What Does & Doesn’t Travel Insurance Cover?

Alifiya Aun Ali
November 17, 2019

Travel insurance is a policy document which aims to protect you against risks and damages that you may encounter while travelling, be it a solo trip to another part of the world or a complete family vacation, the travel insurance ensures that your journey is smooth and you don’t face any unpleasant monetary situation when on trip.

A typical travel insurance policy will have coverage for a traveller’s main concerns, including trip cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays, and lost luggage. Most policies are built to be comprehensive to protect travellers from a variety of events that may cause a financial loss before or during their trip.

Travel Insurance Covers a Canceled Trip

For many travellers, the number one reason to buy travel insurance is for financial protection in case they can’t take their trip. With Trip Cancellation coverage, you can protect all of your prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses.

Trip Cancellation can refund 100% of your trip expenses if you cancel your trip before leaving for a reason covered by your policy.

The most common trip cancellation reasons include:

  • Illness, injury, or death of you, a travelling companion or a family member
  • Severe weather preventing you from reaching your destination
  • A terrorist attack at your destination
  • Bankruptcy or financial default of Travel Company
  • Terrorism or mandatory evacuation at destination
  • Death or hospitalization of the destination host
  • Home or business damaged, vandalized, or burglarized
  • Jury duty, a required court appearance, or military redeployment
  • Required to work, terminated, or transferred
  • Victim of criminal assault prior to the trip
  • Traffic accident prior to the trip
  • Theft of passport or visa prior to the trip
  • School year extension
  • Legal separation or divorce
  • Loss of accommodations abroad due to an illness or death of the host family or friends.

If you get sick or injured while travelling abroad, most domestic health insurance plans, including Medicare, likely won’t extend coverage overseas. However, medical and medical evacuation benefits are built into most travel insurance policies and can cover you in multiple countries while you’re travelling.

Travel Insurance Covers a Medical Emergency

There are two main travel medical insurance benefits: Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation.

Emergency Medical coverage can reimburse you for the costs associated with medical treatment for an illness or injury during your trip. This can include coverage for physician services, ambulance services, and hospital charges, among other expenses.

Medical Evacuation is included alongside Emergency Medical coverage. This benefit can arrange for your transportation to the nearest hospital in the event of a medical emergency and can bring you home if the hospital determines it’s necessary for your situation.

Travel Insurance Covers a Travel Delay

Travel insurance covers more than cancellations and medical emergencies; it can also help you if your flight is delayed or you miss your connecting flight.

The Travel Delay benefit is available to help if your flight is delayed for a reason outside of your control, such as inclement weather or a mechanical breakdown of your plane. Travel insurance can refund your meals and hotel accommodations during your delay if your flight is delayed and you take meals or opt for any accommodation make sure to save their receipts, so you can claim your spent money.

Missed Connection is for travellers who are delayed, and incur additional costs to catch up to their trip. This benefit can help you if you missed your departure for a reason covered by your policy, such as severe weather, a mechanical breakdown, or an accident on your way to the airport.

Travel Insurance Covers Lost or Delayed Luggage

The travel insurance coverage for your personal items can include lost or damaged items, or delayed luggage.

If your luggage is delayed, you can be refunded up to the policy’s benefit limit, to purchase clothes and other essentials after 12-24 hours. This benefit won’t refund the cost of the actual items that are delayed, however, if your luggage is permanently lost or damaged, you can be reimbursed to replace the lost items. In order to overcome any of the lost baggage mishaps do keep the track of items present in your every luggage.

Coverage for lost or damaged luggage is limited to a per item maximum, typically ranging from $250-$500.

What Travel Insurance Does Not Cover

Like any other type of insurance, travel insurance doesn’t cover everything.

Travellers with unsuccessful claims become frustrated because they feel they have been cheated and not accommodated as promised by the travel insurance company. This can be avoided by understanding what is covered and what is not.

This information is provided in the policy certificate, which you should review during your free look period or before you start your travel, so when you travel you have complete information.

Travel insurance does not cover cancellations for ‘everything’ and not all mishaps happening due to multiple reasons can be covered under your bought travel policy.
Travel insurance policies have a list of ‘exclusions’

Every travel insurance policy has a list of the situation in which coverage is not provided, also known as exclusions. This is a specific list of reasons, and it should be reviewed carefully to avoid misunderstandings.

Most travel insurance plans automatically exclude the following from coverage:

  • Changing your mind or deciding you can’t afford to go.
  • Extreme, high-risk sports such as sky-diving, scuba diving, bungee jumping, heli-skiing and others.
  • Losses due to war (declared or not), military actions, civil disorder, and riots.
  • Losses due to venereal disease, AIDS virus, pregnancy (except complications of pregnancy), or abortion.
  • Losses are due to mental, psychological, or nervous disorders including anxiety, depression, neurosis or psychosis.
  • Losses incurred while the insured is participating in an unlawful act.
  • Losses due to the insured intentionally causing bodily harm, including suicide.
  • Losses incurred while the insured is legally under the influence of drugs.
  • Read the insurance plan’s policy, certificate, or description for additional exclusions specific to the plan.

Travel insurance provides coverage for cancellation and interruptions, but the reason for the cancellation makes a difference because not everything is covered. Travel insurance policies provide a list of covered reasons for trip cancellation. If your reason is not on the list aforementioned, you will not be covered.

Any cancellations for medical reasons need to be recommended and documented by a doctor. You cannot simply cancel a trip because a family member is sick…you need to have them see a doctor and have that doctor make that recommendation.

Pre-existing conditions

A pre-existing condition is something that happened (or started to happen) before you had insurance coverage. When you file a claim due to a medical condition, the travel insurance company will look at your medical records.

They will need to determine if/when this condition started to happen. If they look back and see if the condition was not known, your claim would be accepted. If they see that you were diagnosed for the condition, that would be a pre-existing condition and coverage would be denied.

How to save money and find the best travel insurance online:

Use a comparison tool to get quotes for all plans, easily compare on Smartchoice.pk and buy online….
1. Click on the travel insurance button, this will take you to the comparison tool
2. Enter your trip details: Dates, travellers, etc…Then click the Quote Now button
3. Check out the options to narrow your choice: Compare features to pick a plan
4. Buy online: After selecting a plan, use a credit card/debit card/ Jazz Cash/Keenu to securely pay online
5. Rest assured: Instant confirmation of coverage and surety of receiving a policy within minutes of your payment confirmation.

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