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Ways to Avoid Buying the Wrong Travel Insurance

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St Pete Beach, Florida – March 2005 – If an emergency occurs during your vacation it could be a major disaster if you do not have the right travel insurance. President Chris Harvey offers some advice gleaned from his experience building the website that compares and dissects all the top travel insurance policies in the USA.

Where should I buy insurance?
Beware of the hard sell – Insist on choice!
This is very important as most travel websites and tour/cruise operators either automatically include or will hard sell you their own policy. This is usually inferior to the freely available packages and can be much more expensive as it could include large administration charges. Your cruise operator may insist that customers take out its insurance as a condition of the booking. If you are in this position and still want to make the booking, print out your policy EOB (evidence of benefits) page and compare it to the market leading policies using comparison tools such as At least you will know if you are missing out on any vital coverage.

If you are making your own arrangements or are using a travel website or agent that will allow you as much choice in insurance as they give you in vacations, save time by using a comparison. This saves you jumping from site to site and typing the same details over and over again.

When should I buy insurance?
Most insurers will offer full coverage for any pre-existing medical condition if you buy their policy within 10 to 14 days (depending on insurer) from the date you made the first payment towards your trip. They will also throw in bankruptcy coverage if you meet this requirement.
Don’t worry if it’s already more than 14 days since your deposit as medical coverage is provided for any new emergency that’s not connected to an existing condition. Most insurers also only look back 6 months to determine pre-existing conditions.

Not withstanding the advice above you could purchase your policy anytime up to the day you are traveling although if you leave it this late beware that coverage does not start until midnight on the day of purchase.

Your policy will cost the same whether you make the purchase a day or a year before you travel (as its cost is determined by your age, length and cost of trip and number of travelers). So it’s always better to purchase sooner rather than later as you get the extra cancellation coverage without extra charge.

How much should I pay?
Every identical policy is sold at the same price regardless of who sells it! Look for added value and insist there are no extra “administration? charges added by anyone other than the insurance company.

Average family of four – expect to pay around 4 to 7% of your total trip cost.Single traveler under 50 – expect around 5% of total trip cost.If you are over 60 but under 70 – expect to pay around 6 to 10%.Over 70 – you should expect insurance to cost up to 12% but you may find as low as 9% of your total trip cost.

We explain to our customers that they usually do not lose benefits by buying the cheapest policy and in most cases get much more coverage than the most expensive package on offer. One reason for this is insurance companies aim their products at certain types of traveler. When policy A is cheapest for a family all aged under 40 years old, it may be close to the most expensive if the travelers are over 70. A good, easy to use comparison site is a must have for this type of research as there is no way to tell this unless you can easily change information while looking at comparative quotes.

How do I know if an insurer will look after my family in an emergency?
The short answer is in most cases you don’t unless you have successfully claimed from them before. offers a zero complaint policy which means an insurer selling products on its site does so only while it has maintains a flawless record with its customers. “If even one of our clients has a complaint that we cannot resolve to our satisfaction, we will remove that insurer from our site.” Explains Chris Harvey, “it’s the most important thing we do, it’s way too late when you are in the middle of an emergency in a foreign country to find out you made a bad choice in insurer”. “We sell a large number of policies and know that an insurer would not want to loose that business by having one complaint. We choose the insurers on our site very carefully and stand behind their quality.”

Where can I get further information?
is the most comprehensive travel insurance comparison site in the world and offers easy to use yet powerful tools to allow you to make the most informed choice available. Alternatively you can call its help line toll free at (800)240-0369.

Chris Harvey