Sitting in a recent seminar with travel agents that covered important aspects of the travel insurance market was an eye-opening experience. There are a number of obvious reasons to buy travel insurance, like protecting your travel investment and getting medical assistance abroad, and while these things seem important to us on a daily basis, we often forgo insurance. You may want to wonder why, insured and uninsured, especially after listening to travel agents and insurance representatives talk about some of the crazy things that have happened to their clients.
Travel agents are there to help you with your trip planning and to advocate for you while you travel. But while they can help fix flight delays and help with hotel upgrades, they can’t do much for you in the event of a disaster if you haven’t purchased the right coverage for your trip.
Here are some tips when considering travel insurance:
“The number one reason is that the cost of vacations has increased over the years. Now you can lose thousands of dollars on a canceled trip. Consumers should protect their investment and also be covered if something happens on their trip, ”says Sheri Machet, from insurance provider MH Ross.
Phil Drennen of Travel Insurance Cente r advises consumers to consider their tolerance for risk.
“Some people may not care about the cost of the vacation, but they do mind being evacuated in an emergency,” he said.
Travel insurance comes in many forms, so travelers should consider what is important to them before they travel. Drennen advises consumers to consider how much money they are investing in the vacation and how much it is worth to them if they want to cancel.
One of the trickiest parts of the travel insurance buying process is figuring out what to do from a medical point of view. As a consumer, you need to know what your health plan covers and consider a number of factors that could occur on or before the trip.
“Medicare coverage has an out-of-pocket cost of more than 10k,” says Drennen.
And it advises those with Medicare to buy a primary insurance plan.
“ACA (Obamacare) coverage plans don’t have a lot of travel insurance coverage, so make sure you understand the coverage. Many ACA plans have zero coverage outside of the United States, ”says Machet.
To top it all, pre-existing conditions are still a factor in the purchase and coverage that travel insurance provides. There are so-called “reviews,” which mean that insurance companies will consider your record of health care for 60 days, 120 days, or longer for pre-existing medical conditions. The rules, however, are not that strict. Maintained pre-existing conditions do not count.
In case you have to ask your insurance provider to cover your trip due to a loved one’s medical condition, there are conditions with that as well. There are flashbacks in family members who do not travel, however they have a different threshold to meet than those with pre-existing conditions.
Ultimately, despite the myriad options available when it comes to insurance coverage, traveling without it is a mistake. You never know what can happen, and sometimes the unexpected cannot be avoided. Insurance coverage is usually relatively inexpensive, and having something rather than nothing is always a better option.