A short guide to travel insurance

A short guide to travel insurance

Travel Insurance: What You Should Know

Travel insurance protects holiday expenses against adverse events such as cancellation and interruption and also reimburses medical expenses, the loss or damage of property, and transit delays.

Many millions of travelers and holidaymakers purchase some form of insurance every year, but few people really know what it is and how it can be defined. If you know what is included and what is not, you will be able to make the most of your protection and get reimbursed fairly.

There are four main categories of travel insurance:

1. Health and medical reasons

Emergency evacuation: This guarantees emergency transportation to either a local hospital in the event that the traveler is unable to get there by themselves or back to a hospital near the traveler’s hometown. Family members who are covered under the same policy can also travel back home.

Medical reasons: This reimburses emergency medical and dental costs. Nearly all holiday insurance plans work by reimbursing the traveler after they have paid locally for treatment. Claims are usually paid within 7–10 working days. Pre-existing medical conditions are covered by most policies if the policy is purchased within (at the most) 21 days from the date the traveler made the first payment or deposit.

2. Delays and cancellations or curtailments

Cancellation: Reimbursement comes into effect if travelers have booked and paid for a holiday but are unable to embark because of personal illness or injury, death (of the individual or of a family member), adverse weather conditions, transport strikes, terrorism, bankruptcy, sudden unemployment, jury duty, or sustaining serious damage to their home, causing it to be uninhabitable due to fire or flooding.

Delay: This reimburses travelers for hotel, food, or clothing expenses in the event of a flight delay. Some plans also cover costs associated with catching up with a cruise should another delay cause the traveler to miss embarkation.
Interruption: Insurance companies pay money to policyholders abroad if they have to cut short their trip due to illness, death (of the traveler or a family member), terrorism, weather, airline strikes, bankruptcy, sudden unemployment, and other adverse conditions that mean that, due to events outside the control of the holiday-maker, a trip has to be curtailed.

3. Death:

Accidental death: This covers death or dismemberment at any time of your trip. Due to a higher risk, usually guarantees the least amount of coverage.
Air Flight Accident: This covers death or dismemberment during an air flight only. usually guarantees the highest amount of coverage due to the fairly low likelihood of this occurring.

Common carrier: covers death or dismemberment while traveling on public transport such as a plane, ferry, train, bus, or taxi.

4. Loss or damage to property:

Baggage loss: TSA reimburses travelers for lost, stolen or damaged personal items. This coverage is usually restricted to the duration of the trip and not confined to baggage damaged or lost by the airline. The total claim limit and the per-item maximum are the two policy limits. Some policies also place limits on the types of items that can be claimed, such as precious jewelry, laptops, and sporting goods.

Hire Car Damage: This reimburses travelers for damage or loss to a rental vehicle. It is designed to allow the traveler to decline collision damage waiver (CDW) coverage offered by car rental companies. Liability coverage should still be purchased through the car rental company. Rental Car Damage Coverage is also often included with the credit card used to pay for the car rental, which often matches the coverage provided in the policy.

Assistance services—provides travelers with 24-hour collect telephone advice and assistance. This service can be used anytime a traveler needs advice. Make sure you keep a copy of this number in several places, such as in your luggage or on your person when you move around.

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