Like any other type of insurance, travel insurance doesn’t cover everything.
Travelers with unsuccessful claims become frustrated because they feel they have been cheated (see Five “Loopholes” and How to Avoid Them).
This frustration can be avoided by understanding what is covered and what is not. This information is provided in the policy certificate, which you should review during your free look period.
Cancelled trips are a primary concern for most travelers.
Travel insurance provides coverage for cancellation and interruptions, but the reason for the cancellation makes a difference because not everything is covered.
Travel insurance policies provide a list of covered reasons for trip cancellation. If your reason is not on the list, you will not be covered.
Any cancellations for medical reasons need to be recommended and documented by a doctor. You cannot simply cancel a trip because a family member is sick…you need to have them see a doctor and have that doctor make that recommendation.
Note: See Cancel for Any Reason coverage to avoid these issues.
A pre-existing condition is something that happened (or started to happen) before you had insurance coverage.
When you file a claim due to a medical condition, the travel insurance company will look at your medical records. They will need to determine if/when this condition started to happen. If they look back and see no sign of the condition, that means it was not a known condition. If they see that you were diagnosed for the condition, that would be a pre-existing condition and coverage would be denied.
Note: Travel insurance companies have developed a Pre-existing condition waiver to provide coverage in some situations.
Every travel insurance policy has a list of situation in which coverage is not provided, also known as exclusions. This is a specific list if reasons, and it should be reviewed carefully to avoid misunderstandings.
Most travel insurance plans automatically exclude the following from coverage:
See the individual plan’s policy, certificate, or description for additional exclusions specific to the plan.
See the list of unforeseen events travel insurance typically does cover.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.