If you are planning an overseas vacation, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance. For most vacations, people typically skip travel insurance because they do not want the added travel expense or they do not feel it is necessary based on their travel plans. However, traveling overseas often requires more planning and more money; therefore, you need to protect this investment. In addition to getting a copy of the travel insurance policy in writing, below are some important questions to ask before buying a policy.
1. Do I get a bonus for buying early? You want to do your homework in advance and be ready to buy travel insurance when you book your trip. Waiting until closer to your travel date can cost you more money for less coverage. However, do not always assume that the travel insurance offered through your travel agency or airline is the best. Shop around for the best prices and coverage before you book your travel arrangements.
2. How do I contact you in case of emergency? Make sure that you have the 24-hour emergency telephone number that you can use from your destination to call for assistance in the event of an emergency. Also, make sure that you understand how to reach the company before, during and after your trip. In an emergency, the last thing you want to be doing is searching for a telephone number.
3. How does the insurance pay for costs or damages? Be clear what you will need to pay for up front and request reimbursement and what the company will pay for you. Most policies require that you file forms for reimbursement of costs so get copies of those forms and have them ready. Know what documentation you will need to file with the forms for reimbursement so you can request receipts or statements in case of a claim.
4. What are the exceptions to my cancellation clause? This is where travel insurance can get tricky. Make sure that you read all the fine print and understand any exceptions that may not be covered for trip cancellations. For example, if you are sick with the flu and cannot travel, is this covered or are you just out of luck.
5. When does coverage begin and end? This is important to know because if something was to occur outside of this range you will not be covered. For example, if coverage does not begin until you “arrive” at your destination, then airline delays, cancellations or other emergencies may not be covered in the policy. Ask before you purchase.
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