Almost every Trip Cancellation/Delay policy provides medical travel insurance and emergency medical evacuation insurance. Therefore, if buying a Trip Cancellation/Delay policy, there is probably no need to buy a separate travel health insurance policy.
The most basic Trip Cancellation/Delay policies reimburse travelers, according to the terms of the policy, for non-refundable trip payments and deposits due to the cancellation/delay of a trip. So, if illness, accident or bad weather prevents or delays travel, the trip insurance may reimburse for the non-refundable parts of a trip according to the terms of the policy. Travelers may be covered for other reasons too. Again, check the policy.
Please read and understand all terms, conditions, limitations and coverages of any trip insurance policy you may obtain. A few items merit additional explanation:
- Travel Insurance usually needs to be purchased in advance of travel, usually when the initial deposit is made.
- If an initial deposit is less than $500, it may be considered a “Good Faith Deposit” and may not actually count as the deposit date. For example, on January 1, 2020 Mary puts down a $100 deposit to hold her spot on a tour that is tentatively scheduled for October 15, 2020. She might not buy travelers insurance on January 1, 2020 because the final price, itinerary, and date is not firmly set by the tour operator. On July 1, 2020 the tour operator sets the final price, itinerary, and date and requests Mary to increase her deposit to $750. Mary pays the additional deposit on July 1, 2020. Then, July 1, 2020 becomes the “deposit date” for the purpose of buying travel insurance. Again, this may vary between travel insurance companies. It is best to get clarification from the company.
- It makes sense that trip insurance will cost less for $5,000 worth of coverage instead of $10,000 in coverage. Therefore, a traveler may opt to not cover the entire cost of a trip. Think about it, we often buy other insurance policies with deductibles of $1,000 or more. So, if a trip costs $7,500 for instance, you can choose to insure it for only $5,000, for instance, to save money in the cost of travel insurance and effectively build in a “deductible” of $2,500.
- An option for travelers might be to purchase an annual policy instead of a per-trip policy. Annual policies are often much better values than purchasing per-trip policies. This makes good sense for those taking more than one trip per year.
- Not only is it important to understand what is covered with a travelers insurance policy, understand what is NOT covered. Depending upon the policy, cancellations/delays due to epidemics like the Corona Virus may not be covered. Other common exceptions to coverage are civil unrest, pre-existing medical conditions, or bankruptcy of a travel supplier.