5 Key Tips to Finding the Right Travel Insurance For You
When planning your next vacation, it’s important to make sure you have the right travel insurance. You may think it’s an unnecessary expense, but you’ll be glad you bought it if you’re unfortunate enough to break a leg, have an expensive camera stolen, or have your flight canceled due to a volcano! Here are some tips to help you find the right coverage for your next trip.
1. Make Sure You Select The Right Health Coverage For The Country You’re Visiting.
If you’re from the United States and traveling domestically, then your current health insurance will probably cover you on your trip. If you’re traveling to the US from elsewhere, then you may need a higher level of coverage, due to the high cost of medical treatment in the U.S. You certainly don’t want to become sick in the U.S. and not have the right kind of travel insurance! It would mean that you would be paying a lot of money for hospital treatment; that’s if you can get treated in the first place without having insurance.
If you’re travelling to remote areas or a third world country, you want to make sure you have the right level of travel insurance so if you do need medical attention, you can get the best modern medical treatment, which may require evacuating you to a different location. So make sure you’re covered for unlimited medical costs and repatriation to your home country in case the worst does happen.
Your travel agent should have travel insurance brochures you can take home and study. Find out what coverage is recommended for the part of the world you’ll be visiting. You can also call the insurance company to get their expert advice on specific questions you may have.
2. Be Honest About Any Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Some policies cover pre-existing medical conditions, some don’t, and some will only if you purchase it within a fixed time period from booking your trip. If you’re concerned about this, pay special attention when you’re selecting a policy.
It’s important to be honest about any pre-existing medical conditions you may have. If something does happen on your trip and you need medical treatment, if it comes out during treatment that you haven’t declared a pre-existing medical condition, your policy may be cancelled and you will be liable for all your medical costs, which could be a considerable amount of money.
3. Make Sure Natural Disasters Are Covered In Your Policy
After the Icelandic volcanic ash disaster, you definitely want to have natural disasters covered in your travel insurance policy. Planes were unable to fly for days on end, meaning that thousands of passengers around the world were stranded at airports overnight (and not just for one night!). The lucky ones were put up in hotels by the airlines or their travel insurance. And of course by the time you got to your destination, the tour you were booked for might be over. Although disasters like this are rare, you just don’t know when they’re going to strike.
4. Are Expensive Items Covered?
Make sure that expensive items such as your camera, laptop or jewelry are covered in your policy. If you lose an item on your trip or have it stolen, you will want to be able to replace it with one of similar value, courtesy of your travel insurance. If items like this aren’t covered in your policy, you’ll have to pay to replace the item yourself, or possibly make do with a cheaper replacement that may not be as good as the original item.
5. Can You “Cancel For Any Reason”?
It’s important to have the “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) clause in your travel insurance policy. You never know if a loved one is going to have a major accident just before you’re due to go to the airport. A business emergency could require you to defer your trip. A death in the family, and your first instinct may be to fly home immediately. An outbreak of disease may mean you don’t feel comfortable visiting that destination right now. No matter what happens, at least you’ll have some peace of mind that you’re covered by your insurance policy, and will be able to salvage some or all of the money you’ve spent on your trip.
Insurance policies vary widely, and it’s important to know exactly what you’re buying, and what your options are. If in doubt, call the insurance company and ask questions. They should have customer service agents on hand who can explain all the ins and outs, and make sure you wind up with the coverage you need.