Insurance is no one’s favorite topic I am sure (maybe not even an insurance salesman’s), but in this day and age of COVID, it is a necessary evil to discuss. As divers, we either have DAN or Dive Assure dive accident insurance, and if you don’t, YOU SHOULD! But, for the most part, a lot of us don’t think about additional travel insurance. As a dive travel specialist, I don’t often push it on my clients, except maybe if you’re booking an expensive vacation during prime hurricane season. However, the times, they are a changing, and now international medical insurance coverage (and proof thereof) is a requirement to enter some countries. With that said, here I go to expound upon my knowledge of the sexy and enticing topic of travel insurance.
As an agent with Scuba Travel Ventures, I recommend purchasing an insurance plan through Allianz Travel. Even though your are here reading my blog because you love travel and adventure, you know deep down there are risks involved when globe-trotting, just like diving. Your trip may be interrupted by your own illness or injury, or that of a loved-one back home. Your luggage may get delayed and you have to buy some things to hold you over until it arrives. You may never even get off the ground because you suffered an accident on the way to the airport. All these things are taken into consideration when you purchase the right insurance plan.
To put it in basic terms, travel insurance is there to protect you from financial risk by reimbursing you for non-refundable prepaid trip expenses and/or covering a portion of your emergency medical expenses should an unexpected event arise.
A Few Things You Should Know About Travel Insurance1
- Benefits vary by plan. It’s important to choose a plan that fits your needs, your budget and your travel plans. Here are definitions of all available travel insurance benefits.
- Travel insurance can’t cover every possible situation. Allianz Global Assistance offers named perils travel insurance, which means it covers only the specific situations, events, and losses included in your plan documents, and only under the conditions we describe.
- Travel insurance is designed to cover unforeseeable events— not things you could easily see coming, or things within your control. If, for example, you wait to buy insurance for your beach trip until after a named hurricane is hustling toward your destination, your losses wouldn’t be covered.
Will My Travel Insurance Plan Cover COVID Issues?
Generally travel insurance would not cover trip cancellations or interruptions directly or indirectly related to COVID because in standard terms an epidemic would be seen as a foreseeable event. However, in response to the public health and travel crisis that is currently occurring, for a temporary period, Allianz is accommodating claims for trip cancellation and trip interruption if a customer becomes ill with COVID either before or during their trip.
This does not hold true, however, if you choose to cancel because you become nervous about traveling. Almost all travel vendors, including airlines, will work with you to reschedule your vacation for some future date or issue you a voucher for future travel. Also, keep in mind that Allianz will not pay for the cost of quarantine should you arrive at your destination and be required to quarantine because you test positive or are showing signs of illness. Instead, they will reimburse you for your prepaid expenses you were unable to use because of that lost time in quarantine.
In addition, you will not be reimbursed should you cancel due to a travel ban or other government-imposed restriction directly or indirectly related to COVID. However, should you choose to reschedule, Allianz will allow you to move your plan coverage dates to cover that new or rescheduled trip.
How To Get The Most From Your Travel Insurance Plan1
Don’t wait too long to buy travel insurance! The best time to buy travel insurance is immediately after you’ve completed your travel arrangements. The earlier you buy insurance, the bigger your coverage window. Also, you must buy your plan within 14 days of making your initial trip deposit in order to be eligible for the pre-existing medical condition benefit (not available on all plans).
Read your plan documents before you leave. If you’re not completely satisfied with your plan, you have 10 days (or more, depending on your state of residence) to request a refund, provided you haven’t started your trip or initiated a claim. Premiums are non-refundable after this period.
So that is a pretty basic rundown of travel insurance coverage, in general, and what will be covered during COVID. As a reminder, when choosing your next destination, PLEASE read all the entry requirements and restrictions for that country prior to finalizing your plans. Make sure you are willing to do what it takes to meet those requirements, including providing proof of insurance coverage. And REMEMBER, once you have booked your travel and purchased your insurance, take a copy of your insurance documents with you. You may choose to do this with a hard copy, or download the TravelSmart app by Allianz onto your phone or tablet.
Need help purchasing your plan, contact me for a quote. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, just click on the Travel Insurance 101 link below to find a “Get A Quote” box. Check the box where it says “Do you have a Travel Agent ACCAM” and entire my number F202191 so I can see the plan you’ve purchased and make sure you everything looks good.
1 ALLIANZ – Travel Insurance 101: How Travel Insurance Works