Imagine all the reasons your trip may go a little off course:
- you have elderly parents and will need to return home quickly to care for them
- your destination has an unexpected hurricane travel advisory
- your full-time work is suddenly terminated and you need to cancel your trip
To be confident that your travel insurance will help you manage the unexpected, it is important to understand the policy coverage and what it means.
The good news is that your travel insurance plan will usually give you the time to do just that.
The Free Look Period
At SBIS your satisfaction is our priority and we work exclusively with insurers that will give you the time to carefully review your travel insurance policy to make sure it meets your needs.
The Free Look Period included with your policy gives you 10days from the date of purchase for your review. It is essentially a “money back guarantee” for travel insurance. Use the time to read and fully understand your coverage. If you are not completely satisfied with the policy you may cancel it for a full refund (minus a small processing fee) if
- you have not left on your trip
- you have not experienced an event that would cause you to submit a claim
- your insurer receives your request for a refund before your departure date
Understanding your coverage starts with reviewing the policy
To be sure you have the right plan and understand the coverage, follow these steps:
- Get and read the travel insurance policy certificate
The free look period is the perfect opportunity for you to get comfortable with the terms in the insurance policy certificate. This is the actual legal document that defines your coverage — the contract — between you and the insurance provider. You can usually find the certificate on the travel insurance provider’s website before you purchase the plan and it will always be sent to you when you buy it.
To make sure the plan will fit your needs
- check that the trip dates are correct, including the initial trip deposit date
- verify that the per-person trip cost is accurate
- read the reasons for cancellation to be sure they cover your risks
- verify the number of hours constituting a covered delay to ensure the coverage amount is enough for your needs
- if you will be meeting cruise or tour departures, verify that the missed connection coverage will provide protection for missed departures
- review the deductibles to see if you are comfortable with the amounts
- check the coverage limits to ensure they are adequate
Don’t make any assumptions about the coverage; if in doubt, ask! For instance, many buyers read that trip cancellation is covered, but they are unaware of the acceptable reasons for trip cancellation. That can result in frustration and expense if a claim is denied.
- Review the policy exclusions
The policy exclusions list the situations in which coverage is not applicable (meaning your claim will be denied). Insurance companies have to list these in their policies to limit their own risk. For example, if scuba diving or downhill skiing is specifically listed in the exclusions, any claim you make as a result of participating in scuba diving or downhill skiing will not be paid.
Be certain that you understand any medical care exclusions too, such as accidents happening while intoxicated.
- Check the coverage limits
Sometimes buyers are surprised by coverage limits. The coverage limits are the maximum amounts listed for any claim, and you’ll want to review those to be sure you have adequate coverage. For example, if you want to be sure you have coverage for trip cancellation for a cruise that is costing you over $10,000, be sure the trip cancellation plan maximum covers up to that amount plus any other pre-paid nonrefundable trip costs.
Just as with your automobile or home insurance policies, the key to coverage limits is to make sure that you have enough coverage for the item you are protecting. If it will cost $40,000 to replace your car, for example, you will not want a policy with a $25,000 maximum that would leave you with out-of-pocket costs.
If you decide it’s not the travel insurance plan for you…
You can change it! Instead of cancelling your policy, consider making changes to the policy so it works better for your needs. You can change travel dates or decrease or increase your covered trip cost.
Don’t forget, if changes are needed to make the policy work for you, you’ll want to make those changes during the free look time. After this time, your policy is considered in effect and you’ll be subject to the rules and limits of your agreement.
If you need to cancel your policy, do it during the free look period.
Our experts are ready to help
If you have any questions about your travel insurance policy, ask us! Our specialists are ready to help. We always want you to be 100% confident in your travel insurance plan.