Travel Insurance Podcast Transcript


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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 www.fairfaxcounty.gov/consumer. Informed Consumer is produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia, government.

 



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