Travel Tip- Travel (Trip) Insurance
Travel insurance (also known as trip insurance) is
an important consideration when preparing for a vacation. Many travelers
base their opinions on the need for travel insurance on mistaken
information. To help you decide whether travel insurance is for you,
read the following article
Few people anticipate unexpected illness or tragedy when planning a
vacation. We feel that it is prudent to consider the possibility that
health problems or accidental injury might happen to you or a
member of your party during your vacation. Trip insurance is designed to
protect you when the unexpected strikes.
As a rule, travel insurance makes more sense the further you travel from
home or if the investment in your planned vacation represents a
substantial expense. Once you depart the United States, the advantage of
having travel insurance increases significantly, since the insurance
that you have at home (automobile, property, and medical) may not cover
you in other countries.
The “whys” of trip insurance
First, consider what happens to your prepaid trip expenses if you should
become ill and unable to depart on schedule. If your travel arrangements
include airline tickets, cruise tickets, or tour and hotel reservations
with nonrefundable fees or penalties, an unexpected cancellation can
cost you thousands of dollars. In this case, insurance covering trip
cancellation would be a wise investment.
Next, estimate the financial consequences should you, or anyone in your
party, be involved in an accident, or take ill during your travels. In
most cases, your present medical insurance either will not cover
treatment for illness outside of the U.S., or will pay only a reduced
portion of the expense. In any case, it is unlikely that your care
provider abroad will release a patient from hospitalization without full
payment of the expense.
Consider that you may fall ill in locations where there are no medical
facilities, or where existing facilities are inadequate to treat your
condition. It is possible that you could require medical evacuation to a
place where proper treatment is available, perhaps, all the way back to
the U.S. Most standard medical insurance (e.g. Blue Cross) does not
provide for medical evacuation when you are outside of the U.S. A
medical evacuation to the U.S. from Europe can cost in excess of
If you are concerned about any of the issues raised above, look into
purchasing trip insurance that provides for medical coverage including
Insurance Benefits Description
If you are interested in purchasing trip insurance, consider a policy
that provides the following benefits:
• Trip cancellation/interruption: protects your
investment if you need to cancel for valid reasons (check each carrier's
policy for specific coverage).
• Emergency medical/dental coverage (check to see if the policy
reimburses you, or pays the provider directly)
• Emergency medical evacuation/transportation
• Baggage loss or delay
• Travel delay
• Missed cruise or tour connection (if applicable)
Issues to Consider When Purchasing Trip Insurance
1. Compare policies and
benefits, and then determine the coverage you will need to protect your
vacation investment. Various websites compare the policies provided by
major carriers and serve as an online agent for purchasing a policy.
2. Make sure that the carrier is
reputable by comparing their coverage with coverage provided by other
reliable firms. If there is a major discrepancy on cost, it is likely
that there is a substantial difference in the coverage provided. Read
the fine print. If still, in doubt, call and ask the opinion of a travel
3. In most cases you need to purchase
this insurance within a short time of booking your trip (in many cases
you must purchase the insurance by or on the date you make reservations
or pay fees).
- The amount of time varies by insurance carrier,
and you should pay attention to the requirements, or you may find that
you have delayed too long to acquire insurance.
the protection that the policy offers.
- Primary coverage means that the carrier will pay
your bill and not require you to file claims with your other insurance
carrier (the ones that you have covering home, health, or automobiles).
- Secondary coverage means that the carrier will
not pay until you have filed a claim with your primary carrier, and they
have paid the bill, or until the limits of the primary coverage are
- Tertiary coverage means that the carrier pays
only when primary and secondary coverage has paid the claim, or when the
limits on both have been reached.
- You will pay more for trip insurance when the
coverage offered is primary. In addition, primary coverage may not be a
good value depending on whether or not your existing insurance policies
(e.g. health or homeowners.) provide coverage for specific instances of
travel related injury or illness.
- Always ask your insurance agent or a
representative of your insurance carrier to explain the limitations
of your standard insurance coverage.
5. Pay close
attention to the types of medical emergencies that are covered by the
policy. If situations of specific concern to you are not covered, shop
around for another carrier. You will be spending hard-earned cash on
insurance, and you should make sure that you are satisfied with the
protection it provides.
Ask if the carrier has 24-7 (24 hours a day, seven days a week),
toll-free, phone assistance and operators who can converse in English.
In other words, ensure that the Company will always be available to
serve your needs in an emergency.
7. You may not want to purchase travel
insurance from the same Company that is managing your tour or cruise. If
the Company fails, you could lose the expense of the tour and the cost
of the insurance. If you elect to go with another insurance carrier,
make sure that the insurance is fully reimbursable, if the tour operator
or cruise line goes out of business.
If you have any other
concerns, make sure you discuss them with a qualified insurance agent
before you purchase the insurance
Finally, if you purchase trip
insurance, make sure that you carry a copy of the policy with you on
your travels. The trip insurance policy is a very important document,
make a copy and carry it in a secure location while you travel. Also,
make sure that you have the contact number or numbers that you will need
to contact the Service in case of emergency.
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