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Travel insurance is no longer an option. After two years of travel turmoil, it’s more or less a must. So how do you buy travel insurance in this environment? Very carefully, experts say.
2 types of travel insurance
If you are going to travel, the question is not whether you need insurance, but what kind of insurance you need.
Travel insurance that can be canceled for any reason. The cost is 10% to 12% of the trip price, and at least a portion of the trip cost will be refunded in case of cancellation.
“Nominated Peril” Travel Insurance. This is a more popular type of travel insurance. It costs less (7% to 9% of the travel cost) but, as the name suggests, it only covers the hazards listed in the policy.
How to buy ‘cancellation for any reason’ travel insurance
“Cancellation for any reason” travel insurance is the breakout star of the coronavirus pandemicMore expensive than standard ‘designated peril’ travel insurance, but more flexible. Its main advantage is that the policy guarantees a minimum of 75% refund if you change your mind about your trip.
According to AardvarkCompare CEO Jonathan Breeze, “Of course, we still have 100% reimbursement for the normal misery of the world,” including disruptions and lost luggage covered by travel insurance. “The 75% ‘Any Reason Cancellation’ benefit is just an extra level of protection. ”
According to AardvarkCompare, since 2020, interest in “cancel for any reason” policies has surged from just 5% to over 50%. Because of this, insurance companies are making some changes. InsureMyTrip marketing director Cheryl Golden said several companies have lowered their redemption rates.
“However, ‘Cancel for any reason’ is widely available to those who meet the eligibility requirements, and we are not aware of any price increases,” she adds.
How to buy “Nominated Dangerous” travel insurance
Sherry Sutton, vice president of marketing at Travel Insured International, advises looking back in time to find the best “named peril” travel insurance after the current crisis has passed.
“Travelers should, as always, carefully consider their plans, but also take time to consider how insurance companies have managed the current situation,” she says. “How did they communicate, what kinds of coverage changes did they make, were they flexible?”
In fact, some travel insurance companies did better than others. The best insurance companies have gone the extra mile to offer more insurance and help their customers.Yes, some better policies cost more. But you get what you pay for. (Forbes has List of the best and bad travel insurance companies.)
“Historically, price has been a factor when purchasing travel insurance plans,” says Sutton. “Price should always be a consideration, but I think COVID-19 highlights that we need to spend a little more to get adequate coverage in the future.”
Post-pandemic travel insurance focuses on health and money
So what should you look for in post-pandemic travel insurance? Overall, the focus is on health and money.
“Travelers should continue to look for policies that provide coverage for unforeseen injuries, illnesses or accidents,” explains Rachel Coen, spokesperson for G1G Travel Insurance. “Furthermore, this current pandemic highlights the need to protect travel costs. We have been hit financially by flight, hotel bookings, and other non-refundable travel expenses.”
Please note the refund terms. All travel insurance has a “free look” period of 10 to 14 days after the policy is purchased.
“If you were forced to cancel your trip and get a full refund of your travel expenses, you should be able to cancel your insurance and get a full refund of your premiums,” says Erin Fish, co-founder of travel insurance site goWanderwell.com. . “If the trip is deferred, in some cases he may be a year or more later, but he should be able to request a policy deferral transition from the travel insurance company to reflect the new travel dates.”
At least one thing hasn’t changed when it comes to buying travel insurance.
“Always read the fine print,” says Pamela Sea, who teaches hospitality law at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. please give me.”
Pay close attention to how your policy covers “force majeure” or natural disasters. Does the policy cover such events or is it up to you to pay your costs?
What to look for in travel insurance
medical problem. Chris Zimmel, a retired aviation nurse, recommends taking a closer look at medical coverage policies. “Will I only be covered if I get treatment at a local hospital?” she says. “Will transportation to the nearest suitable facility as defined by my insurance company, the nearest hospital in the United States, or my hometown be covered? Do not assume that you will be taken to a local hospital.” Consider air medical transportation and travel security memberships through a company that
future crisis. Epidemics and pandemics are generally not covered. If you want compensation, try the “cancel for any reason” policy.
quarantine. How will travel insurance deal with quarantine? When the pandemic started, few policies addressed it.
What to expect after buying insurance
Going forward, travel insurance offers several benefits that have never been available before. For example, even if another pandemic hits, it will take less time to process claims. Businesses are implementing technology and systems to process and pay claims faster than ever before.
and Allianz TravelThe initiative, called SmartBenefits, aims to pay customers in real time for eligible flight delays without the need to submit receipts.
“SmartBenefits allows us to proactively monitor our customers’ flights and, if we detect significant delays, automatically submit a claim for those delays,” said Allianz spokesperson Daniel Durazo. “This innovation has revolutionized the way travel insurance works. Together with a powerful mobile app and 24-hour support, it provides coverage for trip cancellations and interruptions, medical emergencies and emergencies, as well as will be what you look for in travel insurance.Luggage issues.”
Don’t Make These Mistakes When Buying Travel Insurance
There are significant new rules when it comes to buying travel insurance, plaguing new ways to lose money. But those are expensive travel insurance errors that are easy to avoid.
“Several travel insurance companies have added exclusions for COVID-19,” said Dan Skilken, president of Tripinsurance.com. “There really is no good reason for them to do this. We need to cover if you get sick with COVID-19 while
Error 1: Not getting enough coverage
Travelers should make sure they’re purchasing the right coverage for their circumstances, says Kasala Barto, spokeswoman for the travel insurance site. Squaremouth.comLook for insurance that covers some of a traveler’s biggest concerns. Among them are cancellations for medical, financial and employment reasons.
Error 2: Purchase the wrong type of travel insurance
Beware of non-insurance travel “protections,” according to Yonder co-founder and president Terry Boynton. “Travel insurance is a real insurance product backed by large underwriters and state regulations,” he says. “Travel protection is not as secure and may only be reimbursed in the form of future travel credits, not cash, should a trip have to be cancelled.”
Error 3: Don’t Ask
Travel insurance is more complicated than ever. Also, it is easy to guess what is covered and what is not. Make no assumptions, say the pros.
“Travelers often make the mistake of not reading the plan documentation beforehand or taking the time to ask questions before purchasing to understand what is covered and what is not covered,” says Seven. said Jeremy Marchland, president of Corners Insurance.
Error Number 4: Ignore fine print
Not all travel insurance is the same. Erin Fish, co-founder of the site goWanderwell.com, said some cheap policies have significant exclusions and may become worthless in the future.
“Examples of limitations and exclusions commonly found in these plans include lower medical benefit caps, medical benefits limited to emergencies only, no coverage for pre-existing conditions, and cancellation due to bankruptcy or default of the travel agent. Or no compensation for interruptions,” says Fish.
TripInsuranceStore.com’s head trip insurance guru Steve Dasseos has another minor pitfall. For example, what date counts as the first trip credit date? It depends on the insurance company.
Error #5: Purchased from the wrong place
DealNews.com consumer analyst Michael Bonebright warns against buying insurance policies sold by third parties in the post-pandemic world of travel. “Most people get travel insurance as an add-on from travel sites like Expedia or Hotels.com,” he says. “However, if you need to make an insurance claim, you should contact the insurance company itself, not the travel site.”
Going directly to a reputable travel insurance company is also a good option. But do your homework, advises Allianz Travel Insurance spokesman Dan Durazo.
“Does the company offer their own products or just sell others’ products, manage their own billing process, and provide 24/7 customer service? , it is important to know if they have an in-house travel assistance team, which is available 24/7 to handle travel emergencies large and small, including medical emergencies and evacuations.” he says.
Error 6: Ignoring pandemic exclusion
Many travel insurance policies have exclusions for communicable diseases and pandemics. This means that if there is another worldwide outbreak of some kind and you are traveling, coverage may be limited or non-existent.
World Nomads spokeswoman Lisa Cheng said:
This is by no means an exhaustive list of possible mistakes when buying travel insurance. But in the new world of travel, you need to protect your next trip from a possible pandemic.