What you should know about travel insurance before you buy a policy and hit the road

2023-01-26 06:33:51 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of Vytravels.com, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Covid-19 pandemic activity remains high, and sudden developments can cause last-minute changes to travel plans. Before you book your next trip, it's a good idea to look into purchasing travel insurance that will cover you in the event of any unforeseen mishaps that occur before, during, or after your trip.

Beth Godlin, a spokesperson for Aon Affinity Travel Practice, says, "Travel insurance is often overlooked as an investment until the unexpected happens." It's made to safeguard vacationers financially and psychologically from potential dangers abroad. "

Although some vacationers skip buying insurance because they assume it will be too pricey, Godlin says, "purchasing it adds an extra layer of protection and security." " 

Even domestic trips that don't cost as much as a luxury cruise, safari, or international tour can benefit from purchasing travel insurance. Godlin advises people to consider what they would lose if they had to cancel their trip at the last minute when deciding whether or not to purchase travel insurance.

Select reached out to professionals in the travel insurance industry to get their top tips for consumers.

There are numerous travel insurance plans available, and buying one is a simple process. A good place to begin if you have never purchased travel insurance is sites like InsureMyTrip.com, CoverTrip, or Squaremouth. These sites allow you to compare various travel insurance providers based on both price and coverage. It entails filling out a short survey with basic information about the trip and the traveler.

Shoppers can use aggregator sites to view every available travel insurance policy in one convenient location. To further reassure customers, Squaremouth also includes links to independent, third-party reviews written by policyholders.  

Squaremouth is free of charge for users because it derives revenue from provider commissions rather than user fees.

Besides using a comparison website, you can also get a quote and more details about a specific travel insurance provider by going to its website.

For example, if you book your trip through Expedia, you can often find travel insurance offered by a separate company. Because the plans are tailored to the specifics of your trip (hotel, flight, rental car), they may change from booking to booking, so it's important to read the fine print to make sure you know exactly what you're getting.

Although policies differ, most travel insurance safeguards three main areas: your finances, your health, and your belongings.

Consider the following perks as you browse policies:

Insurance that pays if you have to cancel your trip

If your trip is cancelled for a covered reason, your travel insurance will pay for any unused, pre-paid expenses. According to Daniel Durazo, a spokesman for Allianz Travel Insurance, these costs can include airfare, lodging, transportation, activities, and meals.  

Illness, injury, or death of the traveler, close family member, or travel companion; military deployment or civil unrest; serious family emergency, including unplanned jury duty, are all examples of acceptable reasons to cancel a trip.

Your home or destination becomes uninhabitable, a natural disaster, severe weather, or a strike prevents your travel provider from providing services for 24 hours, or you or a traveling companion lose your jobs after purchasing the policy.

Even if you purchase travel cancellation insurance, you typically won't be able to cancel your trip and receive a refund. Having a disagreement with a travel companion and deciding not to go, or deciding against taking a long-haul flight to Hawaii, are not examples of acceptable reasons for canceling a trip.  

You should add "cancel for any coverage" to your policy if you want the greatest freedom to alter your trip. A Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) plan will add about 40% to the price of your travel insurance, but it will allow you to cancel your trip without penalty as long as you do so at least 48 hours before your departure.  

Not all of your travel expenses can be covered by your insurance. From fifty percent to seventy five percent of your trip costs are typically covered by CFAR.

Expenses incurred due to trip delays are covered.

Your travel insurance policy can help ease your financial burden in the event of an unexpected delay.  

According to Squaremouth's spokesperson Megan Moncrief, "travel delay coverage provides reimbursement if a traveler is delayed for one of the policy's covered reasons." For the most part, this compensation will pay for things like lodging, meals, and transportation costs incurred due to the delay. "

Reasons like bad weather, airline maintenance, and civil unrest are usually covered.

Usually, you'll have to wait a certain amount of time before your benefits begin.

"Travelers are only entitled to this benefit if they are delayed for the duration specified in their policy," explains Moncrief. "Some policies are extremely generous, and benefits are available for any length delay, while others will clearly state a length requirement." From three to twelve hours is a common range for this. There will be a daily maximum and an overall maximum for all travel delay policies, typically between $200 and $2,000. "

According to Moncrief, the average daily limit is $150, while the maximum policy limit is $2,000. Keep in mind that you will need to submit your receipts along with your reimbursement claim.

Planned trip interruption insurance

Non-refundable trip costs may be refunded if you have to cut your trip short due to an emergency at home or because of an illness or injury you sustain abroad.

The cost of a round-trip ticket on an economy airline may also be covered by your insurance. However, that's not the whole story. For this reason, trip interruption benefits are not applicable if, say, your beach vacation is rained out or you become homesick for your new puppy.

Payment for medical care and transportation in case of an emergency

Within the United States, you can easily reach your destination by S If you get sick or injured while traveling, medical expenses should be covered by your own health insurance. However, if you are going abroad, your U. S Medicare is not accepted internationally, and your U.S.  

The majority of international locations do not recognize domestic health insurance plans. S , so it's crucial to have international medical evacuation and medical coverage on your travel insurance," says Durazo. If you get sick or hurt while abroad, these benefits will help pay for your medical care, from visits to the doctor to any necessary hospital stays." " 

It's also a good idea to call the customer service number for the airline you're flying with. "Allianz's round-the-clock support staff can work with your treating physicians abroad to make sure you're in the best possible medical facility, and they'll pay for it up to the U.S. S norms," he argues.

Medical evacuations are even more costly than hospitalization, but are covered by comprehensive travel insurance. According to Durazo, "the cost of medical evacuation and transport can range from $15,000 to $200,000, depending on the traveler's health condition and the location of the evacuation."

You need the added security of emergency medical benefits and emergency medical transportation benefits if you're traveling internationally, he says. Also, "there's always a chance you'll need emergency medical transportation to get you to an appropriate health care facility if you're visiting more remote areas." "

Misplaced baggage

It's possible that your travel insurance policy will save the day if your bag gets lost in transit.  

When it comes to lost, stolen, or damaged belongings, "if your travel insurance plan includes baggage benefits, your insurer can reimburse you, up to the maximum shown on the Confirmation of Coverage," says Durazo. The plan documents for each plan will detail the maximum amount of money that will be paid out for each benefit. "

The OneTrip Prime plan from Allianz Partners, for instance, pays out up to $1,000 in the event of baggage loss and up to $300 in the event of baggage delay, while the OneTrip Premier plan pays out up to $2,000 in the event of baggage loss or damage and up to 0 in the case of baggage delay.   

Any of your valuables that are lost or stolen on your trip will be replaced at no additional cost to you. Depending on the limits stated in your insurance policy's confirmation letter, "travel insurance can reimburse you for the actual cash value, repair or replacement — whichever is less," says Durazo.

You must notify the airline, airport, police, or other appropriate authority, such as the tour operator or hotel manager, of any losses incurred during your trip. If you intend to make a claim, you will need the following information.

Your travel insurance likely doesn't cover everything. Things like cash are not covered, and many insurance policies won't pay for extremely expensive jewelry, art, antiques, or heirlooms. In order to lessen the likelihood of losing priceless possessions, you should leave them at home. Furthermore, it is imperative that you read your policy thoroughly to determine the extent of your coverage.

Different travel insurance policies may have different Covid coverage provisions, so it's important to read your policy and contact your insurer with any questions, advises Godlin.

Some countries have changed their entry requirements to include proof of adequate travel insurance as a result of the pandemic. She concludes, "As a result, new policies are emerging to directly meet those needs."  

Prices for travel insurance range widely according to factors like the level of coverage desired and the total cost of the trip. Customers are informed by CoverTrip that travel insurance policies typically range in price from 4% to 10% of the total trip price. So, if your European vacation costs $5,000, insurance could cost you between $200 and $500.

There are, of course, alternative spending plans that could cost less (and cover less) Another option is to pay a higher premium and take advantage of a "cancel for any reason" policy. Make sure you know exactly what you're getting for your money with whichever plan you choose.

Depending on the credit card you use, you may already be covered for travel emergencies. Francis Hondal, president of loyalty and engagement at MasterCard, says, "Travel insurance is a common benefit for credit cards, and often comes at no additional cost to the cardholder." To avoid wasting money on unnecessary insurance, it's important to know what coverage you already have. "

She assures me that my family is covered without my having to do anything special after making a qualifying purchase. "Therefore, if you have trip cancellation insurance on a card and you book your flight with that card, you will be covered." When you check your bag, make sure to activate your lost luggage insurance, too," Hondal says.  

You should not make any purchases related to your trip until you find out if and how you are covered. MyCardBenefits.com is Mastercard's online insurance marketplace. Typically, you can find more details on your credit card's website.

You must charge your travel expenses to your credit card in order to receive the insurance benefits offered by your card issuer.

According to Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate, "where credit card travel insurance can shine is if you encounter weather problems or mechanical delays, or if you get sick while traveling, or if your luggage gets lost or delayed." com  

He claims that the Chase Sapphire Reserve® sets the standard in these respects as the best credit card available. In the event of a trip cancellation or interruption, you are protected up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 overall. If your flight is delayed by at least six hours, you may be eligible for up to $500 per ticket to use toward a new flight, hotel, food, etc.  

If your bags don't show up on time, you can get up to five days' worth of reimbursement at $100 per day.  

To quote Rossman, "[Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance] will pay up to $100,000 of emergency evacuation and transportation coverage if something really bad happens while you're abroad." And the Sapphire Reserve provides primary rental car insurance benefits, so you can bypass the rental car company's costly coverage and go straight to your own auto insurance in the event of an accident." "

According to Rossman, another excellent option is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which also has very good coverage but slightly less coverage than the Sapphire Reserve card in accordance with a lower annual fee. According to Rossman, even the Chase Freedom FlexSM with no annual fee provides up to $1,500 in trip cancellation/interruption protection per person and up to ,000 per trip.

Check out Select's collection of the top travel credit cards for more details on those that include insurance coverage for foreign travel.

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Any and all opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations made in this article are those of the Select editorial staff and do not reflect the views of any outside organization, entity, or individual.

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