Travel Insurance and Travel to Israel

July 23rd, 2014

From a travel insurance standpoint travel to Israel is like travel to any other tourist destination however, travel insurance is being impacted by the recent military action affecting the Gaza strip and the order issued yesterday, July 22, 2014, by the Federal Aviation Administration and continued today.  As of today, coverage is still available for travel to Israel but travelers should keep in mind that the following exclusions are common in all travel insurance policies:

  • declared or undeclared war, or any act of war;
  • any government regulation or prohibition;

So cancellations or interruptions caused either directly or indirectly by the military action or by the FAA prohibition will probably not be covered.

UPDATE:  Several hours after I posted this blog the FAA lifted the ban on flights to Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion Airport) effective 11:45PM EDT.

 

Travel Insurance for Israel

July 16th, 2014

With air strikes and an anticipated invasion of the Gaza strip a frequent question that we’re getting concerns coverage to Israel?

Most of the questions deal with the traveler’s trip investment and whether there is any coverage if they had to cancel or interrupt their trip due to the military actions.

The answer is no, travel insurance policies specifically exclude losses caused by or resulting from “war, declared or undeclared or any act thereof”.  The only option is found with plans that offer “cancel for any reason”(CFAR) coverage.  CFAR coverage is specifically designed to protect a traveler if they have to cancel a trip due to a reason that either isn’t listed as a basic trip cancellation covered reason or for a reason that is specifically excluded from coverage, such as “war, declared or undeclared or any act thereof”.

CFAR is a time sensitive benefit and is only available if purchased within the required time period which varies by plan from 1 to 30 days.

 

Qantas flight floods, returns back to LAX.

July 3rd, 2014

An Australian bound flight from LA was forced to turn around and land after a pipe burst and caused flooding within the aisle.??These are the types of events no one plans for.??Two ways you could get coverage here:

  1. trip cancellation/interruption – as long as your plan offers coverage for mechanical breakdown (just keep in mind that most don’t.??CSA’s Custom and Custom Luxe and Travelex’s Basic, Select and Max plans have some of the best mechanical breakdown coverage out there).
  2. Travel delay- won’t reimburse your losses for missing your trip, but can help with food and a hotel stay if it takes a bit to get your trip going again.

Tropical Storm Arthur

July 2nd, 2014

Forecasts are putting the storm more out to sea for the northeast but it looks like Arthur will affect the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  We’ve written an article on mandatory evacuations from the Outer Banks before.  Still holds true.  Here is our previous blog:

http://www.quotewright.com/weblog/2011/08/north-carolina-the-outer-banks-and-mandatory-evacuations/

QuoteWright’s Guide to Travel Insurance

June 24th, 2014

Going on that vacation trip? Thinking about it makes you feel relaxed and happy and you think – “finally I’m going to be able to relax and unwind”. But just when you really start to relax you begin to have “what if” thoughts:

  • What if one of my parents gets sick and I have to cancel?
  • What if my 10 year old gets an ear infection the day before departure?
  • What if I get laid off from work?
  • What if I get into an accident while driving the rental car on the wrong side of the road?
  • What if I get ill while on the trip and have to be rushed to the hospital?
  • What if a hurricane hits?

There are thousands of what if’s. Many of them can be eliminated or minimized by buying travel insurance. However, with so many plans on the market and so much misinformation on the internet how can I find a plan that will provide me the best coverage for my needs at the most reasonable price?

Based on our extensive experience there are some simple steps to follow to find the right plan for your trip:

1. Conduct a review of your current insurance and your own tolerance for financial risk. Here are some basic areas to review;

  • your current health insurance. Does it cover outside the USA. What are the limitations. Medicare doesn’t and many health insurance plans treat it as being out of network. Also with the new Affordable Health Care exchanges many plans limit coverage outside the home state. If your health insurance covers you on your trip will it pay for an “emergency medial evacuation” when your to sick or injured to travel as a regular passenger?
  • your homeowners or tenants policy. Is it “all risk” or “named peril”? Does it cover your possessions off premise as it would on premise? How large is your deductible?
  • credit cards – do any of your cards provide coverage? Many credit card offer travel coverage when you use your card for the travel payment. Make sure you check the limitations because many plans very specific limits on coverage; e.g., coverage for baggage and personal effects might be limited only to bags that are checked on airline flights where you used the card to buy the tickets. Likewise “rental car waiver” coverage might be limited to a specific number of days and if you’re over the maximum than you will probably be out of luck.
  • review the refundability of your travel arrangements. If any or all of the arrangements are non-refundable will it cause a financial hardship if you were to lose that money if you had to cancel?

2. Once you’ve conducted your review you should have a pretty good idea of your needs and what to look for in a travel insurance plan. Stay focused on what is important to you. The most popular type of travel plans – referred to as “package plans” – contain many different coverages and it’s easy to lose focus.

3. Shop for travel insurance. Travel insurance is not standardized and there are very few minimum requirements. Just because a coverage may be called “trip cancellation” doesn’t mean that all plans cover the same thing.   Most current advice is to avoid buying coverage offered directly by the travel supplier; plans are limited and in many cases don’t always contain coverages that are underwritten by licensed insurance companies. It is not uncommon that there can be over a 400% difference in cost for plans offered for the same trip by different companies. Why pay more if the lower priced plan will solve your needs?

4..Buy travel insurance early. Most travel insurance plans offer “time sensitive benefits” at no additional charge as an inducement to get you to buy the insurance early. By early they usually mean within a week or two following your first trip payment date. These extra benefits start diminishing the longer you wait so it pays to buy early. Especially if you need coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.

5.   Make sure you meet all of the conditions to qualify for pre-existing medical conditions. A common misunderstanding is that all you have to do is buy the coverage within the required time period however, most plans also require that you’re physically fit to travel on the day you buy the insurance and that you insure your trip for it’s full pre-paid value. Failure to meet all conditions can cause heart break at the time of a claim. For that reason always round your trip cost up and don’t cut corners by leaving out taxes and fees.

Bottom line is that you should always shop for travel insurance based on your needs and you should always compare plans before buying.