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4 Tips on Preventing Travel Insurance Mistakes

October 22nd, 2015  |  Travel Insurance

You’ve finally booked your vacation. Your packing list is organized. Your luggage is picked out. All you have to do is buy your travel insurance. Before you jump in, slow down and take a bit of time to pick the right travel insurance policy for you.

Here’s how to prevent travel insurance mistakes that can break the bank:

Shop Around for the Best Option

When you’re looking for a travel insurance policy, you need to figure out what you need. Do you want something that covers medical emergencies? Your traditional travel insurance policy will do. Do you want trip cancellation and luggage loss coverage as well? You are probably looking an all-inclusive policy.

Once you figure that out, you’ll want to research different policies to make sure they fit your trip. If you’re going somewhere that has higher risk health hazards, you might want to beef up your medical coverage (and get the vaccinations). If you plan on doing some adventuring, make sure your coverage will protect you while you’re risking life and limb. One of the biggest travel insurance mistakes people make is not considering the hazards of adventure travel.

Answer the Travel Insurance Questionnaire Honestly

It can be tempting to omit a few details about your medical history when you fill out the travel insurance questionnaire, but it’s likely to backfire if you need it while on vacation. Claims have been denied due to a “pre-existing condition” because people didn’t fully disclose their health issues.

Read all the questions thoroughly and answer as fully and completely as possible. Even if you’ve been treated for something minor, it’s better to over-report than under-report. It’s easier to pay a slightly higher premium and be covered than to make travel insurance mistakes and be left with a big medical bill.

Call Your Insurance Company for Clarification

When you buy your plan, make sure you read all the literature before leaving on your trip. It might be wise to phone your insurance company and ask what needs to happen if there’s an emergency. Make sure you give this information to your travelling mates so they know how to file a claim for you in the event you are incapacitated.

In addition, if you’re in the hospital and are able to make decisions for yourself, call your insurer and get pre-approval for tests and procedures ahead of time. It’s among the big travel insurance mistakes to let someone else manage your health care when you are able to. You don’t want to be stuck with a big bill after your visit unless you absolutely have to be.

“High Risk” Activities Might Not Be Covered

If you have plans to go zip-lining in Costa Rica or land yachting in New Zealand, you’ll want to make sure any injuries you might get are going to be covered by your insurance policy. You’ll want something that has a very specific exclusion policy because a general “hazardous sports” clause might leave you with $500,000 in medical bills. That’s one of the costliest travel insurance mistakes there is.

Next time you are tempted by a “Swim with the Sharks” activity while booking your Mexican all-inclusive, make sure you read your policy’s fine print before trying to make Jaws your new best friend.

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