What are the essentials you would never leave without before your vacation? A passport? Your tickets? A debit/credit card? Sure that’s obvious, but what about travel insurance? Believe it or not, so many travelers would opt out of ensuring they have proper travel insurance before they jet off on their vacation. There are many travel insurance options such as paying a fee to add travel accident insurance to your credit card insurance but this falsely allows people to feel they are protected. This option may sound like it applies to you, a traveler, because it has “travel insurance” in its title, but do not be fooled. Many travel accident insurances actually refer to a very limited personal accident insurance policy. At worst, it will pay out only if you die as a result of an accident getting out of a plane, boat, or train during a journey IF you paid for it with that specific credit card. Thus, if your accident is a result of an existing medical condition or you trip on the beach and break your ankle, you are not covered. After reading many fine prints from insurance companies and hearing about many vacations turn into nightmares, we confidently believe that comprehensive travel insurance is the best option for any traveler whether you are traveling domestic or international.
Consider the following when deciding between your basic coverage credit card travel insurance and upgrading to comprehensive travel insurance.
Pre-Existing Conditions Most credit cards that offer travel protection insurance also offer travel accident assistance, which is closely related to travel medical insurance. However, they restrict this coverage from customers with pre-existing conditions such as asthma or heart issues. Although the same could be said for a comprehensive plan, there are many other plans that provide a pre-existing condition waiver which removes the pre-existing condition exclusion. Provided the traveler purchases the plan within the specified time period after their first trip payment, they are medically fit to travel and meet all other coverage requirements then the pre-existing condition waiver can help to ensure reimbursement for a covered illness or injury while traveling. Thus, if you have a pre-existing condition please read the fine print carefully.
Long-Term Travel To some credit card companies any trip longer than 60 days is considered long-term travel and the credit card company may not give the travelers adequate protection. Therefore if you are planning a trip for a semester or a full season double check with your credit card insurance on what they consider “long term” and see if you are covered. You can purchase a comprehensive plan that is specifically designed to protect a traveler during longer trips. These plans have trip interruption and travel medical coverage to protect travelers during their extended time away.
Medical Evacuation It should be known that not all credit cards provide coverage for emergency medical evacuation. But most comprehensive travel insurance plans provide this coverage. This benefit will allow the traveler to get to the most appropriate hospital in relation to their location for their covered illness or injury. A better option for this type of emergency is “hospital of choice” coverage. Some comprehensive plans may have this, unlike credit card insurances that do not. This coverage allows the traveler to be evacuated to a hospital near their home if the physician deems it necessary and they are fit to be transported. Accidents are inevitable and the medical costs can be crippling. There is absolutely no reason to leave for a vacation without having the appropriate travel insurance and fully understanding what you are covered for. It can be tricky with how many options are at your fingertips, but we plead that you read the fine print and prepare for anything.