4 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Travel InsuranceMay 10th, 2011 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on 4 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Travel Insurance
With Osma bin Laden dead, perhaps martyred, does the earth suddenly become a very dangerous place for Americans to travel, especially in predominantly Muslim countries? Maybe. Maybe not. There’s no way we can answer that question. Too many variables. But you can take a close look before you buy travel insurance for your next trip and understand exactly what it will and will not do.
Most travel insurance comes with a seemingly endless parade of mostly unread asterisks. As travelers, we just want to get to the bottom line and sign it. Slow down. There are some questions you should ask first to find
out what your coverage truly is because you might want to opt for a policy that goes beyond simple trip cancellation.
Is terrorism a covered benefit? Even if a policy covers terrorism, you should ask what the definition of a terrorist act is. Some policies don’t pay unless the event has been declared an official “act of terrorism” by the State Department.
Is “civil unrest” a covered benefit? Civil unrest can be as alarming and dangerous as an act of terrorism but some policies exclude it. You might assume that your travel insurance “covers all that” but you don’t know for sure unless you ask. In fact, don’t buy travel insurance until you ask.
Another phrase to pay attention to is a “foreseeable event.” If you plan to travel to an area where the State Department has already issued warnings, adverse events that arise could very well be declared a foreseeable event and, voila, you’re not covered.
Can you cancel your trip out of fear of terrorism or political unrest? In most cases the answer is no, at least not if you plan on recovering your costs through the travel insurance policy you bought. The ones that do allow you to cancel for any reason are often quite expensive – maybe as much as 50% of the total trip cost itself.
The lesson here is don’t buy travel insurance unless you know exactly what you’re paying for.
The Jetsetter Show Team
Flickr / swanksalot
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