ST. PETE BEACH, FL MAY 18, 2011 – Among almost all travel insurance policies, there are elements that are rarely covered. “Understanding what will and will not be paid by a claim will help travelers avoid unnecessary frustration,” says Sarah Byrne, Marketing Manager at Squaremouth.com, a site for comparing and purchasing travel insurance.
Underbooked or oversold flights
Travel insurance usually does not protect travelers against under-booked or oversold flights.
However, travelers may be able to receive some compensation for a delayed flight or a missed connection. Some travel insurance policies cover any delay of an airline, while others only cover weather or mechanical failure.
If travelers want the ability to cancel in this situation, Squaremouth suggests looking for polices from Seven Corners and Travel Insured International. Both travel insurance providers allow travelers to cancel their trip if they are delayed for a certain amount of time.
“Unfortunately, overbooking of flights is a very common occurrence in the airline industry. Coverage is available, however, to trigger coverage it usually requires a 6 -12 hour delay. In addition, the airline must admit that the over booking was the reason causing the delay and provide that information in writing,” says Suzanne Munson, Director of Marketing at Seven Corners.
Most travel insurance providers do not cover pregnancy, however, if travelers encounter complications during the pregnancy, they may be covered to cancel their trip or receive medical treatment while traveling.
“Many travel insurance policies identify which complications are covered,” advises Chris Harvey, Squaremouth’s CEO. “Look closely at the policy language because some complications, such as physician prescribed bed rest or false labor, may not be a covered complication of pregnancy.”
Alternatively, Travel Insured International extends aspects of cancellation coverage for the traveler’s pregnancy or the traveler’s companion’s pregnancy, as long as the pregnancy occurred after the policy was purchased.
Nearly all travel insurance providers will not allow travelers to cancel a trip due to reasons related to war. “Most insurance companies insure against unforeseen situations that incorporate a reasonable amount of risk. An act of war is something most insurance companies steer away from, as the amount of loss could be astronomical,” explains Munson.
Although war is usually not covered by travel insurance, travelers may be able to find protection within the Terrorism benefit. The Terrorism benefit covers travelers to cancel in the event a terrorist attack takes place in a location they will be traveling to. Travelers should take note that civil disorders, riots and acts of war are not considered terrorism, which means they are not covered.
If a traveler is concerned a trip will not happen because of war, Squaremouth recommends finding a policy that offers the Cancel for Any Reason benefit. Cancel for Any Reason allows travelers to cancel the trip without explanation, and receive a refund up to 75 percent of the trip cost. To qualify for this benefit, travelers must purchase a travel insurance policy within 14-30 days of the initial deposit payment.
Mental and emotional disorders
Since most policies cover trip cancellation for medical reasons, many people incorrectly assume it includes mental health issues. Travelers should be warned that mental and emotional disorders, such as depression and anxiety are not covered by travel insurance.
“Mental disorders are difficult to diagnose, which could be an explanation as to why they are excluded from coverage,” says Munson.
However, if a traveler is admitted to a hospital, and the hospitalization prevents a traveler from leaving on their trip, most policies will allow them to cancel and receive a full refund.
Squaremouth is America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, helping customers instantly quote, compare and buy policies from every major carrier. Squaremouth has web sites in the US and UK, and an extensive network of partner sites worldwide. The company is headquartered in St Pete Beach, FL., with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. Visit Squaremouth.com or Squaremouth.co.uk.
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