What to Look Out for When Buying Travel Insurance, Warns Squaremouth

Published by March 21, 2011

ST PETE BEACH, FL March 21, 2011 – Buying travel insurance may seem like a hassle, but with some guidance, it can be smooth sailing.

Many travelers find themselves lost in the abyss of choices, not understanding the differences from one insurance policy to the next. These simple steps will give travelers the knowledge to make a well informed decision which will prevent over insuring and over spending.

Prevent Over Insuring
To prevent over insuring, compile a list of the of the main reasons for purchasing travel insurance. If a traveler knows the coverage they want, they will save money by buying a policy that provides only those benefits. Searching for travel insurance on a comparison search engine will provide travelers more options with better policies for less money.

Single Trip Insurance or Annual Insurance
Understanding the difference between annual travel insurance and single trip travel insurance will save a traveler hundreds of dollars. Single trip travel insurance covers the traveler for one specific trip. The premium is determined by the trip cost, age of traveler and length of stay. Standard single trip travel insurance offers a variety of choices, including trip cancellation and interruption benefits.

Annual insurance offers coverage for multiple trips during the year, and may have limited or no cancellation coverage.

“Many annual plans also offer additional upgrade options which can be added to a base plan to enable the traveler to customize their coverage to suit their individual needs,” says Christine Buggy, Director of Marketing at Travelex Insurance Services.

Although annual plans mainly provide medical and medical evacuation coverage, they are cost effective and provide essential travel protection against unforeseen events.

Look for the “Sweet Spot”
Since travel insurers all have an ideal customer in mind, each product is aimed at a different demographic. This explains why some plans are inexpensive but offer better benefits. While comparing travel insurance, don’t be concerned that a policy is inferior because of its low price.

“Some policies will cost less than our competitors for similar coverage limits due to our innovative pricing technology,” says Kathy Townend, CSA Travel Protection’s Marketing Manager.

This situation is common, and simply means the traveler has hit the “Sweet Spot,” and qualified for the best rate.

Purchase Only the Minimum Requirements
Each person’s requirements will vary depending on their destination, age or health. If a person is young, healthy and traveling to the Caribbean, the medical requirements will be low. The opposite will apply if a traveler is older or traveling to far away countries.

“Nearly 100 percent of products provide similar cancellation coverage, so if a traveler does not require any other coverage, choose the cheapest product,” says Sarah Byrne, Marketing Manager at Squaremouth.com, a website for comparing and buying travel insurance policies.

Be Aware of Time Limits on Benefits
There are benefits, such as Pre-existing medical coverage, Cancel for Any Reason and Financial Default, that are only available if a traveler purchases a policy within 14-30 days from the date of the first trip payment.  However, there are a few carriers that do provide Pre-existing medical coverage up to the day before the last trip payment.

“Our Custom Luxe plan allows travelers to purchase the insurance plan including coverage for Pre-existing conditions up to their final trip payment.  Travelers may not consider the need to protect their trip when they first book their travel arrangements, so this gives them the flexibility to purchase with having to compromise on coverage,” says Townend.

Being Able to Cancel
Having the option to cancel in case of illness or death of a relative may be the main reason a traveler is purchasing travel insurance. It is important for a traveler to think of the many reasons a trip could be cancelled, and then check that the policy provides coverage for those circumstances. If those concerns are not listed, consider purchasing a policy with the benefit Cancel for Any Reason.

Check the Fine Print
Although reading the fine print is time consuming and difficult, a traveler should make it a priority before a purchase. “Understanding the benefits of the policy is very important, so that in the event of a claim, the consumer knows what will and will not be paid,” says Suzanne Munson, Director of Marketing at Seven Corners, an insurance provider.

Money Back Guarantee
Most policies offer a money back guarantee that will allow travelers to cancel their policy and receive a refund.

“If they are unhappy, they are not obligated to keep the policy,” says Brendan Sharkey, Director of Individual Products at HTH Worldwide, an insurance provider.

Depending on the provider, the guarantee can last for up to 15 days after the purchase date. Most companies will refund the full amount minus an admin fee of around $6 to $8 per policy.

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., with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. Visit Squaremouth.com or Squaremouth.co.uk.

About our Zero Complaint Guarantee
The cornerstone of our commitment to customers is Squaremouth’s guarantee to remove any company from our website if there is a customer complaint that cannot be 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:
Air Ambulance CardCSA Travel Protection, Global Alert Admin, Global Rescue, Global Underwriters, HCC, HTH Worldwide, IMGITravelInsured, Medex, Medjet Assist, MH Ross, On Call International, Seven Corners, Travel Guard, 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