Travel Insurance FAQ
What is travel insurance?
Travel protection is a combination of travel insurance and 24-hour emergency assistance services designed to give you peace of mind when you travel. Travel insurance generally includes a variety of protections for the traveler including, health, ticketing, luggage, property and security losses.
Why do I need travel insurance?
You need travel insurance because it lets you travel with a strong sense of security. Travel insurance is a financial investment (up to the amount of your policy limits) should your trip be cancelled or interrupted for a covered reason, and it guards your health in case of medical emergencies. Here are a few of the possible benefits you’ll enjoy:
- Reimbursement of the non-refunded portion of your travel investment if your trip is cancelled or interrupted for a covered reason
- 24-hour access to emergency medical referrals and assistance
- Reimbursement for unexpected travel expenses
- Protection in case of medical emergencies
- Arrangement of and payment for Emergency medical transportation
** See our article “Why do I need Travel Insurance?” for more information.
What does travel insurance cover?
The travel insurance assures that you’ll be reimbursed for non-refundable financial expenses associated with a cancelled or interrupted trip, lost baggage, or medical emergencies (Exclusions may apply, depending upon the policy you purchase).
Travel insurance generally covers most of the following benefits for the insured.
- Trip Cancellation
- Trip Interruption
- Flight Insurance
- Emergency Medical Transportation
- Emergency Medical / Dental Coverage
- Collision/Loss Damage for Rental Cars
- Lost or Stolen Baggage
- Baggage Delay
- Travel Delay
- Missed Connection
- Vehicle Return Benefit
When is the best time to purchase travel insurance in order to be covered?
You can buy travel insurance up until the day before you leave on your trip. If you want coverage for pre-existing conditions, and/or supplier default, make sure you buy travel insurance within 7 or 14 days, depending on the program you purchase, of paying your initial deposit for the trip.
Won’t my credit card, homeowner’s policy, or medical insurance give me the coverage I need when I’m traveling?
Not necessarily. You should check these policies before you travel to assess just how you would be covered in case you have an emergency.
Credit cards and homeowner’s policies. Many credit cards and homeowner’s policies don’t cover everything you need to protect, including some types of emergencies and trip cancellation/interruption. If they do provide coverage, it’s often limited, depending on the type of card you use or the coverage you have with your homeowner’s policy.
Health insurance. Most health insurance plans don’t provide direct payment to foreign hospitals. They may also have deductibles and won’t cover the cost of emergency medical transportation.
Do Travel Insurers have 24-hour hotline services for me?
Most Travel Insurers have a dedicated 24-hour hotline staffed with multilingual specialists who can help you with all types of situations from anywhere in the world, from reporting lost baggage to getting emergency medical treatment.
They can also help you replace passports, refer you to legal assistance, secure cash in case of emergency and guarantee payment to gain admission into a hospital.
If I cancel my trip, do I get all of my money back?
No. Trip cancellation coverage refunds prepaid, nonrefundable payments if you have to cancel your trip for one of the reasons covered by your policy. Covered reasons include the following: sudden medical emergencies, financial default of a covered airline, cruise line or tour operator, bad weather, terrorist incidents, and jury duty. Changing your mind about taking a trip or having certain business obligations are not covered. If you cancel your trip for a covered reason, you must notify your travel supplier(s) within 72 hours of the occurrence, otherwise the right to compensation may lapse.
What is included under non-refundable costs?
Non-refundable costs include the total sum of all of your trip payments that would be forfeited due to cancellation prior to trip departure. Some examples include cruise, tour and airline ticket costs. Be sure to consult your travel coordinator to determine what costs are non-refundable for your particular trip as cancellation policies vary. Examples:
- Cruise – If a cruise costs $3,000 and the cruise policy is 50% loss at 90 days out, 75% loss at 45 days out and 100% loss up to 7 days within departure, you would need to insure for the full $3,000 since you would be out the full amount in the event you cancelled within the week before departure.
- Airline – If an airline ticket costs $700, and the ticket is 100% non-refundable at the time of purchase, you would need to insure for the full $700 in order to qualify for the pre-existing conditions waiver (other requirements still apply).
Are there events or medical conditions that aren’t covered?
Every travel insurance policy contains restrictions and limitations. For information about what your coverage includes, you should consult your travel Insurer to clarify the exact terms of the policy as most travel insurance policies vary in their coverage and allowances.
Will I have to pay any deductibles?
Many Travel Insurance policies do have deductibles in their plans. Some policies may have a $50.00 deductible for Medical and Dental. Please refer to your letter of confirmation from your insurer to determine if you have a deductible. You may also have deductibles through your primary insurance. Check the policy details to be sure.
What is an existing medical condition?
An existing medical condition is an illness or injury that you, a traveling companion or family member were seeking or receiving treatment for or had symptoms of on the day you purchased your travel insurance, or at any time in the 120 days before you purchased it. Please also note that you may still be covered for losses caused by reasons other than those related to an existing medical condition. See the Certificate of Insurance / Policy for details.
What is the existing medical conditions exclusion?
Some Travel Insurance policies do not cover losses or expenses if they result from an illness or injury that you, a traveling companion or family member were seeking or receiving treatment for or had symptoms of on the day you purchased your plan, or at any time in the 120 days before you purchased it.
If I have an existing medical condition, can I still purchase insurance?
Yes. Most Travel Insurance policies offer existing medical condition coverage. Generally, in order to have the existing medical condition covered, you must meet the following criteria:
- you must purchase your plan within 14 days of making your first trip payment or first trip deposit.
- you must purchase trip cancellation coverage that covers the full cost of all your non-refundable trip arrangements.
- you must be resident of the country in which you purchased the travel insurance and be medically able to travel on the day you purchased the travel insurance.
- also, many insurers have a requirement on the total insured cost of the travel in the policy. Example: A total cost of your trip is $50,000 or less.
Please also note that you may still be covered for losses caused by other reasons other than those related to an existing medical condition. See the Certificate of Insurance / Policy for details.
What does Medically Able mean?
Medically Able means that, at the time of purchase of insurance, you had no illness or injury (of which a prudent person would reasonably know or be aware) that would prevent or substantially interfere with your ability to travel. Some factors to consider when determining if your condition prevents or substantially interferes with your ability to travel, include: 1) whether you recently had a significant change in medication, 2) whether you require medical assistance or ongoing treatment, or 3) whether you have a medical procedure scheduled in the period between your trip purchase and planned departure dates (for which continuing side effects are known or likely to occur).
How will travel insurance help me if my travel supplier defaults?
Subject to your plan’s terms and conditions, you should be covered for the specified amount of Trip Cancellation/Interruption you purchased in the event a Covered Supplier financially defaults. Coverage applies to non-refundable payments and deposits you made before your trip was cancelled, less any published refunds you’re entitled to receive.
Disclaimer: This list of FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is intended to provide only general information and is not intended nor provided as financial advice. Please consult your financial professional for more informed advice on travel insurance.