Top travel insurance tips for 2022 – Forbes Advisor

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A solid travel insurance plan is a smart way to protect the investment you make in travel in the event of the unexpected. As the pandemic continues to show us, the unexpected is always a possibility.

If having a great vacation is one of your goals for 2022, here are the top tips for finding the best travel insurance policy.

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Tailor coverage to your trip and destination

Your vacation destination and itinerary play an important role in determining the coverage you may need. Let’s say you book an overseas excursion with connecting flights that includes several sightseeing tours, entertainment at various locations, and exploration and sporting activities.

For a trip like this, consider a comprehensive travel insurance plan that includes:

  • Trip cancellation and interruption coverage who can reimburse you for prepaid and non-refundable charges if you need to cancel or cut short your trip for reasons listed in the policy.
  • Travel delay insurance to compensate you for expenses incurred during a stopover and for missed activities that you paid for in advance and which are not reimbursable.
  • Coverage of medical expenses for medical treatment, medicine, x-rays and more.
  • Medical evacuation cover in case you need medevac to a better medical facility.
  • Baggage loss coverage who can provide compensation if your baggage is lost, stolen or damaged.

Travel medical insurance for trips abroad

If you are traveling only to the United States, your health insurance plan will likely cover medical expenses. But it might have very limited, if any, coverage overseas. Check your plan details for Global Coverage to find out how much travel medical insurance you may need. And health insurance is generally not accepted abroad.

It is often crucial to have travel medical insurance for trips outside the country. This type of coverage pays “reasonable and customary charges” for costs such as:

  • Doctor’s bills
  • Ambulance service
  • Hospital room costs
  • Operating room fees
  • Examinations, x-rays and laboratory tests
  • Medication

Purchase travel insurance soon after booking your trip

If you do not purchase a travel insurance policy soon after booking a trip, you lose some benefits. Some types of cover are only available within a certain time frame, typically around 14-21 days after making the first travel deposit. These benefits include:

  • Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. Purchasing a travel insurance plan immediately allows you to obtain exemption from exclusion for a pre-existing medical condition. Without one, you won’t be covered for medical bills or medical evacuation if an existing condition you have worsens during your trip.
  • Upgrade “Cancel for any reason”. If offered by your travel insurance company, you should usually add “cancel for any reason” within two to three weeks of filing your first trip.

Consider the pros and cons of “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage

Standard trip cancellation benefits only apply when you cancel for a reason specified in your policy. But if you want the most flexibility, consider “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) travel insurance. It reimburses part of the non-refundable and prepaid expenses of your trip if you wish to cancel for reasons not listed in the basic policy. It adds an average of 50% to the cost of an insurance plan. And it has special rules.

  • You cannot cancel at the last minute, you must cancel at least 48 hours before departure in order to make a “cancel for any reason” claim.
  • You usually don’t get 100% pay, you get 50% or 75%, depending on the plan.
  • You must add coverage within two to three weeks of the first payment for your trip. The latest purchase date varies by company, but don’t delay if you think you want CFAR coverage.

You can make a CFAR claim, for example, if you don’t like the Covid testing requirements at your destinations, or if it’s going to rain at your resort. These types of reasons are not covered by standard trip cancellation insurance, but will be covered by CFAR coverage.

Check the benefits of your credit card for travel insurance

Before you put any money on a travel insurance plan, consider what coverage you might already have in your wallet. You might be pleasantly surprised if your credit card includes travel insurance.

For example, a credit card may offer trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. This coverage becomes effective if you cancel for an acceptable reason or if your trip is cut short due to credit card covered issues, such as inclement weather.

You must use the card to book the trip in order to benefit from the insurance benefits of the card. Here are the best Forbes Advisor credit cards for travel insurance benefits.

Look for adventure travel insurance if you plan on riskier activities

Travel insurance policies generally have exclusions for high risk activities. For example, if you go skydiving or parasailing during the trip, your travel medical insurance might not cover you in the event of an injury.

If your trip includes activities that differ from traditional sightseeing or museum visits, make sure you have a policy that will cover your specific high-risk activities. A travel insurance agent can help you find the right options based on your itinerary.

Confirm Covid coverage and check guidelines for visitors

Not all travel insurance policies cover pandemics. If you’re concerned about Covid-related issues, make sure the plans you are considering cover Covid-related cancellations and medical bills.

And be aware that many countries still have Covid-related rules for visitors. For example, you may be required to show proof of vaccination and a negative Covid test taken within three days of your departure. Be sure to ask your travel agent or check government websites for the most recent guidelines.

Check out Forbes Advisor reviews for the best pandemic travel insurance.

Find out if your travel insurance company has a mobile app

Some travel insurance companies have mobile apps that make it easier to manage your travel plans (and problems) on the go. For example, the Allianz TravelSmart app provides live flight updates and you can use it to access Allianz’s 24-hour concierge and support services.

Another advantage is that you can file and track claims from within the app. This is particularly advantageous for travel delay benefits. For example, if you are eligible for a travel delay claim, you may receive reimbursement for a hotel stay during your layover instead of having to pay the money up front and receive compensation. after you return home and have filed a complaint.

Some companies are also offering expedited processing of travel delay benefits through additions to certain travel plans. For example, Allianz offers SmartBenefits which provides automatic reimbursement of travel delays of $ 100 per person without having to provide receipts. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection can pay you the same day you file a claim if you choose electronic payment methods for your plan.

Don’t assume travel insurance is prohibitive

You might think that travel insurance is an expensive proposition, but it can be relatively affordable. If you’ve put thousands of dollars down payment for your vacation, travel insurance can be a smart way to protect your investment.

The average cost of a travel insurance plan in 2021 for domestic travelers was $ 297. For overseas travelers, the average cost was $ 357, according to data from Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider.

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