Five things every traveler should know about travel insurance!

Travel insurance is more than a luxury; it’s a necessity if one’s trip is to be successful. However, travel insurance is not a cookie-cutter arrangement where one size fits all. At, we recommend that travelers understand the following facts about travel insurance coverages:

1. Buy your insurance early in order to qualify for extra benefits. Most travel insurance plans offer time sensitive benefits that are only available if you purchase your policy within 10 to 30 days following the date of your first trip payment. The specific numbers of days vary by plan and company.  It is recommended that travelers should shop for travel insurance within 10 days of their first payment which is when they have the most available options

2.  Pre-existing medical conditions are the single largest cause of misunderstanding between travelers and travel insurance companies.  “Pre-existing medical conditions waiver” is one of the time sensitive benefits that is offered free of charge if a traveler meets the required conditions;  buy within a specific period of time, insure to the full, pre-paid, value of the trip, and be the traveler must be physically able to travel when buying the insurance.

3.  Trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, and missed connection coverages are “named peril”.  That means that only those perils or covered reasons named in the policy can trigger the benefits. Don’t assume that any and all valid reasons for cancelling, interrupting, or delaying your trip will be covered. Your concept of valid might be totally different than the insurance company’s.  Only those reasons listed in the policy will be covered.

4.  Cancel for any reason coverage is available but do you need it?  “Cancel for any reason coverage” is a safety net that can be added to some policies to cover travelers for cancellations that wouldn’t be otherwise covered by the basic trip cancellation coverage.  Most travelers don’t need “cancel for any reason” coverage however, if you need coverage for a specific reason that won’t be covered by basic trip cancellation than you need this coverage.  “Cancel for any reason coverage” is a time sensitive benefit that is only available if you purchase your coverage within the required time period.   Plans will either include this coverage or it may be added as an option.

5.  Secondary versus Primary coverages.  The vast majority of travel, trip, or cruise insurance is “secondary” coverage.  A common misconception is that secondary travel insurance plans require that you already have primary medical coverage in place in order to purchase coverage.  In reality it just means that if you have other insurance that covers the same loss than that company becomes primary (first payers) and the travel insurance company becomes secondary.  If you don’t have other coverage than the travel insurance company becomes primary.

6.  A common misconception about travel insurance is that policies are standardized and that all plans available from different companies are basically the same.  In reality there are no standards for travel insurance plans and coverages and  prices vary widely.  Travelers should talk with a travel insurance professional before buying coverage.