Insurance is essential, but so is travel insurance. Travel insurance can cover all of your travel needs, but it also serves as a great peace of mind and can save you money when the unexpected happens. But what exactly is travel insurance and how does it work? When you buy insurance for travel, it is usually called traveler’s insurance or just insurance.
Travelers are often frustrated to discover that their travel insurance policy is filled with holes with many commonly stated clauses but sometimes hard-to-understand, ambiguous and at times counter intuitive exclusions. For instance, when you purchase trip insurance, coverage can be purchased that includes emergency transportation assistance, baggage delay and loss, and rental car reimbursement. However, trip insurance typically does not cover cancellations, delays, accidents, medical emergencies, or other events that you have an option to claim with your insurance company. On the other hand, when traveling, cancellation insurance is essential for allowing you to get on with your trip, even if a contingency plan was put into place to ensure you can get to your destination.
Tour operators, on the other hand, are not only concerned about their own policies, but the regulations of their tour operators’ insurance companies. A valid tour operator’s insurance policy should cover liability for legal issues that arise during a service, or if the tour operator is sued because of an injury that was sustained while on a tour. Tour operators should also be reimbursed for lost and delayed baggage, personal property such as cameras, electronics, and expensive jewelry. Again, any coverage available from the airline or hotel is not covered by the tour operator’s insurance policies.
Cancellation policies are a type of “all risks” insurance coverage, which means it will cover any potential threat that may occur with respect to your health, safety, and property during your trip. Cancellation coverage will also cover potential injury, cancellation, delay, or accident that may occur. Depending on the insurance policy, it may also include coverage for loss of or damage to personal or office equipment, as well as coverage for rental vehicle damage, and legal expenses that may result from a cancellation. Some insurance companies, such as Allstate, do require riders to provide coverage for loss of or damage to personal property.
Delay or interruption coverage reimburses you for the fees you pay if you are forced to cancel or change your travel plans because of weather, bad weather, or other emergency circumstances. These often include flights being cancelled, or major hotels being closed. In these cases, if you are travelling as part of a group, coverage can also include extended airline and hotel reservations, as well as travel-related expenses, such as airfare and rental car costs. Coverage will often also reimburse you for the difference between what the actual price of your ticket was and the amount paid for your airfare, hotel accommodations, and rental car costs. In the case of extreme emergencies, these services can often make travel possible for even those whose travel plans have been canceled or interrupted for any number of reasons.
Cancellation/reservation reimbursement is designed to help you if you buy travel insurance that does not cover a pre-existing medical condition. In the case of an emergency, many insurance policies will allow reimbursements for cancellation for those who were forced to cancel their travel plans because of a medical condition. Many people are unaware that such a policy exists, and as a result they are often not able to claim reimbursement when they suffer a medical emergency while traveling outside of their policy coverage. Buy travel insurance, and you will receive assistance in filing a cancellation or reservation reimbursement claim, should your travel provider deny your claim.
Travel insurance is designed to provide coverage when there is a medical emergency that forces you to cancel your travel plans. When you are traveling outside of the coverage provided by your insurance policy, it is important to ensure that you have all of the coverage options that are available to you so that in the case of a medical emergency, you have access to the emergency medical services you need and are able to get on the plane. Many people are aware that they are covered under their travel policy for a pre-existing medical emergency, but many do not know that they can also receive additional benefits if they purchase additional coverage. If you purchased additional coverage but your insurance provider denies your claim, you can file a complaint with the American Society for Travel Insurance Professionals (ASTR), which has the authority to investigate covered incidents under its policy and determine whether the provider was aware of the legalities surrounding the incident.
Travel insurance may pay to replace rental car rental, or it may pay to repair your rental car. It is often difficult to determine which type of reimbursement is available to you because different products and services offer different reimbursements. For example, if you had to cancel your flight because of a medical emergency, your insurance company may only pay to replace the rental car. You would then have to obtain your own medical insurance or pay for other treatment while you wait to fly home. When purchasing travel insurance, it is important to understand all of the covered services so that you are covered whether you travel for business or pleasure. Understanding the coverage limits, exceptions, and exclusions is key to making an informed decision about your travel insurance.