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First off, I am a travel agent and not an insurance expert. This list is general, because there are many variations and plans available. I hope to give you just a little more understanding and knowledge about what kind of questions to ask when looking to purchase travel insurance.
What a typical insurance plan covers–
Sickness, injury, death, or death in the family. Coverage is for cancellation prior to and during the trip. If you need medical attention, or if there is an emergency back home that would cause you to end the trip early, this is called trip interruption. Most policies provide coverage for your major travel expenses, including some medical coverage, emergency evacuation, and baggage loss or delay. Missed connections due to weather and flight delays are another issue of concern and are covered in many insurance plans.
Points to know:
• To be covered for pre-existing medical conditions, you must generally purchase insurance within 2 weeks of deposit. This is true even if you are just putting down a $100 deposit on a $2000 trip and final payment is 8 months away. Lately, though, some cruise line insurance plans will let you purchase the policy when you make final payment.
• In some cases, especially for travelers over 70 years old, a cruise line insurance plan can be quite a bit less than one offered by an independent provider. But you will still need to buy coverage separately for the airfare, since most cruise line plans will not cover air unless you buy it from them.
• The cost of an insurance premium is determined by the traveler’s age and trip cost. The cruise line insurance cost is usually determined by the trip cost alone.
• When adding up your trip cost, you cannot pick and choose what you’d like to cover. It is very important that you add up all trip costs that are pre-paid and non-refundable.
• When upgrading to a Cancel for Any Reason policy (and it’s usually an extra cost) you will not get 100% of your money back if you do have to cancel. Usually about 50%-70% of the total is reimbursed. Many of the cruise line plans include a Cancel for Any Reason clause, but if this clause is needed, then usually you’ll get something like 70% back towards a future cruise.
• If Medicare is your primary form of health insurance, it is extremely important that you buy travel insurance. Medicare does not provide coverage outside of the United States.
• For travel more than 30 days, beware: there could be an extra daily charge added for every day over 30 days.
Vacation can be a huge monetary investment. There are so many things that can go wrong and that are out of our control. We all need to be smart about purchasing travel insurance.