Purchasing travel insurance before an expensive trip can provide additional peace of mind as its benefits are usually more extensive than credit card protection benefits. However, it’s essential to know what travel insurance covers to avoid disappointment from exclusions. Here are a few factors to be aware of.
Trip Cancellation And Interruption
Trip cancellation and interruption benefits are the bedrock of travel insurance policies. It can reimburse non-refundable travel purchases and increased travel expenses for the rescheduled trip portion.
You will want to review the covered reasons, coverage limits and policy terms to purchase an adequate policy. It’s important to remember that a delayed or canceled trip doesn’t automatically guarantee you are eligible for a travel insurance claim.
Covered reasons usually include:
- Flight delays and cancellations
- A hurricane, natural disaster or inclement weather
- An insured traveler or family member experiences illness or injury
- Legal separation or divorce
- Mandatory work or a job-related relocation
- Employment layoff
- Military deployment, jury duty or a required court appearance
- Bankruptcy or financial default of a carrier
- Terrorist events within 30 days of the departure date in the destination
A waiting period can apply to certain circumstances to prevent insurance fraud. Two examples are employer layoffs and carrier bankruptcies.
Medical illness and injury can also draw extra scrutiny to rule out pre-existing conditions.
The first step is contacting the carrier or host to see if you can receive a refund, delay compensation and a rescheduled trip. After reaching the travel provider, you can submit a claim for any remaining reimbursement.
The coverage limits for a barebones policy are usually up to $10,000 or the cost of your trip,
whichever is lower. Upgrading to premium plans offers more generous limits.
Does Travel Insurance Cover Hurricanes?
Travel insurance can cover hurricanes if you purchase coverage before the storm is named.
Travel insurance medical coverage is another compelling reason to purchase a standalone policy. Many new medical and dental incidents during the trip can be eligible.
Pre-existing conditions and injuries stemming from high-risk activities are typically uncovered unless you purchase special coverage.
You may also consider buying emergency evacuation coverage.
Emergency medical and evacuation can be most valuable for international trips as personal medical insurance benefits typically only apply within the United States and territories.
Most travel insurance policies now offer Covid-19 coverage that can refund your travel if you test positive before leaving. Additionally, this policy option can reimburse medical treatment and quarantine costs while traveling.
You may also see this listed as epidemic coverage and may cover other unnamed medical events that may occur. Researching the latest travel restrictions can help define your coverage options.
Baggage Loss And Delay
Baggage insurance can reimburse the value of your lost, damaged or stolen items. This coverage can apply to carry-on luggage and checked bags.
A policy with baggage delay perks can help pay for necessities like clothing and toiletries while you’re waiting to claim your luggage. However, a delay period from 8 to 12 hours is usually necessary before this benefit kicks in.
Accidental Death And Dismemberment
You or your beneficiaries can receive compensation for accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D).
Optional Travel Insurance Coverage
Several add-ons may also be worth the expense for extensive coverage:
- Cancel for any reason: Can typically receive a full refund when canceling at least two days before departure.
- Pre-existing medical conditions: Receive treatment for select illnesses and injuries. Medical tourism and pregnancy may have exclusions.
- Rental car coverage: Reimburses losses due to theft or collision. This benefit is standard with most credit cards but can offer additional coverage or apply in excluded countries.
- Sports: Can reimburse prepaid equipment rental, loss, and delay. It may cover medical incidents from covered activities as well.
Travel insurance offers the most benefits for expensive trips or when traveling outside the United States. The trip cancellation and medical coverage benefits are straightforward for most trips. However, carefully reading the exclusions is vital if you have a complex situation such as pre-existing conditions or other travel uncertainties.
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