Demystifying Insurance

Travel Insurance Questions Answered

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Q: Why would I want travel insurance if I'm traveling domestically? I have my own medical insurance already.

A: Many travel insurance policies cover you even if you don't need it to cover your medical expenses in the event of illness or an accident. If something comes up at the last minute and you have to cancel your travel plans, you don't have to worry about the non-refundable tour package you purchased because your policy will refund your money. If you have car trouble and you reach your hotel a day late, the policy will pay the charges for the day you missed. If your cash is stolen, your policy will replace it.

Even if you do have your own health cover, don't discount the value of the medical benefits offered by travel insurance. Many insurers offer holiday cover for the sort of extreme sports that are frowned upon by traditional health insurance. If you know you're going to be participating in adventurous activities before going on your trip, check with your health insurer to see if you are going to be covered. If not, make sure your travel insurance will protect you.

Q: I decided not to buy travel insurance before I left on holiday, now I'm thinking I should have purchased a policy after all. Is it too late, as I've already left home?

A: This happens often enough that most travel insurance companies will allow you to buy a policy when you've already embarked on your trip. Just be aware that policies are not retroactive and will only cover you from the day you purchase the policy forward. If you are injured or have other problems before you purchase travel insurance, your existing problem won't be covered.

Q: When signing up for a cruise or tour package, is it best to take the travel insurance offered through the cruise or tour company, or should I choose one through a travel agent, or buy my own through a website?

A: The idea is to choose the best cover for your needs at the best premium. You may find that the cruise line offers excellent premiums, but you don't feel comfortable with the coverage limits. You may find the perfect policy online but not be happy with the premiums. The travel agent may offer the best policy and premiums, or it may offer the worst. Take the time to check out what each policy offers and choose the one that works best for you.

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*Note that insurance compared does not offer insurance product advice