ST. PETERSBURG, FL April 24, 2012 – Purchasing the wrong travel insurance could cost thousands of dollars in unpaid claims. Travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth.com encourages travelers to fully research all available policies before making a purchase. Travelers should understand why they’re buying insurance and decide the most important scenarios they want covered.
Squaremouth identifies 5 important questions for travelers to ask before purchasing travel insurance.
1. I have a medical issue. Will I be covered if I have complications during my trip?
Pre-existing Condition coverage is typically available to travelers who purchase their policies within two weeks of their original trip deposit and are healthy enough to travel on the policy purchase date.
After the Pre-existing Condition window has passed, travelers will be subjected to a medical look-back period of 60 days to 3 years. If there is has been no medical change during the look-back period, a Pre-existing Condition will often be covered, however, something as small as a prescription change can cause travelers to have a medical coverage exclusion.
“Availability of Pre-existing coverage is a one of the most asked questions from our customers,” says Squaremouth CEO Chris Harvey. “Insurance companies will closely examine travelers’ medical records when they file a claim, so it’s important they understand what is considered a Pre-existing Condition if they don’t have the coverage.”
2. Should I buy Cancel for Any Reason?
Trip cancellation covers travelers who cancel due to an illness or death. Since most travelers typically cancel for these reasons, only travelers who have a specific scenario not already covered by travel insurance should buy Cancel for Any Reason.
Cancel for Any Reason allows travelers to cancel their trip no matter the cause and receive reimbursement for their non-refundable expenses. However, this freedom comes with a price. This coverage can raise premiums by as much as 50% and will only refund up to 75% of the original trip cost.
3. Should I purchase Primary or Secondary Medical Insurance?
Travelers will receive the same type of medical treatment whether they have primary or secondary medical coverage. The difference between the two occurs during the claims process. Primary medical coverage processes the claim faster as the first payer, even if travelers have other medical insurance. Secondary coverage requires travelers to first file with their primary health insurance before processing a claim.
If travelers do not have health insurance, secondary coverage can still fully cover a medical claim.
4. How do I get travel insurance if I didn’t book through a travel agent?
Just as travelers can book online reservations without a traditional travel agent, they can also purchase travel insurance on their own.
However, while buying travel insurance through a cruise or airline may be convenient, it isn’t always advantageous.
“Travelers should approach buying travel insurance in the same manner they make travel plans. They wouldn’t buy the first airfare or hotel rate they come across, nor should they buy the first travel insurance plan they find. Those who do will end up paying more or not have the coverage they expected,” says Harvey.
5. Does it matter when I purchase travel insurance?
Timing is key when it comes to buying a travel insurance policy. Travelers who purchase travel insurance within the first two weeks of their trip deposit date are eligible for additional benefits. Most providers only offer Cancel for Any Reason, Pre-existing Condition, Financial Default and Cancel for Work Reasons coverage if the policy is purchased within 14 days of travelers’ first trip deposit date.
Even if travelers do not purchase travel insurance within those first two weeks, it is still beneficial to buy early.
“Travelers need to make sure they have coverage sooner rather than later, because they can never know when a sickness, weather issue, or other unexpected event could occur,” says Squaremouth Marketing Manager Anna Coats.
Travel insurance companies only pay claims to customers who have insurance before an event takes place, so once a hurricane is named or an airline has announced its bankruptcy, travelers who do not have insurance will not be covered for such incidents.
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. Petersburg, FL., with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. Visit Squaremouth.com or Squaremouth.co.uk.
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