Traveling can be one of life's greatest joys, but injuries or other unpleasant surprises can put a crimp in your plans. Travel insurance isn't for everyone, but if you think you might need it, here are a few things to consider:
There are many travel insurance companies competing for business so consumers have many options. Travel insurance can offset financial losses from events that derail or cut short your vacation: illness, inclement weather, lost baggage, or emergency medical treatment abroad. But the policies are full of exclusions so before you purchase one, be sure to consider these simple tips:
Figure out what you want coverage for. Are you most concerned about being reimbursed for canceled airfare, medical procedures abroad, or do you want protection against inclement weather? Not all policies cover these different scenarios. Many travel agencies have only one insurer they sell for and they will pressure you to buy it when you book your trip. You'll find more options if you shop around on your own.
- Pay attention to timing. Under some plans, you need to buy the policy within a set number of days after firming up your travel plans.
A consumer recently reported to UP that her trip insurer was denying her claim because they thought her daughter got sick BEFORE she bought her trip insurance (i.e. a "loss in progress.") If this happens to you, clearly document the sequence of events. Presenting doctor's notes, prescription receipts and other relevant paperwork to your insurer should remedy the situation.
Taking the time to research travel insurance before you depart will ensure that you will really be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy your vacation!