Posts Tagged ‘supplemental health insurance’
by Lynn Hudson
Summer travelers may be carrying some expensive, excess baggage during their summer vacation-uneeded insurance.
Consumers who buy travel services—such as vacation packages or rental cars—are likely to encounter a plethora of insurance-related products intended for protection against vacation disaster. But are these products necessary? In many cases, they aren’t.
For the typical family, buying extra travel-specific insurance can be an unnecessary waste of vacation money. If you have standard levels of homeowners, renters, auto and life insurance, as many people do, you are already protected for a large number of travel-related incidents that may occur while vacationing in the United States.
In the case of theft, consumers with the proper insurance generally are protected, even while traveling in a foreign country. Travelers who are not protected by standard insurance may want to consider purchasing certain specialized products to guard against theft, illness or liability.
The best way for all vacationers to save money and aggravation is to leave valuables at home. Why risk an expensive loss by packing items you don’t need? Ask yourself whether you really need to take your diamond ring, Rolex watch or most expensive clothing to the beach.
If you must take your valuables with you on vacation, avoid the risk of theft by packing them in your carry-on bag instead of checking them at the airline gate. If you leave your luggage in the car, always put it in the trunk.
Some travel-related insurance you may want to avoid:
Supplemental medical coverage. Most major medical insurance policies will cover consumers for standard medical care while traveling in the U.S. Typically, supplemental health insurance is not needed, unless you plan to travel abroad.
Flight insurance. Flight insurance is a type of limited life insurance that covers you only while you’re on a plane. More comprehensive life insurance, which is intended to protect your dependents if you die, is usually a better value because it protects your family at all times. In many cases, people without dependants do not need life insurance at all.
Rental car insurance. Most rental car companies offer collision damage waivers —often directly written into your contract for an extra fee to protect you from liability for damage to the rented vehicle. Nearly 80% of car owners already have coverage—either through their personal auto policy or a credit card—that applies to rented cars, as long as the vehicle isn’t used for business.
Some travel-related insurance you should consider:
Trip cancellation insurance. For travelers who purchase costly, non-refundable travel packages—especially those with small children or elderly parents—should think about trip cancellation insurance (TCI). TCI reimburses consumers for non-refundable expenses in the event they must skip their trip due to illness, death, family or weather emergency.
At a cost of about $80 to $150 per person, TCI can be costly, but some policies will provide extras such as lost baggage and medical evacuation insurance. Consumers can buy this coverage from an independent insurance agent, rather than the tour company, which guards against excessive coverage exclusions and ensures that they are protected, even if the travel company goes out of business.
To avoid problems, some travel experts recommend booking vacations with respected travel providers. However, even well-known travel companies do not guarantee problem-free vacations.
The Turner Agency recommends that you call us before you leave home to ensure that you are protected in the event of travel-related losses. We also suggest that you review all travel insurance contracts for exclusions—such as pre-existing medical conditions or injuries received while participating in “extreme sports”—before signing on the dotted line.