Travel Insurance – Are You at Risk?

Most of us travel, whether it be for business or for vacation.

While some prefer to take their chances regarding travel insurance, many people, with a variety of credit cards available, think that the travel insurance that is included with a credit card will cover all their insurance needs while away.  They might be surprised to find that they are not….

It is very difficult for anyone to do an in-depth comparison of coverage among the different credit cards, considering that even one bank might offer several categories of credit card, with different insurance coverages for each, and options for coverage constantly changing.

You may recall some time ago, when a volcano erupted in Iceland, it interrupted flights across the Atlantic for weeks. Many travelers made the very costly misinterpretation that they were covered by their credit card insurance, but they were not.
How do you find out if you are covered for what you think you are covered?

Some points to discuss with your credit card company (I suggest getting responses in writing)…

1.  Your tour operator cancels your trip. In most cases, the tour operator will refund you your money, but what about airfare and other related expenses?
2.  Acts of war or local protests. Terrorism may be covered by your policy but acts of war or civil unrest are often excluded.
3.  Pre-existing medical conditions. This applies not only to yourself and traveling companion, but also any close relative, for example. If a medical condition exists prior to travel, you may not be covered.
4.  Baggage delay. Check to see what the delay of time requirement is. If it is 24 hours or longer, and you arrived at 6:00 PM the night before your cruise which departs at 4:00 PM the next day, you may not be covered.
5.  Illness or death of a pet. Pets are increasingly being considered as members of the family. Does your insurance cover for the cancellation of a trip if your pet is very sick or dies?
6.  Loss or damage to keys, money, documents, tickets or credit cards. These are often excluded under insurance policies.
7.  Sports injuries: many hard adventure sports are excluded from coverage — bungee jumping, paragliding, mountain climbing or white water rafting are likely to be excluded.
8.  Pregnancy and childbirth. When vacations are often booked a year or more in advance, a pregnancy can create major problems for a planned vacation. Be sure you understand the tour operators’ rules for travel while pregnant because that is usually not covered under travel insurance.
9.  Self-inflicted injury or psychological illness. Coverage for these problems is often excluded.
10. Divorce. If one of you files for divorce from the other, that is usually excluded from coverage.
11. If you do not leave an appropriate amount of time between connections, a weather delay that breaks the connection may not be covered.

Check with your travel agent to see if the insurance that is offered covers these situations – often, booking through a travel agent who represents a full-fledged travel insurance company, you may find that coverage is available.