Understanding Your Travel Insurance Policy

The number of people who purchase travel insurance and are later unhappy with their choice is relatively small. After all, you either buy it and walk around on your trip, not needing to use it, but knowing that you’ve got it just in case; or you buy it, end up needing to use it, and go through the claims process. More often than not, if you know what you purchased and you file your claim properly, you’ll be approved. It’s what happens when people aren’t approved that tends to be the problem.

Frequently, a claims denial can be avoided by one simple act: reading and thoroughly understanding the policy before you purchase it. Many times, insurance companies also offer a review period in which you can thoroughly inspect your policy after buying it, and cancel your purchase within a certain number of days if you find anything in the policy that doesn’t meet your expectations. While travel insurance policies, just like other insurance documents, do tend to be lengthy and include legal terminology, in the end that’s not a good enough reason not to read everything provided to you.

Reading your policy is the best way to protect yourself fully against the unexpected. Contained in that document are the following key pieces of information:

  • Benefits included in your policy
  • Coverage limits, so you know exactly how much protection you have
  • Company regulations, which vary by insurance provider
  • Exclusions, which are crucially important to understand
  • Contact information for your travel insurance company, in case you need assistance or need to file a claim

While it’s tempting to call insurance documentation “fine print” – because, let’s face it, the print usually is awfully small, and the language is less than compelling – most of the time, there really isn’t any “fine print” about it. Your travel insurance company should provide you with a comprehensive and thorough overview of the product you’ve purchased from them. You have the right to that documentation. But with that right comes the responsibility of reading it in full, so that you can know with certainty what you’re entitled to, and what you’re not, in the eyes of your insurance provider.

Written by on 8/25/13.
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