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As with any other type of insurance, travel insurance doesn’t cover everything. There is a chance a traveler might end up getting frustrated because they didn’t understand the policy exclusions, but there is a way to avoid this frustration.
In getting reliable trip protection, understanding what is covered and what is not is a crucial step, which is often undermined by the excitement of the trip planning process. Luckily, this important information can be found in the policy certificate that travelers can review during the free look period.
What Isn’t Covered by Travel Insurance
Change of Mind
What’s unfortunate is that most travelers think they can just cancel their trip for any reason whatsoever. An important thing to take note of is, standard insurance plans for travel don’t include cancellation coverage for a change of heart, no matter what the customer’s situation is. Standard trip cancellation plans will typically offer coverage for a broad set of covered reasons, as opposed to any reason at all. However, this does not mean insurance plans cannot be flexible.
Most insurance companies offer a plan with the option to “Cancel for Any Reason.” This upgrade gives customers the liberty to cancel a trip, with a maximum of 75 percent refund if one opts out within 48 hours (or more) from the date of departure.
Pricey Personal Possessions
Trip protection provides coverage in a variety of scenarios, but more often than not, this excludes more expensive personal belongings. Should one wish to take high-priced items or luxury clothing with them, it is important to note that the insurance policy may not make the policyholder whole if these items are stolen or lost.
Again, a better option is to upgrade. Some plans offer this option to provide coverage for items such as musical instruments, smartphones, computers, sporting equipment, and business equipment.
Incidents Under the Influence
This should come as self-explanatory, as travel insurance is designed to protect against unexpected and unforeseen incidents that can happen while in a foreign place. If the insurance company has proof that the injury was a result of being reckless while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the policy will not cover it.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
This is a common exclusion in many insurance policies for travel. It refers to any medical condition that the insured had been diagnosed with and treated during a specified time (called the look-back period) prior to their policy’s effective date. It is typical for insurance companies to get a hold of their customers’ medical records to determine if this condition has existed before getting coverage. If yes, it will fall under pre-existing condition and the insured’s claim will be denied.
However, there are some instances in which an insurance company is able to supply a pre-existing condition exclusion waiver. This waiver can be used if the medical condition becomes acute while traveling, or exhibited symptoms which would cause one to seek diagnosis, care, or treatment. A pre-existing condition exclusion waiver is available on some plans if you purchase the policy within a set amount of days from your initial trip payment and insure 100% of your pre-paid and non-refundable trip costs.
To ensure what covers your trip protection clause, including pre-existing medical condition, do read your policy’s description of coverage closely prior to purchase.