What does travel insurance cover? [Boss Insurance]

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Roseann Freitas, Public Relations and Communications Manager for the Better Business Bureau, Great West & Pacific, joins producer/host Coralie Chun Matayoshi to discuss travel insurance for unforeseen travel-related risks such as flight cancellations, baggage loss, medical emergencies and car rental insurance.

Flight cancellations

According to the US Department of Transportation, if an airline cancels your flight and you choose not to travel, the airline must provide you with a full refund.

Travel insurance is used when you (the traveler) have to cancel your travel plans. Make sure you understand all the details of the agreement, including the reason for the trip cancellation or delay. Some travel insurance policies will not cover trip cancellation for reasons such as health condition, terrorist attack, pandemic or bad weather. Be sure to read the policy carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

If all of your reservations can be canceled without penalty, trip cancellation or interruption coverage is not necessary, but you can always consider purchasing a standalone travel medical insurance policy to protect yourself in the event of a medical emergency during your trip.

Flight changes or delays

The US Department of Transportation requires airlines to reimburse you in full if your flight is significantly changed or delayed, but it’s up to each airline to decide whether they will cover incidental costs such as hotel and meals.

Many policies include benefits for alternative transportation, accommodation and meal expenses if the carrier is delayed for a period of time, and reimbursement for essential items like clothing and toiletries if baggage is delayed by a carrier. Aerial.

Lost Lluggage

Airlines are required to compensate passengers for lost, delayed or damaged baggage up to a certain limit. It’s best not to carry expensive items in your luggage, but if you do, travel insurance may cover excess losses beyond the airline’s limit.

Medical emergencies

Medical coverage is generally not necessary if you have a US-based health insurance policy and are traveling to the United States, as you likely already have adequate coverage for illnesses or injuries that occur outside of anywhere in the United States.

However, if you become ill or injured while traveling abroad, some health insurance policies like Medicare may not cover you. Even if your health insurance covers you out of the country, doctors at your destination may not accept your insurance and services such as emergency medical evacuation may be excluded.

Car Rental Accidents

Check to see if your own auto insurance policy covers car rentals. Some travel insurance policies may cover rental car collision as an additional option with an additional premium, or you can purchase insurance directly from the car rental company.

Credit card company coverage

If you use a credit card to make large purchases, there is usually additional protection for those purchases. If you used a credit card to pay for some or all of your vacation plans, contact the financial institution to find out what type of coverage is included. You may also have the option of purchasing travel insurance from a credit card company.

Existing insurance coverage

You may already have adequate protection from your existing insurance policies. Contact your health, car, home or tenant insurance. Read the policy wording carefully to determine what is covered and what is excluded. Find out if you are covered in the event of illness or theft, and if this coverage changes if you travel abroad. This is especially important if you or the people you are traveling with have health issues.

You may also be able to temporarily purchase additional coverage through your current home or renter’s insurance policy to temporarily protect expensive equipment, jewelry, or other possessions you plan to take with you. Contact your current provider to discuss your options.

Once you understand what coverage is offered by your current policies and credit card companies, figure out what additional coverage you might need. Are you covered in the event of a medical emergency during your trip? What happens if you need to cancel? Consider how much you’re spending on the trip and whether you’re willing to take on additional financial burdens if something goes wrong.

Typical exclusions

Incidents not covered by your travel insurance vary by policy and provider. Pre-existing medical conditions are often excluded from coverage, so claims related to this condition would not be covered. Many policies do not cover dangerous activities like skydiving or injuries caused by self-inflicted conditions such as alcohol or drug use. Pandemics are often excluded from policies, but some insurers make exceptions for policies already in force. If you want complete flexibility to cancel your travel plans, some policies allow you to purchase a Add-on Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR).

JCost of travel insurance

Travel insurance usually costs between 5 and 7% of the cost of your trip. You can purchase an individual policy, a policy that covers your whole family, a single trip, multiple trips or a full year.

Tips to consider when buying travel insurance

Travel insurance is intended to help you in the event of unforeseen events, not in the event of forecast hurricanes. Once an event is a “known event”, i.e. it has been planned or anticipated, it may not be considered a covered reason for cancellation if a traveler books travel after that date. date. Be aware of travel advisories issued by the US Department of State.

Policies vary. Before buying a policy or trying to file a claim, read the details about what the policy does and does not cover. Contact the insurance company directly with any questions.

Read the fine print. If a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policy has been purchased, confirm the specific wording of the policy for full details regarding this benefit before filing a claim.

Be flexible with travel plans. Dates, times and arrangements may change at any time. Make plans but leave room for the unexpected.

Always do your research. Before doing business or making a purchase, always research the business on BBB.org. Look for things like possible complaints and customer reviews.

For more on this topic, tune into this video podcast.

Disclaimer: This material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The law varies by jurisdiction and is constantly changing. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney who can apply the appropriate law to the facts of your case.

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