Friday, June 15, 2012

Tips for Buying Travel Insurance

Don't let something unexpected spoil
your trip to paradise.

 Whether or not you need travel insurance depends on your tolerance for risk, your budget, and your current insurance coverage.

First, let's start with the thing most people worry about--travel arrangements gone wrong, forcing a cancellation or serious change in your plans. This could be anything from an accident on the way to the airport to your all-inclusive resort closing down right before your arrival. You can purchase travel delay, missed connection, trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. Of course, your individual needs for these different types of coverages will vary. But if you're planning a trip of significant expense, they bear looking into. Canceled tours, missed flights, lost luggage alone can all cause you major headaches, and none are uncommon. In all likelihood, none of these types of events are covered by your homeowners or any other kind of personal insurance policy. Be sure to check with your credit card company, however. Some cards offer trip cancellation or interruption insurance as a benefit when you book flights, tours and vacation rentals with your credit card.

Medical insurance is another important consideration. However, there's a strong chance your current health insurance will cover you for any injuries or illnesses on your trip. Read you current policy carefully, or speak with your insurance agent. You might want to purchase additional coverage to supplement higher copays that may coincide with traveling outside of your normal network of health care providers.

Clarify whether or not the kind of insurance you purchase is reimbursement only. Many trip cancellation policies will require you to pay out-of-pocket expenses, after which you can submit a claim (be sure to photocopy, scan or photograph all receipts--proper documentation is vital). Some medical expenses may be out of pocket as well, depending on the area you're traveling too. But there is a greater chance that the benefits will be paid directly to the health care provider.

Auto insurance for rental cars may be an unnecessary purchase if you already have coverage on your cars. Check with your insurance agent--you don't want to get pressured or feel obligated to buy something you don't really need.

One kind of insurance to stay completely away from is flight insurance. It protects you only for the duration of the flight. And since flying is one of the safest forms of travel, it's not a good use of your travel dollar.

Regardless of the kind of insurance you purchase, it's always best to check out the insurance provider. Only use companies that are highly rated by insurance rating services. If you purchase online, do thorough research to make sure it's not a fly-by-night company. When it comes to insuring your once in a lifetime trip to Bali, don't try to save a couple of dollars by going with the lowest cost insurance provider.