Travel Insurance for the Holidays

Travel insurance can protect you from financial risks and unforeseen emergencies when traveling domestically or abroad. These can be as small as the theft of small personal belongings or cancellation of booked tours to something as serious as a medical emergency.

Travel insurance can help you deal with surprise costs associated with cancellations of flights, cruises, lodging, entertainment reservations, vehicle rentals, and other typical travel arrangements. Multiple types of travel insurance are available to get exactly the coverage you need. Common types are single-trip policies, annual policies, and group travel policies.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Typical travel insurance policies can help you cover yourself, your family, or your group from various unexpected situations and emergencies. These include medical issues, tour cancellation, travel disruption, difficulties, medical assistance, and misplaced, broken, or stolen belongings.

  • A travel policy helps to protect you from medical fees encountered during your trip that are not included in typical health insurance coverage.
  • Theft or loss of luggage can lead to the unexpected expense of replacing essential items. For instance, if the luggage is lost by an airline, it’s often necessary to purchase replacement items out of pocket.
  • Travel insurance can refund prepaid costs or forfeited deposits if your trip is unexpectedly delayed or canceled.
  • Many travel insurance policies offer travel assistance or concierge services.

What Does Travel Insurance Not Cover?

Insurance will only protect some unexpected costs you may encounter when traveling. Here are some things that aren’t usually covered:

  • Trip cancellations for reasons which aren’t covered by your policy.
  • Health emergencies that result from preexisting conditions.
  • Last-minute itinerary changes. Cancellations for natural disasters started before you purchased insurance.

Single Trip Travel Insurance Policy Coverage:

Travelers with single-trip travel insurance are protected from when they leave home to when they return. Some policies offer trip cancellation protection as an add-on if you’re concerned about postponing your trip.

Buying a Single Trip Travel Insurance policy is an inexpensive and convenient solution that can protect you from the unexpected, regardless of how long you plan to be away from home.

Annual Travel Insurance Policy Coverage:

Do you travel regularly but are concerned about trip interruptions, mishaps, or other unforeseen situations? An annual travel insurance company policy can cover your trips over an entire year. Insurance will cost more than single-trip coverage. But it can save you money over the year compared to buying multiple single-trip policies.

Group Travel Insurance Policy Coverage:

Do you need protection for your business, church, or NGO group? Group travel insurance can be cheaper than buying individual policies. Like personal coverage, group policies cover theft of belongings, certain types of cancellations, and health emergencies. Group travel insurance is usually calculated based on trip length, destinations, and the number of group members.

Choose The Travel Coverage You Need.

Insurance coverage can be bought to cover various unexpected travel expenses. For example, the airline may cancel your flight on short notice. This can force you to purchase a new ticket which may be more expensive. You might even need to arrange accommodation until another flight is available. These types of expenses can add to the cost of your trip. Travel insurance can help you pay for these and other surprise costs.

Weather can cause flight delays, or your financial situation may suddenly change. Work obligations can interfere with your travel plans. When deciding what type of coverage to buy, it pays to consider what might happen before and after your trip. Knowing how you need to be protected can help you choose the right type of coverage.

Some things travel insurance can provide:

  • Flight delays and cancellations and associated costs.
  • Medical treatment and emergency medical evacuation.
  • Costs associated with lost or stolen luggage.

Do You Know How To Choose The Best Travel Insurance Plan For Your Budget?

Most policies have some differences between companies. What is covered by one basic policy may not be covered by another. You’ll want to compare travel insurance policies to see which has the coverage you need at a price you’re willing to pay.

You are rarely restricted to one policy with a single set of benefits. Most companies offer multiple types of coverage that target different kinds of travel. In addition, most companies offer add-ons that can add additional coverage to some travel insurance policies. These can let you customize policies for your own unique needs.

Make Sure You’re Getting The Best Value Before Purchasing

Understand what you can afford and select the most economical policy which meets your needs. Thoroughly research your policy choices to know which companies most closely match your travel insurance needs and budget.

Most top travel insurance companies offer similar basic coverage. These include covered cancellation reasons, trip interruption coverage, theft, and medical coverage. Often they will reimburse you between 100% and 150% of costs that aren’t refundable. This payment will include prepaid event tickets, deposits for lodging, and various charges you can’t recover in any other way.

Some companies offer faster reimbursement than others. Depending on your travel emergency, you may need insurance payments quickly. Understand how fast the company will handle your claim and issue payment.

How To File A Claim

Hopefully, your trip is enjoyable but should the unexpected happen, you’ll need to be prepared to file a claim. Claim procedures vary between companies, but all will want to see documents that show the reason for your claim is legitimate.

For cancellations due to health reasons, you’ll usually need documentation from your doctor which indicates that you cannot travel as planned. You’ll need police reports or other supporting material if luggage or personal belongings are stolen.

Once your documentation is in order, you’ll need to follow the claim procedure detailed by your insurer. These steps will vary between companies and may involve added documentation. Start the claims process as soon as possible when it can be easier to get supporting documentation if the insurer requests it.

Typical Documents Needed When Filing A Claim

Documentation needed to file a claim varies between insurers, and certain claim types need specific supporting documents. Work with your insurer before leaving on your trip, so you know what documentation you need to keep if a claim is necessary. Here are some common things which can be required to file a claim:

  • Receipts and itemized bills for all expenses.
  • Proof of payment and unused tickets.
  • Explanation of diagnosis from your doctor for claims relating to health.
  • Evidence from the airline that your baggage was delayed.
  • Police report in the event of theft.

What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied?

Insurance companies can deny your claim but will tell you the reason. Sometimes they need extra documentation you still need to provide. They may accept your claim if you locate and submit the required documentation.

If you feel a claim has been denied unfairly, you should file an appeal. Your appeal should include relevant documents from third parties which support your appeal. Most companies have a specific period (often 30, 60, or 90 days) in which they allow appeals. Here are some types of documentation which can help you make a successful appeal to your insurer:

  • Verification from your doctor that preexisting conditions aren’t responsible for your health-related claim.
  • Additional receipts or documentation which support your claim
  • Police reports for claims of theft.
  • Specific types of documentation that the insurer may request.

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