Victoria Zidwick a RoamRight Blog Author

What is Travel Insurance?

What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is a type of coverage that helps protect you if your vacation or business travel plans change. It also may provide medical coverage for emergencies that occur outside of your network.

There are a number of travel insurance coverages that are important to know as you compare plans and look for the one that best fits your needs. Keep in mind, that as travel plans may change, so may your coverage needs. A road trip to a nearby city may warrant different coverage than an international adventure trip.

The benefits and features outlined below vary from plan to plan. You can click on each listing for a more detailed description of each travel insurance feature, including exclusions and limits.

Should I Buy Travel Insurance?

It is always recommended that you buy travel insurance prior to your trip. There are many circumstances when travel insurance can come in handy before and during your travels, and it is very common for travel to be complicated by the unforeseen:

  • Trip Cancellation coverage is helpful if your child gets sick and can no longer go on the family trip.
  • Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expense coverage can help if you experience a medical emergency, such as a heart attack, while traveling far from home.
  • Security Evacuation benefits can help get you to safety if you are stranded due to a devastating earthquake.
  • Baggage & Personal Effects Coverage can provide you with coverage for essentials that you need to purchase while the airline searches for your lost luggage.

How Does Travel Insurance Work?

Travel insurance provides pre-trip benefits, such as trip cancellation coverage, as well as on-trip benefits, such as trip interruption, emergency medical coverage, and more.

When you start paying for your trip, you should also purchase your travel insurance, as there are some benefits that are time-sensitive and must be purchased shortly after your initial trip deposit. Coverages, benefit limits, terms, and exclusion vary from plan to plan, so you should be sure to read the policy details before purchasing.

If you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason before you depart, or if you experience a covered event while on your trip, you can file a claim for the covered expenses. Claims can be initiated and filed online, via mail, or via fax. The plan’s policy language will explain when and if an event is covered; this is the document that the claims examiner will use to determine if a claim can be paid, along with any documentation you are required to submit in support of your claim.

When you have provided all of the necessary information, a claims examiner will then analyze your claim and issue a payment decision.

What Travel Insurance Doesn’t Cover

While every travel insurance plan varies, there are a number of circumstances that are not covered by most travel insurance plans.

These include losses due to:

  • A pre-existing medical condition, unless you obtained a Waiver of Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion at the time of purchase;
  • Cancellation as a result of simply changing your mind about traveling, unless the optional Cancel for Any Reason upgrade was purchased;
  • Cancellation, interruption, or displeasure caused by less than optimal weather, such as lack of snow during a ski trip, unless the optional Cancel for Any Reason upgrade was purchased;
  • Trips taken specifically to obtain a medical procedure not available in your home country (medical tourism);
  • Self-inflicted harm or loss of life, suicide;
  • Injuries or death that occurs when under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Injuries obtained while participating in a professional in a sporting event.

For a comprehensive list of exclusions, you should consult the travel insurance policy prior to purchasing.

When Is Travel Insurance Unnecessary?

Travel insurance provides coverage for trips taken where the destination is 100 miles or more away from your home.

Every person’s travel scenario is different. If you are unsure if you should purchase travel insurance for your upcoming trip, you should consult with a licensed travel insurance agent by calling Arch RoamRight at 855-762-6744.

In general, travel insurance may be deemed unnecessary if:

  • You are not traveling to a destination 100 miles or further from home;
  • You are willing to accept the financial impact of not receiving any refund in the event you are unable to take the trip; and
  • You are traveling to a country in which your domestic medical health insurance plan provides you with full coverage and direct payment to the provider in the event of an emergency medical incident.

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About the Author

Victoria Zidwick

Victoria Zidwick, a RoamRight Blog Author RoamRight's Marketing Communications Specialist, Victoria Zidwick, has worked in the travel insurance industry for more than five years. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States and has a handful of international travel experiences.Victoria's travel experiences have changed in recent years, as her family grows and she is learning the ins and outs of traveling with children. Connect with Victoria on LinkedIn or follow her onTwitter or Google Plus.

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