Young man and woman at airport check in counter

Travel Insurance 101: Common Misunderstandings of Travel Insurance

What travel insurance can cover, what it might not, and picking the right policy

When people consider purchasing travel insurance for their trips, there are a lot of ideas that come to mind as to what a policy should cover, and what a policy may not cover. Travel insurance, like every other form of insurance that you can purchase, comes with its own rules and regulations. And because the coverage you selected says one thing, there might several rules and regulations about when that coverage takes effect – if ever. Here are three things you may believe travel insurance to cover, but might end up being surprised by when it comes time to file your claim:

1: My travel insurance will only cover medical events – and nothing else.

Fact: There are plenty of plans that will only cover medical events as you travel

  To make sure you’re getting all the coverage you want, make sure you read the terms and conditions of your travel insurance plan. In particular, look for the terms “trip cancellation,” “trip delay,” and “baggage loss.” If you purchase these three coverage items with your travel insurance, then you are insured in the event that your trip gets delayed, you’re forced to cancel for a covered reason, or your bags are lost or destroyed while in the care of a common carrier. Which brings me to my second misunderstanding of travel insurance:

2: I purchased “trip cancellation” with my travel insurance – so I can cancel my trip if I don’t want to go.

Fact: This is semi-true, but not quite the complete truth. In many cases, your trip cancellation insurance will cover events that would prevent you from going on your trip, such as a medical emergency, death of an immediate family member, or a car accident on the way to your travels.

In order to make a claim for your trip cancellation benefit, you would have to prove the qualifying event took place. Cancelling your trip because of a work mandate, cancelling because of a veterinary emergency, or simply stating “I no longer want to go on my trip” may not count as qualifying events. If you’re worried that you might end up changing your mind about your trip, look for a travel insurance plan that includes a “Cancel for Any Reason” clause. An insurance policy with a “Cancel for Any Reason” clause allows you to do just that – cancel your trip for any reason, whether it’s a covered reason or not. However, the downside to a “Cancel for Any Reason” plan is you may only recover part your trip costs back – not your entire trip cost. This usually amounts to between 70 and 75 percent of your insured amount.

3: With the new health care reforms, my pre-existing condition should be covered.

Fact: As International Medical Group explains, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Health Care Reform) may not govern short-term, limited duration travel insurance policies. Therefore, there may be a pre-existing medical condition exclusion on your travel insurance policy. In simpler terms: if you were to have an illness or injury before your trip (anywhere from 30 days to 12 months before your trip), and you had a recurrence or worsening of that condition, your travel insurance policy may not cover any claims as a result of that situation. To make sure your policy covers any conditions, be sure to make sure that your insurance comes with a pre-existing condition exclusion waiver. However, this may require you to purchase your travel insurance early – within 15 to 21 days of putting down your first payment on your trip.

By understanding how these common misunderstandings affect your travel insurance policy, you can make the best decision about the coverage you need when you’re on the go!

Related posts:

Share This Article

Travel Insurance 101: What is Travel Insurance?

Next Story »

The Pros (and Cons) of Annual Travel Insurance

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *