Navigating the travel insurance landscape can be tricky. There may be a number of travel insurance terms that you aren’t familiar with, or you may have a unique travel scenario that you want to make sure is covered. Or maybe you just want to make sure the provider you are considering is reputable, both in customer service as well its ability to pay claims.
These are concerns many travelers have every day when exploring their travel insurance options. By following these tips, you may be better equipped to pick a travel insurance provider and plan that best fits your travel needs.
Coverages to Look For
Many of the benefits that you will find in a travel insurance plan are fairly standard throughout the industry. Benefits such as trip cancellation, emergency medical coverage, and lost/stolen luggage coverage can be found in most travel insurance plans, regardless of the insurance provider.
The coverages you need to look for can depend on your own unique travel circumstances. As always, coverages, conditions and exclusions vary from plan to plan and provider to provider. Before you purchase a travel insurance plan, it is recommended that you review the policy carefully.
Concerned about non-refundable deposits in the event you have to cancel your trip?
Look for plans with trip cancellation coverage which can provide coverage for cancelling trips that have non-refundable deposits, such as hotel or rental house bookings.
Traveling to a remote destination with sub-par medical facilities?
If you are planning a trip to remote areas such as Africa or the Arctic, you might want to pay close attention to the plan’s emergency medical evacuation coverage and the benefit limits.
Medical emergencies suffered in these remote areas can present a unique set of challenges, especially when local medical facilities may not be equipped to handle the emergency. These emergencies often require medical evacuations – sometimes by ground ambulance, sometimes by air ambulance, and sometimes by helicopter, any of which can be costly to the traveler.
Traveling with a pre-existing condition?
Some travel insurance policies will offer a Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion waiver that broaden the trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits so that they may insure covered events resulting from pre-existing conditions. Not all travel insurance plan offer a waiver of this exclusion, and those that do have conditions that must be met in order to be eligible.
For example, to be eligible for a Pre-Existing Conditions waiver under an eligible Arch RoamRight plan, the traveler must purchase the plan within 21 days of their initial trip deposit, must insure the entire non-refundable cost of the trip, cannot be disabled from travel at the time the premium is paid, and it must be their first and only booking for this time period and destination. This feature is not available on all Arch RoamRight plans, so be sure to check your benefits or talk to our customer service team if it is important to you.
Common Travel Insurance Exclusions
While exclusions can vary by plan and by provider, there are a number of things that are not covered by most travel insurance plans.
These common exclusions can include:
- Any injury, damage, or other claimable event caused as a result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Any injury, damage, or other claimable event occurring during an attempted felony;
- Trip cancellation due to a change of mind about traveling, unless you purchased a Cancel for Any Reason upgrade;
- A trip where the sole purpose is to obtain medical treatment, also known as medical tourism;
- Injury or death resulting from suicide, attempted suicide, or self-harm;
- High-risk sports, such as bungee jumping and hang gliding, unless a hazardous sports upgrade is purchased.
If you are unsure about what is excluded in the plan you are considering, you can review the policy document yourself or contact the travel insurance provider directly.
Types: Single-Trip vs. Multi-Trip
Many travel insurance providers will offer two types of travel insurance plans: single-trip and multi-trip.
A single-trip travel insurance plan provides coverage for a single, standalone trip, like a week’s vacation in London or a month spent exploring eastern Asia.
Multi-trip plans, or annual plans, are designed for the frequent travelers who want to insure all the trips they take within a year, up to a trip cost and trip length limit. That means the February road trip to visit family in Chicago and the babymoon spent in France can both be insured under the same multi-trip plan.
Tips for Researching the Provider
Now that you have compared plan benefits and coverages, you should probably make sure the provider of the insurance is reputable and is recommended by people who have purchased a policy from them before – and even those who have filed a claim. You may also want to make sure they have features that can save you time and headache.
One of the most accurate ways to get a sense of a company is to read reviews about them. There are a number of third party review sites that have thousands of reviews for travel insurance providers. Some of the best review sites include Google Reviews and TrustPilot.
The best part about Google Reviews and TrustPilot is that they are third-party sites that do not include affiliate links or accept any other compensation in return for positive reviews.
Financial and Trust Ratings
It is also recommended that you research the financial stability of the travel insurance plan’s underwriter. You can typically find who underwrites the provider’s travel insurance policy on their website. Once you find the underwriter, you should go to websites such as A.M. Best to check their credit rating. You can also go to the Better Business Bureau’s website to see how they are rated when it comes to trustworthiness.
Technology and Other Services
Are you someone who appreciates the ability to do something entirely online, or utilize technology to make a complicated process simple?
Make sure your travel insurance provider offers technology solutions for things such as claim services. When a provider says they offer online claims filing, does that mean you have to print out a PDF, fill it out by hand, then scan and email it to them? Or do they have a dedicated website where you can type in all of your claim details?
Other technology you may want to consider is if they have a mobile app that can store travel documents such as your policy and ID card. Will they alert you if there are travel disruptions in your area? A company that uses technology to the benefit of the travelers is one that likely has your best interest in mind all the time.
As you start shopping for a travel insurance policy, get a quote online from RoamRight.com. If you aren’t ready to purchase a policy yet, you can email your quote to yourself to save it. Get started by visiting www.roamright.com.