TRAVEL INSURANCE IS LIKE ALL INSURANCE ? it transfers the financial risk of something happening to you or your property to a third party, which is an insurance company. If you have a car accident, you want to call someone who will take over and ensure your car is fixed or replaced, and while inconvenient, you will not suffer financially. The same happens with home insurance. If you have a fire or theft you want everything to be handled and not be financially out-of-pocket except for your deductible.
You cannot purchase home insurance when your house is burning. It is the same with travel insurance. You will not be able to get it once the accident or illness has happened. So be prepared before you leave and prevent the financial loss if the ?something? happens to you. You want a number to call to help you get ?fixed? and back to your vacation or home for additional medical help.
Here is a checklist to help you select a travel insurance carrier:
Is there a phone number you can call 24/7 for help?
Are you going to have to pay for the treatment and file a claim or will your insurance carrier arrange to pay for it on your behalf?
Check out the pre existing clause. Is the wording in your policy clear and have you sought help to ensure you qualified before you purchased the insurance?
What is the stability clause prior to your trip? Most are 180 days, however there are some which are only 90 days.
If you are healthy, as many seniors are these days, are you qualifying for significant discounts off standard rates?? Some companies even permit people who are taking medication for blood pressure, which is controlled, to qualify for their largest discount rate.
What is the deductible? Deductibles permit lower rates but you usually pay extra to have that eliminated. Is that important to you?
What are the limits on the policy? Is it in Canadian or American dollars?
Does your insurance provide for the return of your pets and/or vehicles?
Other important considerations:
Consider an annual multi trip policy if you take frequent smaller trips and then just ?top? it up for your major ?snowbird? trip.
Purchase before your age changes.
Don?t wait until the last minute to make your arrangements, in case there are some ?glitches? which might delay your policy being issued.
Do not ignore your doctor?s advice for a change in treatment or medication prior to a trip, thinking it will keep your insurance in place. When the check is done with your doctor after your claim, it will be discovered and your claim can be denied.
Does your agent only sell one company?s insurance or do they have access to several companies? Not all companies offer the same. You may need one tailored to your specific needs.
If you decide to leave earlier or return earlier, let your agent know so that they can change for coverage dates to coincide ? don?t leave early thinking you are covered without a call to formally change the dates on your policy.
If by any chance you have to return home during your trip, contact your agent before you leave to ensure that your insurance is still in force or to make the arrangements for it to be restarted.