You’ve booked your vacation, and the excitement is mounting. Your bags are nearly packed. The date is fast approaching. There’s just one thing left on your list: trip insurance. Trip insurance is one of those things you may not have considered or simply overlooked.
Trip insurance provides coverage for specific events that could happen prior to and during your trip within predetermined limits. Trip insurance – also referred to as ‘travel insurance’ – cannot prevent incidents, but it does address the financial impact of common issues. Policies can be purchased to cover your entire trip from the time you leave home until the time you return. Trip insurance is available for popular vacation and scuba diving destinations such as Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Cozumel, Palau, and Belize.
Travel insurance is frequently recommended due to potential health, safety, and financial risks whilst traveling. Nine times out of ten, you probably won’t have to use it. Nevertheless, it’s great peace of mind to have in your back pocket for when, despite your precautions, things go awry.
Although trip insurance is meant to protect you, there can be implications for those who do not take time to either thoroughly read through their policy or make sure they’re asking the right questions. We’re hoping to alleviate confusion or misunderstanding when deciding to purchase a policy by providing answers to some of the questions you should ask yourself before buying insurance for your trip.
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Do you need it?
Travel insurance is always something you should consider, especially when traveling outside the country, as most other insurance will not cover you properly when you leave the United States. Ask yourself: can I afford to lose the financial investment I have made for this trip or to pay for potential losses out of pocket should something happen while on the trip?
Traveling to the Caribbean during hurricane season presents specific risks that can cause you to cancel your trip and significant damage to your destination, which is completely out of your control.
What’s in the fine print?
We’ve seen it time and time again: travelers are held liable for charges they weren’t expecting because they neglected to read and understand the fine print of their policy.
We understand the problems this can cause from having dealt with a variety of scenarios, such as the misfortune of a sinking boat, for example. In sorting out trip cancellation reimbursements in this case, the customers discovered certain restrictions and exclusions to what is covered and what is not in the fine print of their policy. Our team helped resolve the situation and spare everyone the headache of potential legal action for recourse. Needless to say, it’s an example of how proactive you should be to make sure you fully understand all the terms of your trip insurance policy.
Are you covered already?
One of the most important questions you should ask yourself is: do I already have coverage through my credit card or medical insurance plan? Some credit cards offer travel assistance and certain travel insurance benefits, but you’ll want to double check with your credit card company to be sure you understand exactly what’s included for coverage and how it pertains to your specific trip. Most health insurance plans do not provide coverage when you travel outside the country and may not be adequate for travel, so again you’ll want to check with your medical insurance provider to be sure.
Trip insurance generally provides a broad range of coverages for things that are not typically covered by other insurance when you travel outside the country. Do you have a pre-existing medical condition? BHTP will waive the pre-existing medical condition exclusion if the plan is purchased within 15 days of making the initial trip payment or deposit, and if the amount of coverage purchased equals the value of all prepaid non-refundable payments or deposits. Please see Description of Coverage for details. All insureds must be medically able to travel when insurance is purchased.
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Are you confusing ‘insurance’ with a ‘waiver?’
There’s a difference. Insurance is something that provides protection against a possible eventuality. A waiver, on the other hand, is a document evidencing a person’s intentional relinquishing or abandoning of a known right, claim, or privilege.
You’ve probably heard of cancellation waivers. Cancellation waivers allow travelers “protection” because the resort agrees to waive its usual cancellation penalties if you must cancel for a “covered” reason. You may also have signed a waiver before a cruise or high-risk activity, like skydiving, in which you cannot hold the vendor liable for certain instances based on your own decision to partake.
Cancellation waivers are less expensive, but it’s overall less secure than purchasing trip insurance (depending on what is actually covered). General trip insurance covers all bases, so there shouldn’t be any doubt of what is covered and what is not.
Did you get it in writing?
Remember: nothing matters unless it’s in writing. Trip insurance is a contract, with both parties having to uphold certain obligations. Make sure you have a copy of your signed policy so you can make clear references for any claims and show your credibility.
Does this help? Book your next scuba diving trip through Ultimate Dive here to experience transparent communication that makes your life easier.