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If you are embarking on travel adventures again, it is more important than ever to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy, especially for international travel.
“Politics is really your roadmap for using your benefits. It sets out everything you need to know about your coverage, including what is covered, when that coverage begins and ends, and what is excluded, ”says Beth Godlin, spokesperson for Aon Affinity Travel Practice.
A travel insurance policy can protect your travel investment in several important ways. Look for a policy that offers these benefits:
Trip cancellation : Refunds your non-refundable prepaid deposits if you need to cancel your trip for a policy covered reason, such as death, illness or injury, layoff, military deployment, family emergencies, or extreme weather conditions.
Travel delay: Covers additional expenses that you must pay if there is a delay caused by a reason covered by the policy, such as an airline weather delay. You may receive reimbursement for hotel stays and meals, as well as non-refundable deposits that you forfeit due to the delay.
Trip interruption: Reimburses non-refundable deposits for reservations and activities you miss if you need to cut your trip short. For example, if you are injured and need to return home, this coverage could reimburse you for the hotel deposit you lose for unused nights. This service will also cover the costs related to the return home, such as a plane ticket.
Medical expenses and medical evacuation: If you’re sick or injured while traveling, it can pay for doctor visits, x-rays, prescription drugs, and more. If you need medical evacuation, it is beneficial to evacuate yourself to the nearest suitable medical facility.
Loss of baggage: Reimburses you for baggage and personal effects lost, damaged or stolen during your trip.
Find the covered reasons for trip cancellation
No one gets up in the morning and decides that it would be fun to read their insurance policies. Nonetheless, it is important to read your travel insurance policy, especially the acceptable reasons for travel cancellation requests. Travel cancellations are one of the main complaints.
“The most common ‘covered reasons’ encountered by travelers include injury or illness of the insured traveler, travel companion or family member,” said Daniel Durazo, spokesperson for Allianz Partners, a travel supplier. ‘travel insurance. “Other reasons covered may include traffic accidents, loss of accommodation or documents like a stolen passport, natural disasters, legal / work / military obligations or even a client being denied boarding. “
Find the exclusions sections
All travel insurance policies will contain exclusion lists. In fact, fonts often contain more than one exclusion list. For example, a policy may have separate exclusion lists for trip cancellation, baggage delay, medical claims, and rental car damage.
Medical claim exclusions often include things like:
- Routine physical examinations and routine dental examinations
- Mental health care
- Physical therapy
- Elective procedures
- Participation in adventure or extreme activities
Consult the coverage limits and deadlines
You may know you have travel delay coverage, but how much? Travel insurance policies can vary widely in terms of coverage limits and time periods required.
For example, the John Hancock Insurance Agency’s Gold Plan provides $ 1,000 per person for travel delays, with a daily cap of $ 200, after only three hours late. Other plans may only have $ 500 per person with a daily cap of $ 125 after a 12 hour delay.
Of course, the superior benefits are often reflected in the prices as well.
Know the specific rules for “Cancel for any reason”
If you need maximum flexibility for your travel plans, make sure your policy allows you to cancel for reasons other than those listed in the base policy.
You can do this with a “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) upgrade. It offers you a partial refund if you cancel for some unlisted reason, such as a sudden fear of traveling or a big argument with your group of travelers. Make sure you understand the terms of the CFAR. The rules generally include:
- You must cancel your trip at least 48 hours before departure.
- You will usually get 75% of the cost of your trip back, not 100%.
- You must add the upgrade within a certain period of time after your first travel deposit, for example 14 days.
You might miss out on the benefits you are entitled to
Reading the policy and plan documents can also help you uncover benefits that you may not have known were included.
For example, Godlin says, trip cancellation insurance can cover you if you have a car accident on the way to your flight departure. Or the police could reimburse you for part of your prepaid trip if you have to cut your trip short because your house is flooded while you are away.
The fine print affects the success of your claim
Godlin at Aon Affinity says two of the main reasons claims are delayed or denied are as follows:
- The client is trying to file a claim for a reason that is not covered by the plan.
- The customer does not provide the necessary documents (such as receipts).
Your policy will list the covered reasons for filing a claim and the necessary documentation.
“For example, if you cancel for a medical reason, you may need to provide validation of the illness or injury to a doctor,” says Godlin.
Use your free look period
“You should take the time to read all of the details to understand the specific benefits of a travel insurance policy before purchasing, but if you don’t do your homework before you pull the trigger, most policies come with it. a period of “free research”, ”explains Durazo at Allianz. He says Allianz customers have 15 days to read a policy to understand what is covered and what is not.
During that window, you can call if you have any questions and cancel the policy for a full refund if you think it doesn’t meet your needs, says Durazo.