• Travel Insurance Blog

  • Monday, August 21, 2017

When you research travel insurance, you are likely to come across many plans that may seem too good to be true. They probably are. Although travel insurance refers to a particular kind of insurance plan, several times, the term is used to describe a range of travel protection products that are actually not travel insurance.

If you’re booking a cruise, for example, your cruise insurance may actually be a travel waiver plan. What this means is that if you miss your cruise, you will get credit for a future cruise with the same company. Although this sounds like trip cancellation insurance, it differs substantially from cancellation insurance.

Trip cancellation insurance offers financial reimbursement for a cancelled trip for a variety of reasons, but a travel waiver will only provide you with travel credit. One of the important clauses of a travel waiver is actually that the new cruise itinerary should have the same ports of call as the original cruise.

It is best to read the fine print about the covered reasons for receiving the travel waiver benefit, and also about any extra charges that you might incur. Remember that travel waiver plans are not as well regulated as trip cancellation insurance plans, and therefore, are prone to arbitrary decisions by the company offering the waiver.

Travel tip: Always check whether the plan being offered is an insurance plan, or a travel waiver plan. Ask specifically about what is covered by the plan and what is not.

Missionary and volunteer work can be so demanding that when missionaries travel long distances to take care of others, they might not be that worried about their own health. However, missionary travel insurance plans such as HTH’s Global Navigator can help get the insurance they require in remote corners of the world.

The Global Navigator plan also helps leverage the power of the Internet to help a plan holder organize and look for information online, when necessary. Each plan holder has access to a personalized web page, and using the internet or the telephone, members can request appointments with doctors participating in HTH’s International Community.

The advantage in using this is that HTH arranges to pay the physician directly, and the plan holder need not even pay the deductible, when the doctor is a member of the elite HTH International Community.

If, for any reason, you are unable to locate an “International Community” doctor, the company will locate a physician for you in the area that you are in. Other services that Global Navigator features includes an emergency service and physician search that is cell-phone enabled.

Travel tip: Even if every document is available online, it is best to carry copies of important documents with you during travel.

Traveling internationally, with adequate international travel insurance, is a great way to know more about the world we live in, and the different cultures that inhabit it. While we might decry the McDonaldization of everything, make no mistake: For many a U.S. traveler, the sight of the big M is the sweetest part of their trip.

While the U.S. fast food giant has made his way most countries in the world, the U.S. health care system hasn’t (whether for better or worse is up for debate). This means that the facilities in many parts of the world are not as good as those in the U.S.

If, for instance, you are in a remote village in India, and you happen to take ill, you will be covered for the ground ambulance charges to the closest hospital able to treat your condition. Often, for lack of knowledge, you will simply be transported to the nearest hospital.

However, many plans, such as the Liaison Majestic international travel plan, will also reimburse you for the air ambulance transportation to the nearest metropolitan area for treatment. Check how your insurer defines a metropolitan area, and the list of such areas in your destination country, if required.

Travel tip: However, your air transport to another hospital from the metropolitan area may not be covered. Check the terms and conditions with your insurer.

There is, they say, many a slip between the cup and the lip. What this means for the international traveler of today is that even after the tickets are booked and the itinerary finalized, there is a chance that Uncle Sam will call upon a person for the ultimate participation in the country’s judicial system—jury duty.

Torn between the lush meadows of Ireland and the responsibility as a citizen, the one thing that protects your expenses when you serve on jury duty is trip cancellation insurance. Jury duty is among the covered reasons for cancellation in nearly every trip cancellation plan.

The primary plan holder and the traveling companion are both covered. Most plans also reimburse trip costs when the plan holder or the traveling companion is quarantined or subpoenaed.

It also covers a trip that is cancelled as a result of the insured being called to serve on active military duty, or having his/her leave revoked or reassigned. Remember that trip cancellation offers the best benefits when purchased within a specified period of paying the initial deposit toward the trip, as defined by the plan.

Travel tip: Your upcoming trip may be accepted as a reason for being dismissed from jury duty itself.

One of the most often-quoted complaints against the travel health insurance industry is its apparent reluctance to deal with and offer coverage for previously existing conditions. Several travelers have reported paying exorbitant premiums, or resorting to hiding the condition on their application forms for fear of discrimination.

One such person was unable to get coverage for cancer from her insurer, in spite being in remission for six years, far more than the look-back period specified by most insurance companies. Now, here are some tips to enjoy that holiday and coverage too.

First off, withholding information is a complete no-no. Not only can you lose coverage, but if you’re on a group plan, your entire group stands to lose coverage if you are not completely honest in your application, and it is discovered.

Second, if you had a condition that is difficult to get insurance for, start looking for insurance early. You might have some searching to do. Also, when you compare rates and plans, ensure that you check and double check that you will be covered for your condition before paying the premium. There are dependable plans out there—just ensure that you find them!

Travel trip: Some plans may offer coverage, but chicken out when you file a claim. Check the insurance company’s health by referring to its A.M. Best ratings.

The Pyramids of Gaza and the Great Wall of China—perhaps places that are on many peoples’ to-visit lists. Retirement, they might wish, will bring them closer to reality. When researching tickets and travel insurance, though, seniors are sometimes in for a shock. Affordable international travel insurance is not that easy to come by!

While it is not easy to look for and find good, dependable travel insurance for seniors at cheap prices, it is not impossible. One of the tricks to it is to research and compare prices. Don’t go with the first plan suggested.

Remember that Medicare covers overseas travel under specialized conditions. While it is unlikely that it will cover your recreational trip to Egypt, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Also remember that all this research and asking around will take some time, and it is best to start looking for insurance early.

Also, consider your health and look for appropriate insurance benefits. While many plans restrict the maximum benefit to $50,000, remember that the dollar goes a long way in many parts of the world, and that coverage may be more than enough. Finally, always read the fine print of the plan, and if possible, have a paper trail of communication with the insurance company.

Travel tip:: If you’re a senior traveling abroad, you may want to think about the benefits you need. You may not need hazardous sports insurance, for example.

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