WHAT DOES TRAVEL INSURANCE COVER?
You have a big trip coming up, and you’ve heard that travel insurance can help protect that trip, but what exactly does this protection look like?
The thought of travel insurance when planning a trip is quite boring. Nobody wants to think of the worst-case scenario before leaving the house. It is, however, the most important thing you can do before embarking on a trip. You want to know that if something bad happens while you're on your trip, your insurance policy will protect you. Of course, it's rare but it really doesn't change the fact that these things happen. You want to be safe than sorry, don't you?
In this article, we’ll go over what travel insurance typically covers — as well as what it doesn't so you're not caught off guard if an emergency comes up.
WHAT TRAVEL INSURANCE COVERS
Trip cancellation coverage is probably the most famous travel insurance coverage but your travel insurance can also cover things like travel delay, medical bills, and lost, damaged, or delayed baggage. Different providers offer different plans with a combination of these coverages and more, so get to know your alternatives before choosing one. One way to go about this is to figure out what you need and find a plan that works for you. You should also not hesitate to ask your travel insurance provider questions if you have any.
Depending on what plan you buy and when you buy it, travel insurance covers three major things: you, your stuff, and your experience.
1. PROTECTING YOU
Medical and dental crises that occur during your journey are usually covered by most travel insurance policies. Though accidents or serious illnesses while traveling abroad are uncommon, a decent insurance company should cover your hospitalization fees, surgery costs, outpatient treatment costs, visits to registered medical practitioners (related to your emergency injury), and prescribed medicines (related to the injury).
However, you should consider whether your travel medical insurance is primary or secondary and if it covers pre-existing conditions. Sometimes travel medical insurance pays secondary, meaning that all of your travel medical bills will be paid first by your health plan. They'll apply deductibles, copays, and maximums and pay what your health insurance plan covers, then your travel insurance will cover the rest, up to the benefit limit. However, if your travel health insurance is primary, it will be the first policy to pay for any emergency medical expenses you may incur while traveling.
Medical care for pre-existing medical conditions may not be covered by your travel insurance coverage. However, if you meet specific criteria, such as buying insurance soon after planning your trip, your policy will cover such pre-existing conditions.
-Emergency Medical Transportation
If you have a covered disease or injury, your local medical facility may be unable to offer the care you require. The emergency medical transportation benefit covers medically essential transportation to the nearest hospital or appropriate medical facility.
We understand there's nothing cool about the thought of this, but knowing you're covered will offer you and your loved ones peace of mind. Most insurance plans will cover the costs of a family member collecting your body and transporting it home if the worst happens. Some insurance policies will also cover cremation or international burial if that is preferred.
Death from alcohol or illicit substances, suicide, or pre-existing conditions is excluded from the plan.
2. PROTECTING YOUR STUFF
If your luggage is lost, damaged, or stolen during your trip, Baggage Coverage will reimburse you for replacing those goods. Travelers who have their bags delayed for a specific number of hours also get compensated for essential items. Baggage Delay Coverage pays for essential things like a hygiene pack, a swimsuit, or a change of clothes until your delayed bags arrive.
Some plans may cover the cost of having a new passport or credit card mailed to you if your wallet or passport is stolen (this usually will depend on your residency). You won't be able to claim missing cash though.
3. PROTECTING YOUR EXPERIENCE
-Flight Delays & Cancellations
You can seek compensation from your travel insurance provider if your flight is delayed or canceled (provided the airline does not cover you). You can apply for reimbursement as long as the cancellation or delay was not your fault. Sleeping in does not qualify as an acceptable justification for missing your flight!
Keep all emails, receipts, and correspondence from your airline about the delay or cancellation, since you'll need them to verify your claim and receive reimbursement.
When planning a trip, you spend money on plane tickets, tour packages, hotel rooms, cruise fares, and so much more. If these expenses are non-refundable and pre-paid, you may lose them if something goes wrong. You can ask for reimbursement from your insurance provider if you need to cancel your vacation before or during your trip due to a covered reason. The following are covered reasons;
•Sickness, injury, or death of you, a family member, or a traveling companion
•Laid off or required to work
•Bankruptcy of your travel supplier
•Call for jury duty
If you're canceling due to illness, request a note from your doctor to validate your claim. You'll need to provide a copy of the death certificate if you're canceling due to a death, as well as other supporting documents.
-Trip Interruption Coverage
Trip Interruption Coverage is similar to trip cancellation coverage in that it covers you while on your trip for the same set of covered circumstances. Trip interruption coverage reimburses you for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip if something happens and you have to return home in the middle of your trip due to a covered reason. It also covers the additional transportation costs for the last-minute return flight.
Some plans provide benefits if your flight is canceled and you must spend the night in a hotel, or if a travel delay disrupts subsequent connections and booked tours, or if your tour operator goes out of business.
WHAT TRAVEL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER
Travel insurance doesn’t cover everything you might do or experience when you travel. Uncovered things – or exclusions – can include:
- Accidents sustained while participating in extreme activities with high chances of death or injury.
- Things you do under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Fear of traveling to countries - Traveling to new destinations can be scary. If you get scared and want to cancel your trip, it is not covered.
- Carelessness in handling your possessions/baggage.
- Pre-existing conditions e.g. if you have diabetes and need to buy more insulin, you won’t be covered.
- General checkups for non-emergencies.
- Stolen cash.
- Expenses related to Pregnancy.
- Missed flights or connections for reasons under your control.
- Medical travel - If you're traveling to another country for a medical procedure, your travel insurance policy will likely not cover you if something goes wrong.
The exclusions list can differ from policy to policy, so it’s always good to read the policy before you buy.
Travel insurance protects you in case of an emergency while on a trip, but coverage varies, so shop around and read the fine print.
You're probably wondering how to buy travel insurance for your next trip now that you know everything that travel insurance covers. It's simple. A comparison website is the most convenient way to compare plans. You provide a few details about your trip and receive quotes from our partners. Then you can narrow down your options and make the best possible choice.