes where there is generally recognized risk of injury. Please check that this insurance covers you, or ask us.
  • If you are pregnant, make sure there is adequate cover and that you are below any limit on the number of weeks pregnant you can be for cover to be valid.
  • Specific Conditions and Exclusions apply to individual Sections of your insurance, whilst General Exclusions and Conditions will apply to the whole of your insurance.
  • All policies have age limits, so if you buy an annual policy, always ensure you will not be over the age limit by the end of the policy.
  • Always check the conditions of a policy regarding where valuables should be kept, as a claim for valuables not kept in a safe place as defined by your policy may not be covered.
  • Travel Insurance claims are paid based on the value of the goods at the time you lose them and not on a ‘new for old’ or replacement cost basis. An allowance will be made for their age and likely condition.
  • There are always limits to what an insurer will pay for each claim. Check these carefully when you buy your policy, and ensure you have sufficient cover for things like personal baggage and cancellation, as some policies don’t include these at all.
  • It is always worth noting that an insurer will not pay for a claim which has arisen due to you taking non-prescription drugs or being under the influence of alcohol.
  • Under some sections of this insurance, claims will be subject to an excess. This means you are not insured for any small loss that falls within the amount shown.
  • Remember that Insurers will not provide insurance if you are travelling to a country where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against travel.
  • Look at the cost of an annual policy if you intend to travel abroad twice within a twelve-month period (by staging your annual holidays carefully, you may be able to get two trips on one policy). Annual policies are only marginally more expensive than single trip policies.
  • Price isn’t always an indication as to the quality of an insurance policy and it is always better to check before you buy rather than find you are uninsured after the fact.
  • You need to take all reasonable care to protect yourself and your property, as you would if you were not insured. Any amounts the insurers will pay for property left unattended in a public place or an unattended vehicle is very limited, as specified in the wording.

Travel Insurance Important Terms

When planning a trip for your business or a vacation with your family, the most important thing you should take into account is travel insurance. It gives you security in unforeseen situations when you are far away from your home. You can buy one for you through your tour operator or from any private insurance firm.

To better understand it, here are some important terms discussed, have a look on them:

International Travel: It addresses the gaps in health insurance coverage for travellers outside their home country. When planning a trip abroad it is best to find out from your insurance agent or primary health care administrator whether you are covered for medical expenses incurred while travelling abroad. Many people are surprised to discover that their health care provider offers little or no protection or reimbursement for the costs of any type of medical treatment received in a foreign country.

Where this is the case, purchasing adequate international travel insurance is a prudent option. Coverage includes emergency medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, the return of dependent children, bedside lodging, accidental death, cost of return flight, and more.

Student Travel: Students studying or travelling abroad should make sure they are aware of what insurance coverage their school or study abroad program provides if any. Usually, travel insurance is not included in a program’s fees and is entirely the student’s responsibility. When offered insurance always contact a few additional travel insurance providers on the Internet to compare rates and benefits, and call if you have questions. Students with health insurance coverage during the academic year are often not covered during the summer.

Moreover, domestic health insurance designed for students will very rarely cover travel abroad. Students 26 years old and younger can often find low-cost travel insurance because they are less prone to illness than older travellers, so students should ask about student rates, especially when travelling in a group of five or more when discounts can be substantial. International student ID cards often feature travel assistance services but are aware that this is not insurance and will not reimburse you for medical expenses or extra travel expenses due to delays, lost luggage, etc.

Group Travel Insurance: Group travel insurance may be available when at least 5 travellers (usually 10 or more) on the same itinerary apply for travel insurance coverage on one application. To ease the administration most group travel insurance plans are not age-rated which means the plans are the same price for all ages, and dates of birth are not required on the application. Purchasing group travel insurance can result in substantial savings in many cases, particularly for large groups (20 or more travellers), and especially for students and seniors.

Single-Trip: Single-trip plans cover one trip, usually up to a maximum of 180 days.

Annual Multi-Trip: Annual multi-trip plans cover all trips taken within a year (often with a maximum duration of 15-180 days per trip).

Individual Plans: Individual plans are designed and priced to cover one person.

Family Plans: Family plans are designed to cover all members in a family travelling together, and premiums are usually priced at a discount compared to the rate for a single person. Some family plans include relations beyond the immediate family, such as grandparents and in-laws.

Travel Protection: Travel Protection is a combination of insurance coverages and travel assistance services packaged to provide comprehensive protection for you and your family before and during your trip. You invest a lot of time and money when you travel. Doesn’t it make sense to protect that investment? Remember, no matter how well planned your trip is, the unexpected can and often does occur.

Many primary health plans exclude coverage outside your home country, even outside your home state or region, and very few plans cover medically supervised emergency evacuation, emergency reunion, or repatriation. Travel protection plans offer coverage for medical expenses and emergency evacuation and repatriation in the US and abroad.

If you have prepaid the cost of your trip or even paid a deposit on your trip and find you have to cancel or return home early, a travel protection plan can offer trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage which can help you protect your investment by reimbursing you for non-refundable fees and expenses due to trip cancellation for a covered reason.

Travel protection plans offer additional baggage coverage over and above that provided by the airlines and/or your credit card, and may also provide benefits if your baggage is delayed. Travel protection plans offer worldwide 24-hour emergency assistance in multiple languages so you can get access to legal assistance, prescription drug refills and eyeglasses replacement, emergency cash, and more.

Deductible Or Excess: This is the amount that the insured must pay before the travel insurance provider starts paying. This may be an annual amount, an amount for the duration of the policy, or an amount for each incident. It is a way for the insurance company to reduce claims and reduce your premium. Where there is a choice of deductible, the higher the deductible, the lower the cost of the insurance, and vice versa.

Travel Protection Vs Travel Medical: Travel Insurance Protection plans typically reimburse your non-reimbursed travel expenses if an emergency occurs causing your trip to be cancelled, interrupted or delayed. Travel Medical insurance is medical insurance designed to reimburse you for medical expenses incurred while travelling.

Pre-existing Conditions: Medical conditions that existed before the travel insurance plan or policy took effect. Different plans defined and cover Pre-existing Conditions differently. Be sure to check the plan details.

Terrorism Travel Insurance: Terrorism travel insurance coverage protects your trip investment if there is a terrorist act in a city that is part of your travel itinerary. When a travel insurance plan includes this coverage and you are eligible for it, you are protected if you need to cancel your trip or your trip gets interrupted.

 

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