Snowbirds, those lucky people that escape the cold winter weather to warm summer climates, need to carefully consider the travel insurance that best meets their needs. Going away on a vacation without travel insurance can leave you without the coverage you need, often costing incredible amounts should you become injured or ill. With a few simple strategies you can select the travel insurance that meets your needs as well as that of your spouse and family.
One of the most important considerations is the level of coverage that you require. Typically most travel insurance packages will roll coverage into one comprehensive type of bundle. This can include travel cancellation, insurance to cover the cost of your additional expenses if weather prevents travel and of course coverage for illness or injury. The amount of the insurance policy coverage is dependant on how much the total policy covers. If you already have specific types of insurance through your credit card or other sources, bundled policies are still a good option since they are typically much less expensive than individual types of policies.
Pre-Existing Health Conditions
There are travel insurance plans that cover pre-existing conditions; however there may be a limit to the amount of the claim that can be made on these specific medical issues. Some insurance policies require that the purchase of the insurance be completed within a specific date of the travel in order to cover the pre-existing conditions. You will also have to list the pre-existing conditions on the policy and ensure that they don’t fall within the limitations and exclusions. This can sometimes be complicated to determine so check with an agent and get written verification if you have any concerns about how comprehensive the insurance plan actually is.
Understand the Claims Procedure
Unfortunately many people don’t read the full policy and may not realize that there are timelines and required documents for most insurance claims on travelers insurance. This is true if you are staying within the United States or traveling abroad. By reading and knowing what the requirements for documentation are for each claim, you can rest assured that your claim will be approved. It is also important to keep mind that all insurance claims have a time in which they have to be complete. If you don’t file within the specific claim period, you won’t be compensated, regardless of the completeness of your documentation.
Shopping for travel insurance quotes and rates has never been easier thanks to the internet. There are central websites that allow you to input your information including your age, health status, travel dates, locations and other data in order to allow you to access quotes. With these quotes, which don’t obligate you to purchase a particular policy, you can shop around and find the best coverage for the lowest possible price.
There is always a consideration with price and insurance. Very low rates typically don’t provide a lot of coverage or a very high deductable, while very high rates don’t necessarily mean more comprehensive coverage than the other companies are offering. What is a high or a low rate for your personal insurance depends on a variety of factors as listed above, but the cheapest usually start at around 300-400 USD/year
Knowing what you need in travel insurance is also important. If you aren’t sure what coverage your need, talk to an insurance agent or even better, talk to two or three agents to get a balanced perspective on the best possible coverage, rates and options for your next Snowbird vacation.
Everyone has a favorite vacation disaster story, what’s yours?
[photos @Flickr: Tricky, irregular shed, Ivan Mlinaric]