Top questions about travel insurance answered by Squaremouth

Published by August 14, 2008

ST. PETE BEACH, FL-Aug 15, 2008 There are as many options for travel insurance as there are scenarios — from life-threatening, to simply annoying — that can arise unexpectedly when you travel. So how can you be sure you’ve found the right policy for you? Now the summer vacation season is in full swing, Squaremouth, America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison web site, today announces a comprehensive set of answers to customers’ most pressing questions.

Squaremouth displays policies in a format that allows for side-by-side comparison. You can sort policies by price, benefit or carrier, and instantly buy your choice of coverage. If you’re still undecided, our team of licensed insurance experts is available to answer any question by phone or email.

In our Help and Advice section, we answer more of your top queries and give our inside scoop on the industry. Visit

Squaremouth customers’ top Q&As:

What are the main kinds of travel insurance? Medical policies cover illness, accidents and emergency evacuation. They may be sold separately, or wrapped into so-called “comprehensive” packages. At a minimum, comprehensive packages consist of “trip cancelation” and “trip delay” protection in circumstances ranging from poor weather or airport delays, to deficient aircraft; “trip interruption” benefits for vacations cut short because of a family emergency; and usually some baggage cover.

Can I insure non-related travelers on my policy?
Most companies do allow travelers who aren’t members of the same family to be on the same policy. Virtually all policies are priced according to the number of travelers, so there is a minimal cost increase when splitting travelers across multiple policies. Medical Evacuation and international Medical products almost always require insureds to be related.

Can travelers from different states share a policy?
in most cases, yes. Insurance companies consider the primary insured’s state to be the so-called ‘resident state.’ Every other traveler on the policy could be from a different state.

Should I buy an annual plan instead of insurance for each individual trip?
If you don’t need trip cancellation coverage and you intend to make many small trips, an annual plan may be a good choice. Annual plans mainly provide medical and medical evacuation cover with very few other benefits. Standard “per trip” travel insurance offers trip cancellation and interruption benefits, as well as medical, medical evacuation and many other benefits.

Should I buy a ‘medical evacuation’ plan in addition to standard trip insurance?
A medical evacuation plan, is designed to return you home quickly after you’ve been hospitalized in a foreign country. This insurance typically doesn’t cover medical treatment you may need before the evacuation. Most standard travel insurance covers evacuations as well, but the insurance company and local physician are the ones deciding whether to bring you home; Medical evacuation plans, in contrast, allow you more control over that decision. Squaremouth considers standard plans’ evacuation coverage to be excellent, so unless you want more control over the decision to evacuate there’s no need to buy additional medical evacuation cover.

Can I buy travel insurance without a ‘trip cancellation’ benefit?
Yes, you can choose a plan that excludes cancellation coverage but still offers a full range of benefits, including coverage for trip delay, a medical emergency, medical evacuation, lost or delayed baggage, etc. Some plans allow you to enter a $0 trip cost, which will provide all the benefits of a comprehensive plan excluding trip cancellation and trip interruption. Another option to consider is a Post Departure Plan, which offers all comprehensive benefits including trip interruption, but excludes trip cancellation coverage.

Is there a money back guarantee?
Money back guarantees let you decide if the travel insurance policy you purchased is right for you. Your guarantee, called a “free look period,” in industry lingo, can last for up to 15 days depending on the insurance company, although it may expire sooner if you make a claim or reach your departure date before the period has ended. Most companies will refund the full amount minus an admin fee of around $6 to $8 per policy.

When’s the best time to buy?
The best time to buy travel insurance is usually within 14 to 21 days of putting down the initial deposit on your trip. It means you’ll typically qualify for coverage of any pre-existing medical conditions – though a few carriers provide such coverage up to the day before your last payment. If you need a “cancel for any reason” benefit, you’ll be required to buy this within 14 days of your deposit. But if you don’t need either of these types of benefit, or you’re buying medical coverage only, there’s no deadline to meet: you can buy insurance up until the day you leave.

Can I buy insurance to cover less than the cost of my trip?
Some plans require you to insure the full pre-paid, non-refundable cost of a trip to be eligible for certain benefits, such as for pre-existing conditions. Others allow you to insure an amount less than your trip cost; however, any claim would be limited to the amount you’ve insured.

Can I insure trips paid for using frequent flier miles?
Frequent flier miles aren’t covered by travel insurance. If you cancel a trip, you’ll only be reimbursed the money you actually lost. However, some policies will reimburse the cost of an airline-imposed change or reissue fee, if your trip was canceled by your travel supplier; plus fees to re-bank frequent flier miles up to the amount you entered as your trip cost.

Can I cancel for any reason and get my money back?
Standard trip cancellation insurance refunds the pre-paid, non-refundable costs of canceling a trip for one of the reasons covered by your policy, which generally are: sudden medical emergencies; airline, cruise line or tour operator bankruptcy; severe weather; terrorist attacks; or jury duty. You can add ‘Cancel for any reason’ insurance as an option on many policies to help refund much of the value of a trip. You must buy it within 14 days of putting down the initial deposit on your trip, and you have to insure the trip’s full value. And to be able to make a claim, you must cancel a trip at least two days prior to your intended departure.

About Squaremouth
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. Visit or

About Squaremouth’s “Zero Complaint Guarantee”
The cornerstone of our commitment to customers is Squaremouth’s guarantee to remove any company from our web site until a complaint is resolved to our satisfaction. Squaremouth offers the broadest selection of insurance with an emphasis on quality and follow-up care in companies featured. We also factor in independent evaluation from the insurance industry watchdog AM Best.

Squaremouth offers products from the following travel insurance carriers:
AIG Travel Guard, CSA, Elvia, Global Alert Admin, Global Underwriters, HTH Worldwide, ITravelInsured, Medex, Medjet Assist, MH Ross, Multinational Underwriters (MNU), Seven Corners, Travel Insurance Services, Travel Insured, Travelers Liberty, Travelex, TravelSafe and USA Assist.


Chris Harvey
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Direct (727) 490-5802
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