With the increased cost of travel, many consumers are deciding that it is a good idea to purchase travel insurance. But once they begin doing the research, they find that travel insurance is not as cheap as many believe it is.
The cost has increased simply because the travel costs have increased but that means that consumers are being much more vigilant in learning what their travel insurance will cover.
They are reading the fine print and learning about all of the situations that insurance won’t cover. It is all in an effort to buy travel insurance cheap but still get a policy that offers useful coverage.
Be Honest About Medical Issues
When you begin to fill out the forms for your travel insurance coverage, you might be tempted to omit or gloss over some medical conditions that are pre-existing but that is a very bad idea. You might be doing it simply to save time on the application process or you might be doing it to get a better rate. But the result could be very costly for you in the long run. One big benefit to travel insurance is the coverage for medical care if you are away from home and your regular medical providers. But if the insurance company learns that you are being treated for a condition that you knew you had or one that you are taking prescribed medication for, then your claim and coverage will most likely be denied. The only way that it would be covered is if you had declared the condition when completing your application. So in this case, as in most, honesty is the best policy to ensure that you will be eligible for medical care under your travel insurance policy.
Know Your Policy Limits
Another reason that many travelers are seeking insurance is to cover expensive items that they will be taking with them when they are traveling. In today’s connected world, many travelers are carrying a laptop or tablet, an expensive smartphone and even music storage devices and wireless speakers. The value of all of this technology adds up quickly and consumers want to know that their items will be covered for replacement costs if they are damaged, broken or stolen. The problem arises when travelers don’t read the fine print about the actual dollar amount of their coverage for expensive items. Some travel insurance limits the amount of coverage for electronics while other policies limit coverage on personal items such as luggage or clothing. You want to be sure that you buy enough coverage to actually replace the items that you are taking. If you don’t purchase adequate coverage then you are basically wasting the money that you are spending on the travel insurance policy.
Are You a Thrill Seeker?
If you enjoy trying new activities or taking part in certain sports or activities such as skydiving, scuba diving or riding motorcycles when you travel, then you will want to make sure that all of those are covered under your travel insurance policy. Many times, there are certain activities which are considered to be higher risk than normal activities and these are not covered under most travel insurance policies. In many cases you can declare that you will be flying, diving or taking part in such activities and then purchase additional coverage. Again, being honest is a big part of getting the coverage that you need and want. It is never worth taking the risk of only having partial coverage just to save a few dollars.
Happy Hour Could Be Expensive
Another common exclusion on many policies is alcohol. If you have consumed alcohol and are determined to be under the influence, then you might have voided your travel insurance. This could be an issue if you are seeking medical care for an accident as simple as falling and needing a few stitches or something more serious which requires surgery. In addition, consuming alcohol could be a factor in coverage for a vehicle accident or even missing a flight or being denied access to your flight. It is never a good idea to consume too much alcohol but even a little bit can have a big impact on your travel insurance coverage.
Who Are You Close To?
Another aspect of travel insurance that many people don’t review or even think about is who in your travel party is covered. Most policies will cover “close” family. But you need to speak to a representative to determine exactly what the company defines as a close family member. In some cases it will cover immediate family, meaning spouse and children while other policies will cover parents as well. It is important to know this information before making a purchase. You never want to be surprised by the coverage or lack of coverage when you are trying to make a claim or get medical treatment for someone in your travel party.
Making a Claim
Insurance is one of those things that you purchase and hope that you never need to use. But when you do need to use it, you will certainly be glad that you have it. There are a few tips that you will want to know to make filing your claim a little easier. First, many times you need receipts to prove that you did own the items that you are claiming were lost in your luggage. The dates don’t really matter you just need proof that they were purchased. You should also always try to carry valuable items in your carry-on baggage and not in luggage that you are checking. Some policies will not cover expensive items that were in checked luggage. And if items were stolen, you should file a police report and get a copy of the report to submit to the travel insurance provider. Travel insurance is a good way to take every precaution with your possessions when you are not at home. It is also a good way to know that you will have access to medical care anywhere in the world, but this security comes at a price. Buying travel insurance cheap is possible but you want to know what you are buying and be sure that it will work for you and everyone in your travel party.