For Immediate Release
September 26, 2013
Why Travel Insurance Matters
And What to Know
Travel insurance is designed to help travelers when the unforeseen happens. According to the US Travel Insurance Association, the most popular travel insurance is referred to as trip cancellation, often sold as a package, or comprehensive plan.
A package – or comprehensive – plan includes three types of coverage in a single policy:
- Financial helps protect against losing nonrefundable travel expenses like airline tickets, cruises, and, baggage loss. It can also help with unexpected expenses like hotel, meals, and incidentals when bad weather delays a trip.
- Medical helps reimburse emergency room and hospital costs and provides medical evacuation if you’re seriously sick or injured.
- Assistance helps connect policy-holders with needed services, coordinate medical care, find emergency legal help, accommodations, and other important resources in case of emergency, from illness to a stolen passport.
Most travel insurance policies range from 4 – 8% of the total trip cost, which, in case of an emergency, more than pays for itself.
High Satisfaction Rate
Travel insurance companies report high satisfaction among clients who have been affected by illness, injury, or natural catastrophe while traveling. In a 2012 survey of people whose travels were impacted by natural catastrophes, for instance, 96% of those who had travel insurance reported satisfaction with their travel insurance.
What to Know
No two travel insurance policies are alike. Travel insurance policies are heavily regulated by each state, and vary by travel insurance provider and policy. Companies design their policies not only to comply with state regulations, but to be as easy to read as possible. Just as with any type of insurance, each travel insurance policy spells out which circumstances are covered and which are excluded. And, like all insurance, travel insurance policies vary, and may not cover all situations.
Purchasing Travel Insurance
When it comes to purchasing trip cancellation or other types of travel insurance consumers have many choices, including comparison websites that offer travel insurance and related plans from any number of companies. Travel insurance is also available from travel agents, airline web sites, online travel agencies, insurance brokers, and through travel suppliers such as tour operators, cruise lines, and hotels.
When purchasing travel insurance, UStiA recommends that you:
- Carefully review the policy and be sure you understand what is and what is not covered. Contact the company providing the insurance if you have questions. Most companies have consumer representatives who will answer questions.
- Be aware that a less expensive policy may not offer as complete coverage as a policy that costs more.
- Know that there is almost always a “free look” or refund period, during which time you can review the policy, and obtain a full refund if it does not meet your needs.
To learn more about travel insurance, and for a list of UStiA member companies, visit www.ustia.org.
UStiA also sponsors TRIP (Travel Responsibly, Informed, and Protected), a consumer advocacy web site with helpful information including timely tips on travel, health, safety, and security. Visit www.TRIP.ustia.org
UStiA promotes fairness, integrity, and a commitment to excellence in the travel insurance industry. With a mission to educate the public on travel insurance while maintaining high industry standards, UStiA is a non-profit association of insurance carriers and allied businesses involved in the development, administration and marketing of travel insurance and assistance.
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