For many of us, any time we book a trip we ask ourselves, “Should I get travel insurance?” While travel insurance adds an extra cost to what may already be an expensive trip, it also adds an extra layer of protection. And just to have the peace of mind alone can be well worth it! If you’ve ever wanted to know how travel insurance works, then read on.
Let’s face it – most of us have little-to-no understanding of travel insurance and what it can cover. It can also be quite daunting and overwhelming to look at plans and try to figure out what to get to suit our particular needs. I had plenty of questions about travel insurance myself and Chelsea Capwell, the Marketing and Affiliate Manager for Travel Insurance Master, answered them all:
1. What exactly does travel insurance cover?
Chelsea Capwell: Travel insurance covers much more than many travelers think, but not all travel insurance plans are created equal and the options can be overwhelming.
Since no trip is the same, your travel insurance shouldn’t be either! Choosing the right plan with the right coverages allows you to travel comfortably with peace of mind.
There are three main types of travel insurance plans including Comprehensive (Trip Cancellation), Limited Plans (Without Trip Cancellation), and Specialty Plans (more narrow options for those not concerned with Trip Cancellation, medical expenses, etc).
Travel Insurance Master plans are the most popular. They allow you to cancel your trip before it starts for 100% reimbursement of your non-refundable prepaid trip expenses. Be sure to check your certificate of insurance for all covered reasons. The plans can also be purchased with extended coverages like Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR), Cancel for Medical, and Cancel for Work Reasons. You can even find coverage for financial default, employment layoff, hurricane and weather, and more!
Most regular health insurance plans do not provide coverage outside your home country or in some cases even outside your state. That’s where Travel Medical plans to fill the gap in coverage.
Travel insurance is important for domestic trips as well as international ones. It’s become essential on any trip that takes you 100 miles from home, including road trips and short-term rental stays through sites like Airbnb and VRBO. With strict cancellation policies oftentimes set by the host, it can sometimes be next to impossible to receive a refund for a cancellation or change of travel plans when you book with one of these sites.
Although cruises may offer their own insurance, travelers should seriously consider purchasing a standalone plan to take advantage of many useful benefits like Emergency Medical benefits and Evacuation, Trip Cancellation, CFAR, a Pre-existing medical condition waiver, Hurricane and Weather protection, and more.
You may be thinking, “But my credit card offers travel insurance.” However, it may not provide you with enough protection. Your credit card may only offer minimal benefits like lost luggage or delay, but a travel insurance plan from one of our trusted providers offers much broader coverage and peace of mind. Credit cards rarely offer trip cancellation, while these comprehensive plans are what most travelers purchase. Emergency medical is also a popular benefit that your credit card travel insurance will likely not cover, as well as medical repatriation and pre-existing conditions.
In case of financial default, hurricane and weather missed connection, or more unexpected events, be sure your travel insurance plan has the benefits that are important to you to protect your investment!
2. What sets Travel Insurance Master apart from other travel insurance providers?
Chelsea Capwell: Travel Insurance Master partners with the world’s leading travel insurance providers to bring a large variety of plans and benefits all to one website. Through our trusted smart algorithm and easy-to-use filters, a plan that is best for your unique trip and traveler details will be recommended. You’ll also be able to view clear, side-by-side comparisons to make an educated purchase on our website. We do the work and research for you so you can get back to the fun part – planning and ultimately enjoying your next trip!
3. Are travel insurance quotes per person?
Chelsea Capwell: Travel Insurance Master makes it easy to request a quote in just 3 steps. You can enter your Trip Cost total for all, or per traveler, then input the number of insured travelers and their individual information. Don’t forget to request a quote as soon as possible after your initial trip deposit to take advantage of time-sensitive benefits like Cancel for Any Reason.
4. When should I buy travel insurance?
Chelsea Capwell: For the most options and to take advantage of time-sensitive benefits, it’s best to purchase your travel insurance the same day as your initial trip deposit or in the days after.
The time-sensitive benefits that make purchasing insurance early worthwhile include the Pre-existing Medical Conditions Waiver and Cancel for Any Reason.
If you, or someone you are buying insurance for, has a pre-existing health condition, you should seriously consider the likelihood of it flaring up or reoccurring before or during your trip. Could it cancel or interrupt your travels? For plans without the Pre-existing Medical Conditions Waiver, normally a medical condition present prior to your travel insurance policy’s effective date would not be covered. Most plans have a look-back period which means the plan investigates your medical history, anywhere from 2 to 18 months, to check if your condition appeared or was treated during that time.
Comprehensive plans with a Pre-existing Medical Conditions Waiver will give you coverage if you buy your plan the same day or within a set number of days after your first trip deposit. The good news is it usually doesn’t add to the cost of your plan! As always, be sure to read the plan document for full details on coverage.
Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) benefits are just that – you are able to cancel for any reason whatsoever usually up to 2 days before departure for reimbursement up to 75% of prepaid non-refundable trip expenses, depending on the specific plan. To purchase a plan with CFAR, be sure to buy your insurance early, usually 1-21 days of an initial deposit, depending on the specific plan.
Remember CFAR is an additional benefit and does not replace your regular trip cancellation benefit that covers you 100% for covered reasons, most common when you, your family member, or your travel companion get sick.
The earlier you buy insurance after booking your trip the better. You can buy insurance even if you have not paid for your trip in full yet. However, plans do allow you to buy coverage up until the day before you leave.
5. Is travel insurance expensive?
Chelsea Capwell: The cost of travel insurance is based on many factors including the cost of your trip and individual traveler details. The plans with the most coverages like Trip Cancellation are usually the most expensive, but the overall relatively small cost in the scope of your travel budget is well worth it. Travel Insurance Master is an extremely useful website as it takes your trip and traveler information and recommends the best plan and value for your trip – saving you time and money too!
6. Is it easy to make a claim through Travel Insurance Master?
Chelsea Capwell: Travel Insurance Master takes great pride in partnering with providers that offer you the best value, dependability, and customer care.
Your claim will be made through your plan provider and you can easily find more information for each of our providers on our Filing a Claim page.
Every claims situation is going to be different, and so there are a few differences in how you will need to respond to them. Please keep in mind that if an emergency arises, contact your insurance company as soon as reasonably possible! Each policy includes a claims phone number and 24-hour assistance phone numbers for both inside and outside of the United States, ensuring that you can get in touch with your insurer at any time. If you are traveling internationally you will need to make a collect call with the out-of-country emergency number.
In a case where you are going to have to cancel your trip prior to departure, contact your insurer immediately. They will advise you on how to proceed with filing the claim and will also inform you of what documentation they will need to see.
If a medical emergency arises while you are traveling, again you will want to contact the company as soon as reasonably possible. The reasons for this are two-fold:
Some companies will require pre-certification, or that you contact the company before receiving medical treatment or having an evacuation performed. Naturally, if you’re in a dire medical emergency you would want to seek care immediately and worry about claims once you’re stable.
You will need to know what documentation will be most important for you to have with you before returning home.
One fact that cannot be stressed enough is to save your receipts and proof of expenses so that you can be accurately reimbursed, whether it be costs due to a delay of travel for hotel or meal, or medical records for emergency treatment received. This is especially important for medical care received overseas, as it can be incredibly difficult to get this paperwork once you have returned home. For filing a claim, nothing is more important than having accurate documentation for your loss.
After a provider pays a claim to a traveler, they will typically “subrogate” to seek reimbursement from any other collectible sources that may be available. These other sources could be other insurance policies or travel suppliers to recoup some or all of the claim that was paid. The travel insurance plan you purchase will have more details on this in the certificate that Travel Insurance Master emails to the primary traveler.
7. Can travel insurance be purchased after departure?
Chelsea Capwell: No, travel insurance from Travel Insurance Master must be purchased before departure. You can generally purchase coverage up until the day before you leave, but for the most benefits, it is always best to purchase your plan early. Add travel insurance to your travel planning checklist!
8. Can travel insurance be extended or is it date-specific?
Chelsea Capwell: Depending on your plan provider, you may be able to contact them and extend the original policy purchased before your departure. That’s why it is always a good idea to have your certificate readily available so you can easily access your provider information and contact them.
9. How does someone purchase travel insurance through Travel Insurance Master?
Chelsea Capwell: It’s very simple! After you have put down your initial trip deposit, visit TravelInsuranceMaster.com. Input your trip and travel details in just 3 easy steps to request a quote. If you have not paid for your trip in full yet, simply select that option instead of your final payment date.
Our smart algorithm will recommend the best plan and value for you from our trusted providers. On the upper left of the Plan Results page, you will be able to choose from the plan types – Trip Cancellation and No Trip Cancellation. You can also filter by specific benefits, view side-by-side comparisons of plans, and even click View Certificate for a full description of a particular plan. Choose the plan you would like to purchase and click Buy Plan, fill out the purchase form, add any additional plan options and place the order. You will receive your plan in your email!
With the uncertainty of travel restrictions around the world, one thing is for certain, the need for travel insurance!
To see just how easy it is to book travel insurance through Travel Insurance Master, watch this tutorial:
Travel insurance is one of those things that’s best to have and not need it than to need it and not have it. A good rule of thumb is to consider purchasing travel insurance when your travel plans take you 100 or more miles away from home. And thanks to Travel Insurance Master, we can easily purchase a plan that best suits our specific needs! This may be the best travel insurance company out there!