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5 Tips for Purchasing Travel Insurance

If you’re planning some sort of major travel, either a long work trip or that big vacation you’ve been saving up for, you’ve probably seen those online click buttons asking you if you want to add travel insurance. At first glance it might seem unnecessary. After all, with the massive amount of planning you’ve put into this trip, what could possibly go wrong? Regrettably, that’s quite a long list. You could fall ill, you could miss your flight, a family emergency could come up, or you could simply lose your luggage, leaving you in an incredibly difficult position. Travel insurance will make sure you can weather these issues with ease, providing you the money you need to check into a hotel, purchase a new wardrobe, or simply move your flight and itinerary a day later if necessary. Not all travel insurance is the same, however, and you have to know exactly what you are taking on. So here are five tips for purchasing travel insurance to help you navigate that process.

First of all, make sure you get familiar with the variety of products that are currently available. The various policies all focus of different parts of the process. Trip cancellation makes sure you don’t lose everything you’ve paid if you can’t make the travel date. Trip interruption will help you along if something you’ve booked falls through. There’s also several medical-focused policies, such as dental or healthcare, accidental death or medical transportation options. You’ll find luggage and possession loss insurance, and insurance against default or bankruptcy of the vendors you have employed. Learn what each policy focuses on, and you’ll find the right match.

Before you buy anything, determine if you already have some amount of coverage in place. Many credit card companies offer a level of travel insurance if you book your services with that card. If you carry a renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy, many of those will cover your possessions even if you’re far away from home. Current car and medical insurance may remain valid in other countries as well. Just check over the fine print of your current policies, so you know where and when you are already protected.

Although most travel agents, cruise lines and tour providers offer their own travel insurance, you’re usually better off purchasing through a third-party. Insurance is complicated, and professional policy providers will always offer you better policies and stronger customer service than a travel-oriented company that offers this on the side. Remember, insurance companies have to be licensed to do that work, and they usually have track records that are decades old. Some cruise line may offer you a cheaper policy, but what happens if they go belly up next year?

As you shop through the various policy offerings, make sure you ask a ton of questions. There are no bad questions, especially in this situation. If the written policy isn’t clear about restrictions and coverage, you’ll need them amended. Make sure you have all of the specifics detailed in writing. You’ll want to know how the reimbursements are established, and what the timetable is for receiving them. You should find out what sort of assistance you’ll receive in an emergency, with specifics for how to call in your policy even when overseas.

Finally, don’t forget about itemizing expensive equipment you’re taking on your trip. RateSupermarket travel insurance will allow you to add extra coverage for things like sporting goods, electronics or jewelry, just as you would on your home policy. It’s a bit of added peace of mind in a situation where you will have limited control over the security of your goods. You can’t always leave these things behind, so if it’s worth more than $1,000, make sure the coverage is expressly detailed in your travel insurance contract.

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