Questions to Ask About Travel Insurance
Travel insurance can make the difference between a successful trip or lost money due to unforeseen circumstances.
However, before you purchase a travel insurance policy make sure that you have the right information to make the most informed decision possible.
There are several questions you can ask to get answers that will contribute to the purchase of a solid policy or the decision to forgo an unnecessary expense.
Who is the Company Underwriting My Policy?
This is important because the company from whom you purchased your travel insurance policy is not the company that is actually writing the policy. When you purchase a policy, ask for the name of the underwriter.
Check them out with AM Best, an industry website that rates insurance companies, so you can see how well they are rated. If they are not rated on the site at all, then move on to find another policy underwritten by a company that is rated on the site.
Is This a Trip Protection Plan or a Travel Insurance Package?
While they may sound like the same thing, they most definitely are not. The difference is generally in the regulations by your state. Insurance plans fall under state regulations and thereby must adhere to certain provisions; trip protection doesn’t have to adhere to any guidelines, which makes it the riskier option.
Even if the travel agent tells you that it’s trip insurance, check the fine print of your contract to make sure the language reads accordingly there as well.
Are Pre-existing Conditions Covered?
For many travel agents, this question can be answered with a resounding “No!” However, this is important ground to cover since pre-existing conditions are the number one reason that travel insurance medical claims are denied.
Pre-existing conditions claims will likely be denied if you suffer an episode while on your trip and attempt to either use your travel insurance to pay for medical treatment or try to receive reimbursement for portions of the trip you couldn’t undertake because of the pre-existing illness.
What Costs are Paid Up Front and Which am I Reimbursed For?
This is key because you may file a claim thinking you will get your money back quickly only to find that you wont’ receive it for up to 90 days, which can in turn wreak havoc on your personal budget.
Most policies have you pay up front and you are later reimbursed by the insurance company, with the exception of medical costs. Those costs are paid directly by the insurer, which is critical if you are in an area where the cost of health care is high.