Tips for the first time travel insurance buyer – Forbes Advisor


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We are becoming optimistic about travel in the post-pandemic world. As you start planning your trips again, whether in the United States or overseas, this is also a good time to consider travel insurance.

Travel insurance provides a safety net if you have to cancel a trip, get sick before or during vacation, lose your luggage, and more. If you’ve never purchased travel insurance before, you might be wondering how to find the best travel insurance.

Here are tips for first-time travel insurance buyers.

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Know what you need

Travel insurance, like any type of insurance, can be complicated. “Do your homework,” says Jeremy Murchland, president of Seven Corners, a travel insurance company. He suggests that you review the benefits and terms of the policy to make sure you’re getting the coverage you need.

A travel insurance agent can help you match coverage to your specific travel concerns.

Travel medical insurance is often a top priority. “Remember that your national health insurance may not travel with you abroad and the insurance coverage you think you have on your credit card may be very limited and insufficient,” he says. In addition, Medicare generally does not provide any coverage outside of the United States.

In addition to medical coverage, look for emergency medical evacuation coverage, especially if you are traveling to remote areas. This coverage pays to get you to the nearest suitable medical facility if needed.

A travel insurance agent can help you choose other types of coverage as needed, such as baggage coverage and travel delay insurance.

Understanding the value of travel insurance

If you’re a first-time buyer, it’s important to know that travel insurance is a small investment compared to the total cost of the trip and peace of mind, says Murchland.

For example, Trip Cancellation Insurance reimburses you 100% for any money you lose when you have to cancel a trip. You must cancel for a reason covered by the policy (such as injury or illness, or the death of a family member). You can make a claim for your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses.

“As a traveler myself, I want to make sure my family is protected in the event of an accident or medical emergency, and I want to make sure that my financial investment in the vacation is covered in the event of a cancellation. or interruption of our trip. for some reason, ”he says. “We manage the files on a daily basis for all types of travelers around the world who are grateful to have travel insurance. “

Want to cover all the cancellation bases?

You can make a claim under Standard Trip Cancellation Coverage if the reason for your cancellation is stated in the policy. For the greatest range of protection, look at “Cancel for a Reason” coverage. This add-on will allow you to cancel for any reason not mentioned in the policy and still get a refund. For example, fear of traveling would be covered by “cancel for any reason” coverage.

You should generally purchase this coverage within two to three weeks of making your first travel deposit.

Know what is not covered

Understanding the coverage involves knowing the exclusions. For example, trip cancellation insurance reimburses non-refundable deposits. If you have a fully refundable airline ticket, you cannot make a travel insurance claim for it.

Check the policy for its exclusion list. This can include things like extreme sports, professional sports, pregnancy, and medical tourism. This will usually rule out the fear of traveling as well.

Check Covid Coverage

Even vaccinated travelers may want to purchase travel insurance in case Covid affects their trips. There are travel insurance plans that cover Covid for trip cancellation, medical expenses, and medical evacuation.

If you test positive for Covid during your trip, they may even cover the additional costs when you need to quarantine yourself away from home.

Adventurous? Get the right coverage

Many travel insurance plans exclude coverage for extreme activities such as bungee jumping, canoeing, cave diving, skydiving, scuba diving, and other activities.

Work with a travel insurance agent to find an adventure travel insurance policy that will cover the specific activities you have planned.

Don’t be motivated by the price alone

Travel insurance providers generally have similar coverage options and prices.

“Yes, there are minor differences between the benefits and sometimes there are price differences, but for two similar plans the prices will be close,” says Murchland at Seven Corners. He says the real difference comes from how you are served after the sale.

For example, the 24/7 travel assistance lines included in travel insurance plans can provide invaluable advice and assistance in the event of a problem while traveling.

“Seven Corners is proud of our 24/7 support team of licensed medical professionals who are trained to assist travelers in virtually any emergency, regardless of geography,” said he declared.

Try not to overbuy the blanket

A travel insurance policy should be tailored to your needs and your potential financial loss. Sasha Gainullin, CEO of battleface travel insurance company, says trip cancellation insurance is the most expensive part of a travel insurance policy.

“Trip cancellation is a great benefit if you are purchasing your policy for a trip that will not take place for a while and are looking to protect your financial investment,” says Gainullin. For example, after purchasing a policy, if you are injured and cannot go on a trip, you can make a claim for money lost due to non-refundable deposits. If you waited to buy a blanket, you would be alone.

If you’re traveling in just a few days, Gainullin advises looking for a travel insurance plan that allows you to customize post-departure benefits, such as emergency medical coverage, medical evacuation, baggage and personal effects. , as well as travel interruptions and delays.

“You don’t need to have a policy with trip cancellation coverage if you don’t need it and especially if you are a last minute traveler,” says Gainullin.

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