The most common issues or difficulties with travel insurance involve limitations to the coverage. You need to make sure you buy the proper insurance at the right time. You also need to understand what is included and whether any riders or add-ons will be necessary.
Quick List of Common Issues
• How much to buy
• When to buy the policy
• How long to extend the policy
• What is included in the policy
• Age factors
• Health factors
• Add-ons or riders for specific trips
• Other factors that will disqualify the traveler
• Claim procedures
How Much Travel Insurance Should You Buy?
It can be a nagging worry. Did you buy enough travel insurance? Or maybe too much? Will the coverage meet your needs or blow your vacation budget? Be sure to think through all of the risk factors carefully and decide on the extent of coverage that will allow you to relax and enjoy your trip.
When you are pre-paying for a luxury or extended vacation and bookings are non-refundable (for example, airline and cruise tickets), trip cancellation insurance is a wise choice. Travel medical coverage can be chosen according to your needs and baggage insurance may be an add on that you want to consider. Weighing the risks and the cost of insurance will help you to make the right decision.
When to Buy Your Travel Insurance Policy?
It’s important that you buy any trip cancellation insurance within 48 hours of booking a pre-paid vacation. Often, once you’ve passed that window of time, the insurance company may not approve you and you’ll be stuck either risking not having coverage or paying exorbitant prices from the cruise line, airline or resort.
What Is Included In Your Travel Insurance Policy?
This is information you need to gather during the travel insurance quote process – before you purchase a policy! It’s vital that you understand everything that is covered and any exclusions that may apply. Read through the paperwork the insurance company sends with the policy and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Many travelers choose the wrong type of travel insurance policy because they didn’t take the time to read everything that was in it.
The type of Canadian travel insurance policy you buy may be determined by your age. If you’re over 60 you might only be able to purchase insurance on a trip-by-trip basis. If you are over 75 (or 80 at some insurance companies), you may not qualify for travel health insurance at all. Also, infants may be automatically included in a family policy or may only require a rider to be put into place.
It is vital that you fully disclose any pre-existing conditions. This includes letting the agent know of any medication you are currently on and anything your doctor has been monitoring. In some cases, a note from a doctor detailing your condition may be required.
This is where the fine print on a policy can make a big difference. If you have a heart condition, for example, it’s important that you choose a policy that will cover emergencies involving the heart. Pay close attention to any exclusions and be sure to disclose your health information to ensure that you are covered, and that you won’t be denied in the event of a claim because the condition was pre-existing or not disclosed.
Add-Ons or Riders For Specific Trips
You may want to add-on additional coverage or a rider if your family is going away to a wedding or other special event. Special events often bring special circumstances that require special coverage. Other times you may be purchasing tickets for activities on the trip that will need to be covered. Green fees and ski lift tickets are perfect examples. One of the leading Canadian travel insurance providers offers a Golf/Ski Upgrade rider that will cover your pre-paid fees and lift tickets in the case of emergency.
Other Factors That May Disqualify the Traveler
Another factor that can disqualify a traveler from insurance coverage is their activities while vacationing. Potentially dangerous sports are not generally covered, nor are injuries inflicted from warfare or substance abuse. Also, elective surgeries or non-emergency medical services are not covered under most travel insurance policies.
This figure can change the price of your package dramatically, but can also cost you a lot if a problem occurs where you need to make a claim. Be sure that you’re comfortable with the level of your deductible and if necessary, use it to obtain the best price for your budget.
This is an area of common complaints from the insured parties who are trying to claim for their travel insurance. Long wait times, inaccurate details and unending paperwork are just some of the complaints. Be sure to choose a travel insurance company that has a good reputation for claims management.
Find out whether they will pay directly for the medical services or whether you need to come up the cash up front and save the receipts. Also, some insurance companies will bring you back to Canada for major treatments , while others will not cover the cost of emergency transportation – forcing you to be treated abroad, or waiting until you are stable enough for regular transport home. Having a toll-free number for round the clock access or a local agent within the visiting country are both excellent perks.
There are plenty of important details to work out ahead of time and the claims procedures and reputation for claims management should be a major deciding factor in where you purchase your travel insurance policy.
When purchasing travel insurance, a little bit of diligence goes a long way. The policies and options might sound complicated, but their intent is to protect the traveler (you) from unforeseen complications of travel. Find a broker or agent who will work hard to get you the right travel insurance for your needs