Questions answered by Squaremouth Travel Insurance, Part two

Published by September 15, 2008

ST. PETE BEACH, FL-September 16, 2008–You shouldn’t expect the worst when heading out for a little R&R. But you should know that the right travel insurance can safeguard your vacation investment, and prepare your family for lost baggage, unexpected illness or whatever else comes your way.

Squaremouth, America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison web site, today announces Part Two of our popular web series on travel insurance’s most pressing concerns. The series provides comprehensive answers to the top questions our customers have asked over the years.

Visit Squaremouth’s Help and Advice section, http://www.squaremouth.com/pages/travel-insurance-advice.php, for answers to these and more questions, as well as an insider’s look at the industry.

You may purchase online or call our licensed insurance experts for detailed assistance. The site displays policies in a format that allows for side-by-side comparison, sorts policies by price, benefit or carrier, and instantly lets you buy your choice of coverage.

What you learn today about travel insurance may surprise you – and it will leave you better protected.

Squaremouth customers’ top Q&As:

How long does it take to get my policy?
Squaremouth provides immediate confirmation of a purchase, both on-screen and by email.

What is the latest date I can buy a policy?
You can typically buy travel insurance up to the day before you leave. However, for policies that include cancellation, it is better to buy as soon as possible after your deposit: the cost is usually the same and you maximize your benefits. If you wait, you run the risk that something will happen before you buy your insurance and you won’t be covered.

What qualifies as a ‘pre-existing medical condition’?
A pre-existing medical condition can be any reason to cancel, interrupt or delay your trip due to a medical condition that existed before you bought insurance. If your heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma or epilepsy is solely controlled though medication, and remains so within what’s called the “look back” period, this won’t be deemed ‘pre-existing’ for insurance purposes. Some plans require you to insure the full pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost to be eligible for pre-existing medical condition cover, refer to the policy certificate for full details of the plan you’ve chosen.

Can I buy insurance after I’ve left on vacation?
If you only need medical and medical evacuation coverage, you can buy ‘international medical insurance’ policies during a trip. Standard travel insurance policies must be purchased prior to departure.

What’s the difference between trip ‘cancellation’ and trip ‘interruption’ benefits?
The ‘cancellation’ benefit covers you if you have to cancel your trip before your departure date. Trip ‘interruption’ covers you if you have to cut short a trip you’re already on.

What’s the difference between ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ medical coverage?
If there’s a medical claim, ‘primary’ coverage pays you first even if you have other sources of medical coverage (for example, from credit cards or company benefits policies). ‘Secondary’ coverage requires that you claim from those other sources of insurance first; what’s left forms the basis of your ‘secondary’ claim. If you don’t have extra sources of coverage, most secondary medical coverage reverts to primary.

If my trip is insured on my credit card, should I buy more travel insurance?
Check to see exactly what coverage you already have — since what you think you have and what you’re actually covered for are usually very different. In fact, credit cards cover accidents but typically exclude illness — which helps if you break a leg skiing but not if you have a heart attack on the green. Usually, you’re reimbursed only for what was bought with the card. And other sources of insurance – for example employee benefits – may not compensate for lost luggage or aborted trips, or cover family members who might need to be flown home with you. Your private health insurance may provide some coverage if you go abroad, but this may be limited to certain countries and only certain kinds of emergencies.

Why should I buy insurance independently, rather than through a tour operator?
Most experts recommend that you purchase through a third party. A tour operator usually sells policies designed expressly for them. They reap a high commission on those sales, which often leads to higher prices for you and fewer benefits than you’ll find on the open market.

Should I buy a policy directly from my travel agent?
We don’t recommend buying the first policy your travel agent offers: they may only represent one or two insurers. Each travel insurance company aims it’s products at certain types of travelers. Products priced well for 20 year olds may be the most expensive offering for people over 60, which means travel agents that offer a single carrier are only going to be competitive a small percentage of the time. This means you could end up paying more than you need to, for less than the coverage you require. In contrast, Squaremouth and travel agents who use the Squaremouth quote engine, let you search through and compare policies side by side, and instantly buy from a broad range of options.

What’s the difference between AM Best ratings?
AM Best is an independent company that rates insurance companies. Scores of A- or better are awarded to companies in a very strong financial position. Squaremouth sees little difference in the day-to-day operations of a company rated A- versus A+, so we’re comfortable endorsing either. Squaremouth’s zero complaint guarantee overrides the AM Best rating and is discussed below.

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 Squaremouth.com or Squaremouth.co.uk.

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. 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.

AVAILABLE TOPIC EXPERT:

Chris Harvey
charvey@squaremouth.com
Toll-free (800) 240-0369
Direct (727) 490-5802
U.S. travel insurance – http://www.squaremouth.com
U.K. travel insurance – http://www.squaremouth.co.uk
International Medical Insurance – http://www.squaremouth.com/international-medical-insurance