What to Know Before Buying Travel Insurance
Sometime events happen that are out of our control, travel insurance allows you to have a great trip and peace of mind. Travel Insurance is one of those things you might not think you need, but having it is worth every penny. Here are some things to do before buying:
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- Read up on the several types of coverage
The five primary types offered are vacation cancellation/interruption, medical, evacuation, baggage and flight insurance. Consider your trip, yourself and other timely factors when determining what kind of and how much coverage is right for you. Your travel team agent can help you determine which is best for your needs.
Cancellation insurance: This is the most common kind of coverage found in every comprehensive policy. This covers unforeseen reasons like sickness of you or your traveling partner, weather or carrier issues, and legal obligations (like jury duty). The exact coverage varies from provider to provider. If you are pregnant and have unforeseen complications, a note will be required from your doctor.
Medical insurance: The first thing you need to ask yourself is if you need a plan that covers a pre-existing condition. If so, look for those types of plans. Most plans cover 24-hour emergency assistance, ambulance costs, hospital services and emergency dental work.
Evacuation insurance: Within medical plans, you can also buy evacuation insurance, which allows for emergency medical evacuation to the nearest appropriate care facility if you are somewhere remote or in a place that cannot appropriately treat a condition.
Baggage insurance: This covers travelers in two instances: It will reimburse travelers for clothes, medication and other essential items if baggage is delayed in arriving at the destination. It also covers you if your possessions are lost, stolen or damaged during the trip.
Flight insurance: Both airlines and insurance companies offer this protection solely for difficulties with your flights. People often purchase flight insurance only for international trips because of the higher cost of fares. This can help travelers save on the fees incurred in the event of a delay or cancellation because of bad weather, mechanical breakdowns or labor strikes.
- Read the entire policy before purchasing
This is not a time you want any surprises. Most insurance is sold in packages, so it’s important to read the inclusions and each to pick the package best tailored for you. You may not need evacuation insurance in a destination like London or Shanghai because they are such huge cosmopolitan cities, but if you have many connecting flights to get to those destinations, you may want a package that includes baggage insurance. Ask your travel team agent for advice.
For many Americans with medical insurance, their policies cover care abroad. Before pulling out your credit card, see what coverage you already have.
- Compare prices online
It’s not advised to purchase from smaller, no-name vendors. Some sites ask for the destination, trip duration, travelers’ ages, country of residence and the price of the travel components of the trip before they can give you quotes. Your travel team agent can help find the best deal, call 1-800-788-0829 to speak to a travel team agent.
Ask around to see if friends or family members have had a good experience with a certain provider. It never hurts to check out other perspectives and recommendations as well. Look for people who have taken a similar type of trip — and of course, your travel team agent will be able to help you with this as well.
- Weigh the pros and cons of getting insurance through a tour provider
Some travel companies will offer discounts with packages booked, but that doesn’t mean that what is being provided is the right kind of insurance for you. Some packagers might provide more coverage than you need or not enough – or you might need a combination of a few things, and it can be harder to customize that coverage this way. Your travel team agent can make sure you find the right plan for your needs.
- Purchase your coverage as soon as possible after booking a trip
This is a good way to get discounts and extra coverage. Prices often will go up the nearer you are to your trip, so the best way to lock in the lowest rates is to ask your travel team agent to immediately look into this after booking your trip.
- Immediately create paper copies and digital versions of your documentation
It’s wise to save versions of all your travel documents in a safe place online. This way they can be accessed and forwarded while away.
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