Should You Buy That Travel Insurance? – Yahoo Finance

Cancel-for-any-reason policies give you the most flexibility. Travel insurance is a comforting concept, but the devil is still in the details, and that creates lots of opportunity for salespeople to sell you false security. To avoid that, size up the deal by asking these 6 key questions: 1. How many choices does the seller give you?If you buy from a travel agent, you’ll probably be offered only one or two policies from one company, and “best” typically means bestfor the travel agent,in terms of how much of a commission he or she collects on the sale. Online travel sites also tend to limit your choice. We likeInsureMyTrip.com, which sells more than 250 polices from 29 different insurance companies. Choice is important because it allows you to buy as many or as few features as you want. If you’re not sure what you need, use the websites old-fashioned toll-free number (800-487-4722) to get preciseguidance from one of its live agents. 2. Is this insurancetoocheaply pricedor overpriced?Real travel insurance costs 4 to 8 percent of your pre-paid non-refundable costs. So if your up-front airline tickets, resort hotel, cruise , and/or family tour package charges add up to $8,000, travel insurance can cost $320 to $640. Travelers over 40, longer trips, and more comprehensive coverage is priced at the high end. The $10 to $25 impulse purchase policy is very thin on benefits and may only provide death benefits, which you don’t need if you have economically priced term life insurance . At the other extreme, watch out for overpriced policies, which can appear when your travel agent has a captive customeryou. The best way to know if you’re overpaying is to shop around. For information and advice on all things travel, visit our Travel & vacation guide . 3. Can you get a pre-existing medical condition waiver?Trip cancellation (before you leave) and trip interruption (during your trip) are key reasons for buying insurance, and 80 percent of claims are related to medical problems. Unexpected injury and illnesses are, of course, covered. But if you consulted your doctor about a problem 60 to 180 days before your trip and that problem comes home to roost after you buy your travel, that would be an excludable pre-existing condition. To be eligible for a pre-existing medical condition waiver, buy your travel insurance within 7 to 30 days of making your first payment for your travel, says Jim Grace, CEO of InsureMyTrip.com. “If you’re 90 years old, get the insurance the same day you buy your trip, just to play it safe,” says Grace. 4. Does the policy provide health care?If you’re traveling overseas, your health insurance may or may not cover your care. If you’re an older traveler, Medicare typically doesn’t cover you outside the U.S., though some Mediigap policies do.
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