Shop around for travel insurance

When buying travel health insurance, it pays to stay on your toes. With so many choices available, it can be difficult to know where to go.

You can purchase a quality insurance plan directly from an insurer, bank, auto club, group or affinity association or simply top up a credit card plan.

But remember, every plan has limitations and no one plan is right for everybody.

Research beforehand
Do your homework. Read the fine print. Find out which insurance company underwrites the plan. Ask about emergency assistance and claims service. Question anything you don’t fully understand. Better yet, talk to a friend who has purchased the plan you’re considering.

Look for proper coverage, good value and, above all, deal with someone you trust.

Medical precautions
Vacationers with pre-existing medical conditions are encouraged to take extra precautions when purchasing travel insurance. Be sure to ask specific questions about the coverage.

And keep in mind that a diagnosis is not necessary in determining a pre-existing condition.

  • Pre-existing determination only requires that symptoms related to thacondition, directly or indirectly, existed before the effective date.

Most important, ask for a written guarantee of coverage for your pre-existing conditions.

If the insurance company won’t provide it, your best move is to walk away.

Next page: Emergency provisions

Emergency provisions
All travel insurance plans are designed to provide coverage for unforeseen medical emergencies. Coverage should include items such as:

  • Professional services
  • Dental accidents
  • Meals and accommodation
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Emergency return home
  • Transportation of relatives or travelling companions
  • Vehicle return

Look for coverage for all possible emergency expenses. Many travel insurance plans offer convenient extras, such as:

  • Coordination of roadside assistance
  • Legal referrals
  • Lost baggage
  • Passport and travel document assistance

Talk to your broker to learn exactly what is covered before you buy.

-Prepared by the McLennan Group.