Travel Insurance can be a complicated and frustrating experience. Here is a short YouTube video featuring Rob Carrick finance columnist from the Globe and Mail who is interviewing Marty Firestone President of Travel Secure, a travel insurance provider. Together they look at what to look for and look out for when considering the purchase of your next travel insurance policy.
- Should you make your choice based on price?
- What other criteria should you base your decision on?
- How do companies deal with claims differently?
Click on the image to view this video or see below for additional information and video sessions.
Travel Insurance ... What to look for:
You might be surprised how much international travel insurance policies differ from one other. Each vendor emphasizes a slightly different aspect of protection. Therefore, you should buy the policy that is most pertinent to you. The three main categories to understand are travel benefits, medical benefits and the help and support features.
- Travel Benefits
What happens if something prevents you from starting a trip that you have insured? What is the trip cancellation policy? How do you receive compensation for the prepaid and nonrefundable expenses incurred? Is there an option to cancel the trip for any reason? You would be smart to find answers to these questions before you buy.
Once under way, you should know the benefits that are available for you if the trip is interrupted. What happens if your trip is delayed or you miss a connection? Who pays for the resulting expenses? Will the holiday insurance policy compensate if your carrier loses or delays your baggage and you have to purchase something that was lost? It is always best to know the answers to these questions before you sign on the dotted line.
- Medical Benefits
Some travel insurance policies lump together a benefit that covers any sort of medical or dental emergency caused by accident or sickness. Some policies subdivide the medical categories to provide one benefit for, say, emergency medical and dental, and another benefit for emergency accident and sickness. Most, but not all, budget travel insurance vendors cover costs of emergency medical evacuation. Among those that do, the range of compensation varies dramatically. Some providers include a benefit for common carrier accidental death and dismemberment and some do not.
- Optional Benefits
There are always extras that can add a great deal to a trip and you might want insurance for these types of services. For example, if you plan to rent a car, policies that offer car rental coverage could be useful. As troubling as it might seem to think about, many policies also offer coverage for you or your loved ones if you have the terrible misfortune to die or be seriously injured while traveling.
- Help & Support
In the help and support areas, many travel insurance policies are quite similar. Most offer 24-hour toll-free or collect telephone access to travel, business and concierge services. A review period immediately following your purchase gives you an opportunity to cancel your policy and receive a full refund. The length of this review period varies by provider.
Once you have armed yourself with the proper information and compare travel insurance policies, you can make a choice to purchase travel insurance online to get the level of security you desire. Take the time to find the right policy and you will get the best travel insurance for your money. Knowing that you are covered is the first step to a great vacation.
Have you ever wondered how anyone could read those massive swaths of fine print that come with a travel insurance purchase? If you're like most people, you don't take the time to read your policy details. However, this is more of a problem than you might think. You may find yourself at the mercy of your insurance company when you need them the most. Unlike most things you read, reading is only half the battle. Understanding what you have read is challenging, but it will make your dealings with the insurance company much more positive. Here are five simple steps to understanding your travel insurance policy.
- The first step
Read the entire policy. This seems like a no-brainer, but this is the biggest hurdle to understanding your policy. If you don't know what's in the policy, you're less likely to have questions about the specific terms contained therein. If you don't complete any of the other steps in this article, at least do this one. You'll be much happier once you know your specific coverage levels. Be prepared to spend about an hour or an hour and a half on this step.
- The second step
Look very closely at the exclusions. Exclusions are always listed in the policy and typically have a dedicated section. If you find an item in the exclusions section, it will not be covered, no matter how hard you try to get the insurance company to see your point of view. Just knowing the exclusions will help you avoid embarrassing phone calls with an insurance representative, especially the ones where they tell you no repeatedly.
- The third step
Take the policy and highlight every word that applies to the claim that you want to file. This simple task will help you ignore irrelevant and confusing information that may slow you down later on.
- The fourth step
When you get to step four, be prepared to brush up on your dictionary skills. While international travel insurance policies are generally written in plain language, the context can throw you off if you run into an unfamiliar word. If you are fortunate, some policies will have a dedicated definitions section. While these definitions are helpful, even policies without a definitions section don't require an enigma machine to interpret. When it comes to understanding any kind of legalese, dictionaries, and in some cases encyclopedias, are a valuable guide.
- The final step
This is more of an insurance policy that you implement yourself. It is an often forgotten fact that most insurance companies will ask for documentation for every claim. If you run into delays or any problems, get and save any written documentation of that event, this is the proof you need to file a claim. For example, if your flight is delayed more than six hours by weather or another covered event, contact the airline immediately once you get off the plane, either in the airport or by phone. By going to the ticket desk, you can request written documentation that you were delayed. The longer your paper trail, the more likely you will be able to get the coverage and compensation you paid for.
So there you have it. Five things you can do to get the most out of your worldwide travel insurance policy. While it may seem like a lot of work, consider how much more effort is required if you're not prepared beforehand.
Source: Kirsten Buck - TopTenReviews