The sudden failure of fabled Thomas Cook underscores the need for travel insurance. But finding your way through the thicket of competing policies can be hard. Here are our 5 updated tips.
Watch out for “known risks”. For example, what if you had a flight on British Air Sept. 2019 and read about the planned strike. You rush out and buy travel insurance. You could not recover for the loss because you were aware of the risk when you bought the policy.
Not all companion coverages are equal. Your claim can depend upon not just the relationship you have but also how his/her unavailability came about and when. (Aside from insurance claims, getting refunds from other prepaid fees can be hard. For example, Air B&B may have you jump through many hoops. In one case, where emergency surgery caused a wedding to be cancelled, Air B&B went back and forth seeking documentation. One issue: The injured/ill guest was not listed on the reservation. Our tip: Put the name of all guests on the reservation. If you don’t, do be prepared to provide plane tickets/itineraries or other proof of travel plans.)
Be aware that insurers pay claims in arrears once you return. In a true emergency, be sure to have a credit card with enough extra available credit to get an advance while still on your trip.
Read carefully when you buy a non-refundable plane ticket. Before you make a claim, see if you can reschedule your travel albeit with a penalty added. You will likely still have a loss but a more limited one than the full price of the plane ticket.
If you are planning to travel many times in one year, compare prices and coverage for multiple trips in one year.
For more information, please see our 7 Tips on Travel Insurance for Solo Travelers.
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