Travel Insurance Podcast Transcript


Welcome to the Informed Consumer, providing the latest tips and tools to assist consumers in making informed decisions, from the Fairfax County Consumer Affairs Branch.

Today’s topic: Travel Insurance.

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 Virginia State Corporation Commission, 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. 

Thanks for listening to the Informed Consumer. For more information on this topic or if you feel that you’ve been a victim of a scam, please contact the Consumer Affairs Branch at 703-222-8435 or visit our web site at Informed Consumer is produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia, government.


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