Is It Worth It To Price Shop Travel Insurance?
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Compare Quotes With Over 22 Travel Insurers
There are many travel insurance companies in the marketplace offering robust policies. Most of us want to get good value for our money. The quest to find a travel insurance policy that meets your coverage needs and that comes at a good price doesn’t have to be complicated.
Expect that travel insurance will generally cost around 4% to 10% of the trip costs you’re insuring.
“Depending on your age and trip information, a $5,000 trip can expect to see travel insurance policies available for $200 or less, with more expensive policies available costing $500 or more,” says Steven Benna, a spokesperson for Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider.
Travel insurance pricing is based on the ages of the travelers, the cost of the trip and the coverage you choose.
Comprehensive travel insurance plans typically include many of the same benefits. “However, the price and coverage amounts can vary significantly from policy to policy,” says Benna. “Comparing policies and prices can save you hundreds of dollars,” he says.Price Shopping
What’s the potential price difference among companies for good coverage? We looked at a 10-day trip to the Bahamas costing $5,000 and found these ranges:For a Florida couple ages 58 and 60 there was a $160 price difference between the highest ($403) and lowest ($243) price quotes.For a California family with two kids there was a $275 price difference between the highest ($450) and lowest ($175) price quotes.
Keep in mind that coverage levels within policies vary, so more expensive plans may also be providing higher reimbursement levels for claims.Choosing the Right Medical Coverage
If you’re traveling within the U.S. and at only a small trip cost, you may want to look at a budget plan, says Christine Buggy, a spokesperson for Travelex Insurance Services. For example, you might focus on trip cancellation insurance to cover a non-refundable deposit made on a resort room.
But “if you’re traveling internationally for a longer vacation to a remote destination, look at a more comprehensive plan especially to help cover medical and evacuation expenses which typically are not included in individual health insurance plans when traveling abroad,” Buggy says. “That means when traveling overseas if you need medical attention, the costs could fall entirely on you.”
Travel medical insurance will pay bills such as ambulance, doctor and hospital costs. When pricing policies that cover travel medical expenses, Buggy says an important difference is primary coverage versus secondary coverage:Primary coverage is more expensive but pays out before other medical coverage you have.“Speed of reimbursement is the advantage here,” Buggy says. “This means claims are filed directly with your travel insurance provider [paying out from the first dollar owed] bypassing the need of your health insurance plan.”Secondary coverage is often a lower price point. It will pay expenses not covered by other medical insurance you have, such as your workplace health plan.
“This can be a nice supplementary medical expense option to help with costs not covered in your primary medical plan like deductibles and copays out of your own pocket.” With secondary coverage you file claims with your existing insurance provider, and then the travel insurance provider for the remainder.
Another price consideration to be aware of is that you can get your pre-existing medical conditions covered without extra charge by getting a “pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver.” You typically need to add this waiver to a travel insurance plan within two to three weeks of your very first trip deposit.Professional Help with Saving Money
It’s easy to get travel insurance quotes once you know your destination, travel dates and trip cost. Remember to insure only the non-refundable parts of your trip. Don’t pay for more insurance than you need by insuring expenses you can get a refund on if you cancel, like refundable plane tickets.
Consider using a licensed travel advisor to book your trip and your travel insurance. “They can do the leg work of researching for you,” says Buggy. “An experienced travel advisor offers knowledge and access to information you may not have on your own.”
How to find insurance you’re a ‘high-risk’ traveller
Age and/or pre-existing conditions could mean you have to shell out to secure a policy(iStock)
It has been a long time coming but finally, the summer of (a bit more) freedom is here.
The Portugal debacle notwithstanding, we’re embracing the chance the travel, even if it is mostly within our own shores for now.
But as we settle in to a new normal some of the old restrictions are coming back to haunt us – not least when it comes to insuring that summer break.
“We went into 2020 as a normal, healthy family that could pick up cheap travel insurance quickly,” says Kate MacKenzie, from Somerset. “We never gave it much thought. Then, during the first lockdown, my husband was diagnosed with an incurable form of leukaemia out of the blue.
“As well as everything else that was going on he became uninsurable overnight. He’s still in his thirties but we will now struggle for all kinds of insurance, including travel cover, for the rest of his life. These days, the travel restrictions don’t bother us as much trying to find affordable cover for a much needed break does.”
The MacKenzie family is far from alone. If you’re aged over 60 or have a pre-existing health condition, you may be charged more or not offered a travel insurance policy at all, but there are still options available if you want protection.
The summer is almost here and after more than a year of lockdowns, millions of UK holidaymakers are set to escape and visit the foreign countries letting them in.
But summer holidays are not what they once were thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and if you do have a trip booked, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the government’s announcements which are prone to change at the last minute.
This uncertainty means it’s more important than ever to make sure you (and your holiday) are as protected as possible.
Travel insurance is designed to pay out if something goes wrong, which can include the cost of medical treatment or a lost suitcase, but you may also have a policy that covers you for Covid-related cancellations.
You don’t need to look very far to find cheap travel insurance, with some single trip policies costing less than a new pot of sun cream, but these prices and policies aren’t for everyone.
As soon as you reach an older age – which in the insurance world starts from around 60 – prices begin to creep upwards. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you’ll also be paying more than most as well.
This is because insurers deem these consumers as being more of a risk of claiming on a policy.
This is not something reserved for a small group of travellers either. According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), there are between 12.6 and 14.1 million people who buy travel insurance every year who have a pre-existing condition.
The advice is always to get a policy before you travel, or as soon as you’ve booked, but it’s also important to look at why someone would travel without insurance.
This could be a person who is terminally ill and has their dream holiday booked, for example, or a pensioner making a last trip to see their family, who has chosen to take the chance of nothing going wrong and to travel without cover.
The consequences of travelling without insurance can’t be stressed enough. Aside from the cost of replacing lost or stolen belongings, what will really be an issue if the cost of medical treatment or repatriation back to the UK.
However, there are options and specialist help is available if you’re struggling to find a policy. New rules, which came into force in April from the FCA, now mean it should be easier for these travellers to find insurance.
An insurer must direct consumers to a directory of specialist providers, such as the one from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) for the following reasons: if it can’t give you a quote, charges you an extra £100 or more because of a medication condition, cancels a policy because of the condition, or if it offers a policy with a medical exclusion that can’t be removed.
Pam Quinn, spokesperson for BIBA, said: “Having pre-existing medical conditions or disabilities does not mean that overseas travel should be impossible because of the need for travel insurance; however it is essential that insurance that provides suitable insurance is bought.
“It’s very important for anyone buying travel insurance to be clear about any medical condition. Specialist providers can discuss the condition(s) and can often find an insurance solution in the most challenging of circumstances meaning that many people can make the trips they have dreamed of.”
Specialist providers provide bespoke policies and should be able to give you advice on how to find the right protection while a medical professional, such as your GP, can also help.
As with all insurance, it’s always worth checking a few different quotes before you sign up and taking the time to read the details of the policy to make sure you have enough cover.
The type of holiday also makes a difference, with cruise trips often requiring more expensive insurance due to the fact they usually include different countries and only limited medical supplies on board.
Taking out a single-trip insurance policy, rather than an annual policy, may also be a cheaper option.
Martyn James, spokesperson for Resolver, adds: “Many older people or those with pre-existing medical conditions will be disheartened and discouraged on a first attempt to get travel insurance, as hugely expensive quotes and restrictions make holidays seem impossible. Don’t give up, there are specialist insurance firms out there who can help, but you may have to hunt around a bit.
“If you’ve got a medical condition then advice from your doctor can help you beat the big quotes. If a medical professional says you’re in remission and not a risk that can help, or you could accept an exclusion, meaning that one specific condition is not covered but everything else is.”
Travel insurance confusion could leave holidaymakers out of pocket, warns Which?
Insurance confusion will cost billions as summer holidays take off
OYS Gets Answers: Is travel insurance worth the price?
I can’t wait to visit my grandkids in Maryland this summer. It’s been over a year since I’ve seen them, due to the pandemic. But I’m worried about coronavirus. What if my trip gets cancelled, or I get sick? I’ve heard those who get vaccinated could still come down with the virus. If I get travel insurance, will it refund my trip if I can’t go?
Noreen and many others across the country are making plans to see loved ones they’ve missed during the last year and change due to travel restrictions during the pandemic. Many of them are considering travel insurance to make sure that their trip goes off without a hitch and, if it should, they will be covered financially. But is travel insurance always worth the price?
Scott Keyes is the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights and author of the new book “Take More Vacations.” He says that people buy travel insurance to make sure they’re protected in case something goes wrong on a trip. But it’s when they actually try to use it that they end up reading the fine print and discover that in many instances, they’re not actually covered for whatever has gone wrong.
One of the biggest reasons people buy travel insurance, Keyes said, is because they think that if they cancel their trip, they’ll get their money back. It’s not always the case.
“A lot of folks were in for a real rude awakening early in the pandemic when they realized the insurance they bought didn’t allow them to just cancel their trip because they didn’t want to take it, that you had to have bought a much more expensive form of insurance called ‘cancel for any reason insurance’ and that even then you would only get about 75 percent of your flight costs back, you’re not fully made whole.”
But what about the coronavirus? Have insurance plans changed with regard to the pandemic since it began?
“To have pandemic coverage, you must buy the ‘Cancel For Any Reason’ additional policies in addition to your standard coverage,” Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications at the Insurance Information Institute, said in an interview with ABC News. “And then that policy must specifically state it covers pandemic-related issues. So just because you find Cancel For Any Reason, it’s not guaranteed that you have all the coverage you might need.”
What is a Cancel for Any Reason policy?
As the name implies, Cancel For Any Reason, or CFAR, policies offer travelers a wide range of coverage should they need to cancel their trip. Many companies have begun adding special pandemic coverage to these policies.
CFAR pandemic coverage can include trip cancelation, trip interruption, travel delay, medical expenses and even emergency medical evacuation if you need to be flown back to the U.S. from a foreign country for COVID treatment, according to Friedlander.
“Read the policy carefully before you buy and make sure you are fully protected for pandemic-related issues,” Friedlander said. “You also need to understand what is the trigger — when do you need to notify your insurer that you are canceling the trip?”
Friedlander also noted taking out a CFAR policy does not guarantee you’ll receive all your money back should you cancel.
“Depending on who the writer is for the policy, you typically though will not get back 100% of your trip, even with full coverage,” Friedlander said.
If you are traveling overseas, look to make sure if the country you’re visiting requires that you purchase travel insurance. For example, Aruba, the Bahamas, Tahiti and many other countries currently require visitors entering the country to have travel insurance.
So is travel insurance even worth purchasing if you’re simply traveling in the U.S.? Maybe, Keyes says. He recommends that people do the following before buying insurance:
Make sure the insurance covers what you want and read the fine print.
“The thing that I caution folks against is wishful thinking. Buying travel insurance just because it feels like ‘well I’m insured so I should be fine,’ and then only realizing later when you need it that maybe you’re not covered for the thing you hoped you would be,” Keyes said.
See how you’re already covered.
“One of the reasons why I personally rarely buy travel insurance is that for many of the things folks worry about, you already have protection in two forms. The first is from the airline. So if the airline cancels or significantly changes your flight under federal law you’re entitled to a cash refund if you want one. If the airline loses your bag or damages it or it gets lost, or it arrives late you entitled to compensation from the airline. If you have a big delay often times you can get compensation from the airline,” Keyes said.
He said another form of protection is through your credit card.
“Many folks don’t realize when you purchase your flight on a credit card that might automatically carry travel protections that that credit card includes. So for many credit cards they include things like delay protection if your flight is delayed you’re allowed compensation, if your flight is canceled there may be some compensation, if your bag is log damaged or delayed. These are all these areas you may already have some sort of protection for, so why would you want to pay a second time?” Keyes said.
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance, though. If you’re traveling somewhere by plane, and then have another part of the trip that is a cruise, and you booked them separately, you might want travel insurance. However, it is good to read the fine print and make sure you’re well-informed of the policies and consider purchasing insurance through a third party.
“Generally speaking, I found that the insurance if you buy it separately through a third party is a little more robust a little more reliable than the insurance that is automatically offered to you at checkout when you’re booking a flight. That’s not always the case and again you really, really want to read the fine print because with insurance there is so much that goes into what specific situations are you covered for and what specific situations are you not covered for,” Keyes said.