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Purchasing Travel Insurance During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Do’s and Don’ts

If you are planning a trip in the near future, you must consider purchasing travel insurance. Even though it is great news that a lot of people are getting vaccinated and that many countries are opening their borders once again, travel during these times is still incredibly uncertain. Some countries still require COVID-19 testing prior to entering, flight cancellations happen left and right, and countries can close their borders again on a moment’s notice. With so many reasons why a trip might get derailed, it is critical for travelers to purchase travel insurance. At the same time, how do travelers find the right insurance policy to meet their needs? Consider our list of do’s and don’ts and share them with your clients as they plan their upcoming trips.


DO Review the Different Types of Policies Available

First, you must review all of the different types of travel insurance policies available. Different policies cover different issues, and you must find the right ones to meet your needs. Some of the most common types of travel insurance include:

  • Travel Medical Insurance: This policy provides you with medical insurance coverage while you are away from home. Even though it will not cover a brief visit to a primary care doctor while overseas, it could cover injuries that take place during recreational activities. Common examples include adventure sports, organized sporting events, and traumatic accidents.
  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance: This type of travel insurance policy will cover expenses if your trip is delayed, interrupted, or canceled for any reason. For example, if you have an organized tour that suddenly gets canceled, and you need to cancel your plane flight as well, this type of insurance policy may reimburse you for any non-refundable expenses.
  • Lost Baggage and Personal Belongings: You never know what will happen when you check your bags underneath the plane. They could get lost, stolen, or delayed. This type of policy will reimburse you for any bags that are lost or damaged during the trip.
  • COVID-19 Specific Travel Insurance: This type of insurance policy may cover the cost of spending a few extra nights in the hotel in the event that you test positive and need to stay for a few extra days. This policy may also cover any change fees applied by the airline when you need to book a different flight.

Always review the different types of travel insurance policies available before you decide which one is right for your needs.


DO NOT Overlook the Insurance Policies You Already Have

Before you purchase a travel insurance policy, do not forget to examine the insurance policies you already have. For example, you may not need an insurance policy to cover your personal belongings if you already have homeowners’ insurance. A lot of homeowners insurance policies will provide you with coverage for personal belongings even while you travel.

If you need to rent a car while overseas, be sure to review your current car insurance policy. There is a chance that you might not need to purchase an insurance policy for your rental car because your rental car is already covered by your current car insurance policy, even if you are renting a different car.

If you have some portions of your trip that are already covered by your current insurance policies, you may not need to purchase another travel insurance policy for that specific area.


DO Consider the Quality of the Customer Service Team

Customer service frustrations.

Even though you should be focused on the cost and coverage provided by the policy, you need to think about the quality of the customer service team as well. For example, is there a dedicated agent who can help you if you have a question or concern? What happens if you need to file a claim?

When purchasing your travel insurance policy, you need to have an agent who is dedicated to your best interests. Filing a claim can be complicated, and you do not want to have it denied on a technicality. Furthermore, if you need to adjust the policy later, you don’t want to spend hours on hold. Consider the quality of the customer service you receive while reviewing your travel insurance options. This is reflective of the quality of the customer service you will get if you have a question or concern later.


DO NOT Check the First Box You See

As you book an overseas trip during the pandemic, a lot of companies will ask you if you want to purchase travel insurance before finalizing the trip. Even though it can be tempting to check the first box you come across, this is not always the best move. Some of the reasons why you might not want to buy travel insurance from the same company offering the trip include:

  • The travel insurance policy probably only covers delays or cancellations related to that portion of your trip, not the entirety of your journey.
  • You do not get a chance to review the cost of that travel insurance policy against other policies that might be more comprehensive.
  • You don’t fully understand the conditions under which you can file a claim, so it might not cover what you think it covers.

You should not automatically assume that the travel insurance policy offered by your tour, plane, or hotel company is the best one to meet your needs.


DO Work With an Insurance Agent To Find the Right Travel Insurance Policy

Finally, before you head overseas, you should work with an insurance agent to help you find the right travel insurance policy. Your situation is different from everyone else’s. Your trip is a bit different, the size of your party is slightly different, and the conditions under which you are traveling now are different than they were six months ago. Countries are changing their regulations, opening, and closing their borders constantly. You need to find a travel insurance policy that is right for your specific needs without asking you to pay an exorbitant price. An insurance agent has intimate, real-time, and in-depth knowledge of the insurance landscape. He or she can help you find the perfect travel insurance policy to meet your needs.


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