First, you need to decide what coverage you need
You need insurance for your vacation. But how do you find the right policy, and how do you know that is the smart choice? The answer: 10 minutes of homework.
Figure out what kind of coverage you need. If you are worried about getting sick and missing your flight, you need coverage for missed flights. If your elderly mother is ill and might take a turn for the worse, you need trip cancellation coverage that covers illness to family members. If you just worried about getting sick while abroad, you need travel medical insurance. You get the idea.
Jot down your thought about what you want to cover. We’ll use this in a few minutes.
Be ready to purchase right away
There are big benefits to purchasing your travel coverage immediately after booking your trip. The biggest “problem area” in trip insurance, the issue that causes the most misunderstandings and aggravation, is the Pre-Existing Medical Condition. Essentially, travel insurance companies need to exclude illnesses and injuries that happened before their coverage began. If you are diagnosed with a condition in January, but buy insurance in March, that won’t be covered. You didn’t have insurance when it happened.
There is something you can do, however. Many travel insurance companies offer a Pre Existing Medical Condition Waiver. To qualify, you must purchase your insurance within a certain period of time of your first trip deposit. This period is usually 10-15 days.
So, if you are planning on buying travel insurance, there is a huge advantage in getting it right away, even at the same time as booking your trip.
Compare prices with a search engine
When you search for airfare, you probably use a search engine like Expedia.com or Orbitz.com, right? Most people do, because that way they can compare different airlines prices, flight times, layovers, and service. That’s the smart thing to do.
Well, the same is true for travel insurance. There are several websites where you can enter your trip dates, and a few other pieces of information, and get instant quotes from all major carriers. Then, while considering the prices, you can compare their coverage and find the right policy.
Use a travel insurance comparison site
Comparison sites have built very simple sites, and made it easy to compare coverage. When you find the right company, just click “buy”. You can enter your credit card information and personal information in a secure site. Once complete, you will receive a confirmation email immediately. Then you’re ready to go (see How to Compare Quotes with a Travel Insurance Comparison Site)