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Is Travel Insurance Right for You?

Is Travel Insurance Right for You? - The Beacon

06-2013

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By: Susan

Is Travel Insurance Right for You?

Many consumers take trips during the warm summer months. We all hope for the perfect vacation with no weather issues, crises at home, or complication at our destination, but sometimes the unexpected occurs. Before you finalize your vacation plans, the BBB suggests you give careful thought to whether you need to purchase travel insurance.

Travel insurance may provide the extra protection you need for circumstances that require an early return, canceled trip, emergency medical care, or other unforeseen issue while traveling. BBB suggests weighing the pros, cons and cost of purchasing travel insurance before going on an extensive trip.

Start with your Current Coverage – Before you purchase coverage, check your homeowner’s or medical insurance policies to see what is currently insured. This will help you avoid any overlap, should you choose to purchase travel insurance.

Expensive items such as camcorders, laptop computers, or jewelry may already be covered by a current policy and airlines are required to reimburse for lost checked luggage (up to a certain dollar amount). Medical plans may also pick up the cost of some medical expenses while traveling in certain areas, but you will need to consult your policy or insurance agent, to confirm.

If you decide you want more coverage, there are several different types available.

Some include: 

Trip Cancellation/Interruption (TCI) – If your plans suddenly change and you have to cancel or end your trip early, TCI will cover you for this. But it will only reimburse you for reasons on the insurer’s acceptable list, such as injury, sickness, or death of yourself, a family member, traveling companion or business partner. Some policies will cover only medical reasons and some will not cover pre-existing medical conditions. It’s important to read the fine print.

Emergency Medical Evacuation – If you are going on an adventure vacation or to an area that is far from modern medical facilities, it may be a good idea to buy this coverage. If adequate treatment is not available at a local hospital, you would be transferred to the nearest acceptable medical facility.

Baggage Loss – This coverage reimburses you for lost, stolen or damaged bags, during travel. As you are packing, make a list of everything you are taking with you. If your bag is lost, you may be reimbursed for some contents, but not all. Baggage-loss protection is only necessary if you are carrying more than $2,500 worth of items in your bags. Be sure to check your homeowner’s policy.

BBB also recommends travelers take the following into consideration:

Read the fine print. Know exactly what coverage you are getting and what is covered. Policies and insurance firms differ in what they cover.

You may not need to buy it right away. Travel insurance can be purchased days before your trip. Check to see if the policy you are considering requires you to purchase within a set time period after you’ve booked your travel. For trip cancellation insurance, you won’t be covered if you buy the policy after you’ve become ill or natural disaster has wiped out your vacation destination.

Not every trip needs travel insurance. If your total trip is a couple hundred dollars in airfare, travel insurance probably isn’t worth it. But if you’re taking the trip of a lifetime and spending thousands, travel insurance is a good consideration.

Don’t fall for high pressure sales tactics. Don’t let someone pressure you into buying travel insurance right away. You are the only one who can decide if you truly need it.

Pay with a credit card. Protect yourself further by paying for travel related expenditures, including insurance, with a credit card. Ask your credit card issuer if there are additional protections that come with your credit card. Some travel insurance may be built in to your credit purchases.

Check out a BBB Business Review – Should you determine travel insurance is right for you, check out business reviews for providing companies before you buy at evansville.bbb.org, BBB Business Reviews are free of charge and  provide information such as how long a business has been operating, where the business is physically located, contact information, phone numbers and recent complaints.

For more tips you can trust, visit evansville.bbb.org and for the latest, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tristatebbb or follow us on Twitter-@tristatebbb.

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Susan

Susan is Director of Media Relations for the Tri-State Better Business Bureau. She is a contributor to the blog as well as to the online News Center, found at bbb.org/evansville. Susan also helps to produce an annual accredited business recognition banquet.