Travel insurance is an absolute necessity, but often misunderstood. People make a variety of mistakes when it comes to travel insurance; some don’t want to spend a little extra after all that money on hotels and plane tickets, while others don’t take full advantage of the benefits it offers when they do use it.
Here are five of the most common travel insurance mistakes you should be familiar with before planning or making your trip around the world.
1. Not buying it until a crisis happens.
Just like you can’t buy home insurance after the fire or auto insurance after the crash, you can’t buy travel insurance when you get sick or flights are delayed. The effective dates are not immediate, and you need to be able to count on it when problems happen. If you buy it after the crisis, the insurance agents will almost certainly reject your claims.
2. Being negligent because you have it.
Some people think that because they have travel insurance, it’s okay to leave luggage unattended, participate in reckless activities, or drink and drive. Accidents caused as a result of negligence are typically not covered, and the insurance agents will do their best to find out whether there was any reckless behavior involved. It’s not worth the risk.
3. Extending your trip last-minute.
Your policy starting and ending dates are set in stone unless you have a way to let them know otherwise. Sometimes, insurers will allow this, but it isn’t common. Before you buy your policy, ask the agent how to extend it if you need to. Trip changes, including visiting new places or delaying your return, can put your insurance coverage at risk.
4. Claiming illness without seeing a doctor.
If you get sick, no matter how bad you feel, you have to get a doctor’s approval to cancel, return early, or delay your trip. Any medical reason behind making an insurance claim should be documented and your doctor should explicitly recommend these actions. You also have to make sure the records show that your doctor’s visit happens before you made these changes.
5. Not reading your policy terms and conditions.
If you take this simple step, you will be far more prepared to make an insurance claim. Different companies have different coverage, so even if your friend assures you that something is covered or the airline tells you it’s be possible to get refunded, it may not be for you. Some companies have pre-existing condition waivers, while others don’t cover certain activities. Everyday decisions while on your trip will be affected by this knowledge and you will be far safer.
Travel insurance is an absolute necessity that will save you time and hassle, but unless you know about these mistakes and avoid them, it can’t do you much good. With a better knowledge of your policy, you will be better prepared for your upcoming trip and can focus on the great experiences about to unfold!
Posted by Kalen Smith for Cover More – An Australian Travel Insurance Company.