Finding price deals for travel insurance is not easy: that’s because it’s getting almost impossible to compare one policy to another. They don’t use common language, their benefits and exclusions differ, it’s hard to know where they differ and where they are similar. But you need to find the right cover. How do you do that?
First: make sure you deal with an agent or company that specializes in travel insurance. Not all agents, including travel agents, know the small print.
Take complete stock of your health status: the medications you take, the reasons you visit your doctor, any new symptoms or conditions for which you haven’t yet visited your doctor, any tests or medical investigations you have planned or that your doctor has recommended to you (e.g., colonoscopy, scan).
If you have any chronic condition, discuss it with your doctor so you know its status, and if you’ve had any tests in the past year or so, discuss the results with your doctor. You need to know those results. Many times, doctors don’t tell their patients about results they may not consider urgent or needing immediate attention, but the insurer needs to know and if you can’t fill out a medical questionnaire accurately you risk having a claim denial if you have a medical emergency. Make sure your doctor is open and candid with you. It’s no use pleasing “my doctor didn’t tell me,” in defense of a denied claim. It’s your responsibility.
Apply for insurance well ahead of time. Virtually all policies involve some medical questions and you may need time to verify some point with your doctor, or pharmacist. Your application is not a formality. An incorrectly complete application can hurt you severely. Give yourself time to very information.
If at all possible, complete a medical questionnaire at your own pace, on your own schedule. Look it over and read the fine print attached to each question. Don’t be hurried by an agent trying to complete a sale so he or she can get on to another one.
Avoid completing a medical questionnaire over the phone. It’s almost impossible for the selling agent to appropriately read you all of the qualifications and conditions that you should be aware of under those conditions. And definitely don’t leave a telephone questionnaire until the day before you leave. That gives you no opportunity to read over your answers to see they were properly recorded by the selling agent.
And if you must do a telephone application—especially a medical underwriting submission which can be quite detailed—insist on having a copy sent to you so you can thoroughly check it over for accuracy, before you buy your policy, or before you start your trip. All policies offer you about 10 days to review before you commit.
Then, once all the details are recorded directly, and you have read all the “exclusions and limitations”—that’s what the insurer will NOT cover, and you have read the definitions of a few key phrases like “pre-existing conditions,” and “stable condition”, and you know the consequences of non-disclosure, do you get down to the price.
Considering what it covers, travel insurance is not an expensive product. But its price can range from $2 a day to $30—depending on your age, health, and the duration of your trip. Make sure your insurance fits you, before you buy.