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5 'Loopholes' in Travel Insurance and How to Avoid Them

Think about the time when you were asked to sign a legal document. Some people flip over the contents of the pages, but, honestly, most of us don’t go through the fine print. A few understand the consequences of not knowing what they are signing and, therefore, read each line very carefully, to ensure that they have thoroughly understood the terms of the agreement.       

Purchasing travel insurance is no different. In order to avoid being caught off guard because you signed something without reading the fine print, here are five loopholes with travel insurance that you can avoid:

1. Not a Covered Reason for Trip Cancellation:

Make sure you understand when a cancelled trip would be covered and when it would not be. A trip would be covered for sickness, injury, your own death or that of a family member, or a traveling companion, flight cancellation, bankruptcy of your travel supplier, and so on.

All reasons for covered cancellations are on the policy certificate. Make sure you know what this is and read it carefully. If any of the above mentioned reasons is not on this list, then you will not be covered. There is one way to ensure that you are covered regardless of the reason for cancellation and that is to get the “cancel for any reason” option which you can add to any plan.

2. Pre-existing Conditions:      

Travel insurance will not cover pre-existing conditions because there is a much higher risk that they will be paying extremely high medical bills for you when you travel in another country. The only way to get insurance companies to cover you once it has already been determined that you have a condition, is to get a waiver for the condition. The conditions are as follows:

  • You need to buy insurance soon after your first trip payment
  • You need to be healthy when you buy insurance
  • You need to insure the full amount of your trip has been paid

Only buy a plan that offers a waiver to the pre-existing condition exclusion, and make sure you meet its requirements when you apply.

3. Coverage Exclusions:

Every insurance plan has exclusions. The plan’s policy, certificate, or description of coverage has a section entitled “General Policy Exclusions.” This section gives you a list of the situations in which they will not cover you, and they are very specific about it. For example: You will not be covered for loss caused by self-inflicted injury, bungee jumping, driving in a motor competition, loss resulting from intoxication, and so on.

4. Incomplete Documentation:

The appropriate paperwork must be provided to the insurance company in order to claim reimbursent for any injury during the trip or cancellation of a trip. Make sure you maintain any important paperwork throughout your trip, including any bills you may have received. In doing so, you will be able to supply the insurance company with all the proper documentation as when needed.

5. Enrolling too Late:

You cannot purchase insurance to travel to a country where a war is about to happen. Simply put, you cannot obtain insurance when something has already been predicted to happen. Therefore, in order to avoid trying to get travel insurance when it is already too late, it is advised to get insurance as soon as you make the payment for the trip.

Majority of customers’ negative reviews stem from the five pointers mentioned above. Understanding those means knowing your coverage thoroughly and this will save you from several frustrations down the line.

Disclaimer: Policybazaar does not endorse, rate or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product offered by an insurer.