Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

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. . . when everybody does it.

Travel Insurance Coverage Takes Many Forms

Travel insurance. Travel medical and hospitalization insurance. Extended travel medical insurance. Trip cancellation insurance. Which one of these do you want?

You’re wise to consider at least a portion of the above when you plan an extended vacation, cruise or adventure trip. You’re going to need some coverage. If you want to protect the money you have invested in the trip against the possibility of having to cancel and want to cover any hospital or medical bills you might incur on the trip, then you’re looking for “total travel protection.”

Those three words are usually identifiable by most insurance carriers, but don’t count on it because the devil is in, like most fine print, the details. Then you have to determine what they mean by “initial trip deposit.” Also in play are pre-existing conditions, along with primary medical coverage as well as secondary medical coverage.

But stop. It’s not as brain boggling as it sounds. Determine first of all what coverage you want.

Do you have hospital and medical coverage on the ship you’ll be sailing on or in the region you’re visiting? If so, does your policy cover everything or do you need a supplementary coverage? Do you care if the money you’ve deposited on your trip is forfeited if you cancel your trip?

Do you have any “pre-existing conditions?” In other words, do you or your spouse, or whoever is going on the trip with you, have a chronic medical problem, such as diabetes? Pre-existing conditions can be covered if you buy the insurance at about the same time as you make your initial trip deposit. The “grace” period can be up to three weeks after your first payment is made for the trip.

If you miss getting your travel insurance within that time, you can still get coverage for everything – lost luggage, missed connections, the cost of airplane tickets, car rental charges, and trip cancellation, for example – except pre-existing conditions.

This means that, if you don’t have any pre-existing conditions or missed the applicable deadline, you can wait until just a few weeks before your trip to buy the coverage.

Now, what about hospital and health coverage? If your existing coverage applies in whatever regions you’re visiting, you can get secondary coverage. This pays most of the bills not covered by your private coverage.

If you’re traveling abroar, you’re existing coverage probably does not extend that far. So you’ll need primary medical coverage, which costs more than secondary coverage. Most policies are sold in 30-day packages, although you can add a handful of days at a per-diem cost.

When shopping for trip, hospital and medical insurance for your travels, you can start with your current insurance agent. He or she should be able to offer you a few coverage and cost options. You also can surf the Internet for Web sites that handle this type of coverage.

If you decide to buy a policy from the ‘Net, make sure you receive your policy number immediately. Do this whether you buy it on-line or by telephone. Ask the insurance vendor if you will get a policy number immediately after completing the transaction. If you cannot get a policy number immediately, shop for another carrier.

This is especially important if you’re concerned about deadlines required to get coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 17, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in A Musing

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