A lot of people don’t bother to protect their travel investment with good travel insurance. This is a bad mistake. But there is as even worse mistake people often make. They don’t take the time to understand what and how travel insurance protects them once they buy it. In particular there are four specific travel insurance coverages that people don’t understand and end up getting big surprises if they need to file a claim. Or worse yet, their travel plans are derailed because they don’t have what they need.
Here are 4 of the most misunderstood travel insurance coverages and what you need to know about them.
Trip Cancellation Coverage
When you ask people why they buy travel insurance, trip cancellation protection is the number one reason. Yet most people when they are asked what that covers they don’t really understand it. People think that if something comes up and you need to cancel your trip you will be reimbursed – maybe and maybe not. It depends on what kind of trip cancellation insurance you have.
If you get sick and can’t go, you’ll probably be covered. If you decide that something has come up and you need to reschedule a trip you won’t be unless you have purchased “cancel for any reason” insurance. People think if you have any trip cancellation insurance you’ll be covered- not so. Make sure you read the specific coverages and if you want to be able to “cancel for any reason” make sure that option is included or buy an upgrade.
Medical Evacuation coverage
Everyone hopes this coverage is never needed but if it is you want to make sure you understand what it does and that you have the coverage you need. Basically this insurance covers the expense of evacuating you to the closest medical facility that can properly treat your injury or illness. If you’re traveling on a Visa this coverage will almost certainly be required. Make sure you have it when you apply for your Visa or your trip might have to be canceled or delayed when the paper work doesn’t show up in time.
There are many other situations that can arise and you want to make sure you have what you need. All policies are different and you may need to find a specific plan to get the required coverage. Consider what would happen if you’re traveling with small children and you get sick and have to be evacuated. Some policies will make sure the children get home others don’t. If you’re traveling alone will you want to have someone be able to visit you from back home? Will you want to make the decision on what hospital or other medical facility you’re taken to?
Think about your own specific circumstances and understand what a travel policy covers before you buy. Don’t be unpleasantly surprised when it’s too late to do anything about it.
Medical Travel Coverage
If you a senior traveling make sure you have adequate health coverage. Remember Medicare and Medicaid insurance provides no coverage outside of the United States except in extremely limited situations. Plus, several of the standard Medigap policies don’t provide coverage or only limited coverage. Make sure you know what you have.
Adventure Activity Coverage
If you’re planning activities that might be considered hazardous or risky make sure you have purchased an adventure activity rider for your policy. If you’re into skiing, diving, hang gliding, or plan to do any rock climbing, you’ll want to make sure you have special coverage for these dangerous activities. If you’ll be taking along any sporting equipment make sure all those are covered.
Some insurers offer special coverage for golfers that will cover the cost of any pre-paid green fees if weather forces a cancellation of your round.
Just make sure whatever you plan to do you have proper coverage. Don’t come up short because you thought you were covered only to find out you weren’t. Understand what your travel insurance plan covers and what extra coverages you might need.