Travel insurance :
The coronavirus has woken us all up to what travel insurance does and does not cover.
Many people assumed that travel insurance covered everything and in the blink of an eye, they would get you home in an emergency. That incorrect assumption surprised those who, for the first time, are reading its policies.
While many travel insurance companies provide coverage for evacuation if you are injured abroad (if you meet the conditions of the plan), they are generally not there to take you home unless there is a specific clause in your policy that justifies such action. and a doctor orders it.
And, as many of us quickly learn, outbreaks are often not covered by an insurance policy.
Many of the emails I received from people yelling about their insurance policy when the pandemic started were about those policy misunderstandings.
I know travel insurance is a complex matter. (And boring) I understand that reading or research is not fun.
And reading a real policy can put you to sleep. Most people bypass it in the same way that we bypass iTunes user agreements.
But if COVID-19 has taught us travelers anything, it’s that we need to be more familiar with what exactly our travel insurance policy covers. It is literally of life or death significance.
Today, I want to give you a more complete picture of what travel insurance really is, and what scenarios may or may not be covered. But use this only as a general advice – the terms and conditions will differ depending on the travel insurance policy and the provider.
I know we’ve tackled this in the past, but it’s always a great time to refresh, especially in light of COVID-19 and when people start thinking about traveling again.
What is travel insurance?
First of all, travel insurance is emergency coverage. Be there if you run into problems and need help. Depending on your policy, support will be provided. (And reimbursement) if you have broken bones while hiking, if you lost your bag, were robbed, or if you need to return home due to the death of your family. In short, this is the financial safety network for overseas emergencies.
However, they cannot be used as a substitute for health insurance in your home country. (It’s also not a license to be stupid either, as injuries while stupid or drunk are not covered either.)
It is your emergency lifeline if something unexpectedly dire happens during your trip.
What kind of protection do I get if I am sick?
Do you suffer from a recurring pre-existing allergy or other condition? You’re on your own. Grab a drug from a pharmacy and grab it. Routine or preventive care resulting from a pre-existing condition is not covered.
They are unexpected and / or emergency situations. Do you need to go to the hospital? That’s where travel insurance comes in. Call your insurance provider’s emergency helpline and let them know (when you can). They will be able to help you with the bureaucracy and make sure you are served.
You may also need prior approval of treatment or providers. For that reason, make sure you have the insurance company’s 24-hour emergency hotline saved on your phone before you travel. That way, you or someone with you can call them in case the worst happens.
Since you may have to pay everything up front and then file an insurance claim to get reimbursed, keep your receipts.
What kind of protection will I get if I am robbed?
If you are stolen during your trip, you will be able to get compensation for the stolen items (usually not including cash and some other items), up to a certain amount per item and the maximum total amount. You will need to complete a police report and provide it, as well as documentation of the stolen items, to your insurance company. (If you have receipts, send them in. I also like to take pictures of my items before I travel to show that I brought them.)
However, don’t expect travel insurance to give you money for the latest iPhone; You will get an equivalent replacement or a refund of the depreciated value of your stolen item. That is, if you bought a camera five years ago for $ 1000 but now it’s only worth $ 100, you will get $ 100.
Since claims take time to process, you will likely need to replace your items out of pocket and then make a claim for reimbursement. However, if you are unable to make any purchases because your wallet and passport were stolen, you will need to contact the emergency assistance service of your insurance provider, as well as the nearest embassy or consulate.
My [insert company] went bankrupt. What does it cover?
If your airline / tour / whichever company goes bankrupt while traveling, you may be able to purchase your policy and receive reimbursement under the “Trip Cancellation” or “Trip Interruption” section of your plan, depending on the time of bankruptcy. Can occur. Hui. Some insurance policies only reimburse if the travel company has stopped services altogether; If an alternate arrangement is available, it can only pay for the change fee.
However, in the event of airline bankruptcy, you may need to arrange for alternate transportation and pay for it. You can then submit a claim for reimbursement of that amount.
If you have not left yet, your “trip cancellation” coverage will go into effect, and the expense incurred will be reimbursed.
While this all sounds helpful, keep in mind that there are limits to what you can claim. Read the schedule of benefits for the maximum covered (and especially for travel interruptions and cancellations). From my experience, these claims usually reimburse travel, with a maximum cost of $ 5,000–10,000 USD (be sure to check the specifics in your policy), so if you spent a ton of money on accommodation and new flights Hai, you can’t get it back. But much better than nothing!
My trip was canceled. Can I get a refund on my policy if I do not use it?
If you have not started your policy or you have made a claim, you can get a refund. Many companies offer a “review period” (usually 7-14 days before purchase), during which you can cancel your plan without penalty, although some states do not have one. If you pay six months of insurance and need to cancel after a month or two, then you are usually out of luck.
However, if you are outside of that review period, chances are you will not be able to cancel your plan. Some companies are making exceptions due to COVID-19, but you should not take it in any form. Why? This is just an industry practice. Since travel insurance works in Retrospect (you go on your trip, you come home, file a claim, and then pay) and they have to pay the full amount, you have to pay the entire amount of the policy it happens.
I am ready to buy my insurance at the end of three months. That way, I can expand my coverage or eliminate it depending on how things are going.
But, one caveat: Depending on how a worrying situation works on your policy, you don’t want to do it. For example, you are not feeling well during a policy. You go to get a COVID test, and while waiting for the results, your policy laps and you buy a new plan. Because you showed signs of illness in an earlier policy, it may be considered a worrying situation in the new policy and should not be covered as such.
So keep in mind that when you are buying a policy. This is a risk I personally take – but it may not be good for you.
There is an epidemic, so I have decided to come home to play it safe. Do i get anything?
To be eligible for coverage, your claim must be based on a covered reason. If you have an outbreak-free policy, disruption to travel could play a role. But you will need to read the fine print before making a claim. Getting sick from the pandemic may be covered, but if, for example, you decided to rearrange your trip because you would feel safer at home, it wouldn’t be.
Before filing a claim, you must first contact travel companies, hotels, and airlines directly for a refund. Only after that would you make a claim to the insurance company.
Remember, these payments generally only apply to non-refundable prepaid purchases (and may also include one-way airfare home).
If you are filing a claim, you will need to gather all of your supporting documents and receipts and submit them for review. It can take weeks (or months) to process a claim, so be prepared to wait (especially if there is a major crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic). That means changing your plan will pay out of pocket.
But the government urged people to go home, and I did so!
Depending on your policy, you may be able to receive certain benefits. If you have a policy that includes travel interruption, you may be able to file a claim to cover non-refundable purchases. (Such as flights and tours)
However, the reason you have to go home is so important. Natural disasters, terrorism, political change and disease outbreaks are all different, so it is very important to print out your policies in detail here.
Your government that says, “I think you should go home because XYZ” is not the same as the government forcing you to go home. (Which does not exist *) If you choose to go home in that situation, the travel insurance plan will not cover you. (This is a big problem during COVIDs and the source of most complaints.)
Usually the situation is not mentioned. (Outside the exclusion section) are not covered.
Therefore, it is wise to look at the specificity of the policy to see what they are.
- Unless you have been extradited or have been declared unrewarded person. But this is a very unlikely situation. Check your policy!
I had to go home and couldn’t get to the airline, so I bought a new ticket.
This is another problem during COVIDs as people try to return home due to government warnings and border closures. As the airline was overwhelming and people couldn’t get through, many bought a second ticket, thinking that it would (inaccurate) be automatically covered.
Travel insurance makes you feel tired. It doesn’t give you extra money. If you are already traveling, you can request a flight refund under the Interruption of travel section of the policy if early return is a comprehensive event, usually including an unexpected illness. Think of strikes, etc.
However, if your flight is canceled, the airline will be responsible for rescheduling and making a new booking. If you purchase a second ticket and submit it for a refund through your policy, you will be refused.
Moreover, the feeling of insecurity is not for a comprehensive reason and new flights will not be refunded.
Can I get any coverage related to COVID-19?
As many have found the hard way back in March, many travel insurers didn’t cover the outbreak, they’ve gotten – and are still being written off of the policy. You will not receive any refund if you decide to cancel your trip due to government warning due to the epidemic. The only policy that offers that kind of coverage is the policy. “Cancel for any reason” (Insure My Trip is a great place to find them).
However, some companies such as World Nomads, Allianz and Safety Wing cover some of their medical expenses. They will help you if you have been exposed to COVID or have been quarantined by a doctor and need relevant medical care.
However, coverage is limited to medical care and associated costs. (Although some policies cover trip cancellation and interruption costs if you contract a COVID), be sure to read the specifics of your plan, as there are many precautions and exceptions, and you will It must be clear with your service provider.
What’s more, from October 19, 2020, Medjet will offer transportation for members hospitalized with COVID-19 if they travel in 48 United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean to their home hospital.
What is my credit card coverage?
Travel credit cards offer limited protection – even the best credit cards. Cards typically provide protection for lost or stolen items. Very limited medical expenses and trip cancellation But there is an important caveat here: only use it if you book your travel with that card!
I have had several travel credit cards over the years. Even if your card does provide some coverage. But the limit is often very low. That means you have to pay the difference out of pocket. (And you’ll be surprised how expensive it is!)
Although it is good to have credit card protection as a backup. But I don’t have to rely on primary protection when I’m abroad.
The most important advice I can offer is to buy good travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft and cancellations. This is full protection in the event of a problem. I never travel without it, as I have had to use it several times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy that’s right for you:
Travel insurance is worth the time to understand this – and it is up to you to spend money investing in a plan with a variety of coverage options that keep you safe and provide you with mental peace.
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