The most common sources of trip cancellations or interruptions are due to canceled or postponed trips, medical emergencies, and lost or damaged baggage. A good travel insurance policy can add anywhere from 4% to 8% of the cost of the trip.
Be an informed consumer. Before you purchase a travel insurance policy, review the following tips and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
What Is Covered and What Is Not
- Ask your credit card company if they provide travel assistance which may help you eliminate duplication of the coverage.
- Some credit cards offer accidental death and dismemberment, while flying if you use your card to purchase your plane tickets
- Your medical insurance may provide coverage often duplicated in some travel policies.
- Pre-existing medical conditions may be excluded. Check to determine whether they are covered.
- If you have recently been diagnosed with a medical condition, verify coverage immediately with the insurance provider.
- Typical medical coverage includes accidental death or dismemberment. This may also be duplicated in your life insurance policy.
- Some private health care plans limit coverage outside the United States, a gap which may be bridged by travel insurance.
- Medicare will not cover health care expenses outside the United States.
- “Acts of God,” terrorism, war, or outbreaks of disease may be excluded in some policies.
- Check if you are covered if your trip was canceled or cut short due to a hurricane. Most policies apply if you purchased your policy before a hurricane was named, and if the destination is under a mandatory evacuation order.
- Medical evacuation costs can be substantial if you have to be airlifted from a cruise ship or out of a disaster area. Find out if the policy includes emergency medical evacuations at no additional cost.
- Read the fine print of a travel insurance policy carefully, before you buy.
- Call the Bureau of Insurance, at 1-800-552-7945 to find out if the travel insurance company is registered in Virginia or if you have an insurance-related complaint.