While crystal balls are always subject to change, my speculation as to the four most likely issues facing travelers in 2015 are based on 46 years of travel insurance experience. Some of the conditions listed below have held forefront positions for eons and probably always will, but QuoteWright can help take the mystery out of travel insurance with its new QuoteWright ratings system, based on a value of 0 to 100.
We assign values based on how a specific coverage compares with similar coverage among the different plans we offer. So if you’re trying to decide which travel insurance plan has the best coverage for “weather conditions” or “pre-existing medical conditions,” let our 2015 Buyers Guide help lead the way.
Issue number one: Despite the start of a new year, pre-existing medical conditions—an issue with many years of history—will again quite likely be the number one travel insurance issue for 2015. It’s an old chestnut, to be sure, but one that has consistently been the number one “gotcha” within the travel insurance industry. And unfortunately, if travelers don’t ask the right questions of their travel insurance agent before purchasing a plan, they’re frequently faced with surprises after the fact.
There is good news, however, in that most travel insurance plans cover pre-existing conditions—if you qualify. The way it works is if a plan offers a “waiver of pre-existing conditions,” the traveler must meet three conditions in order to be eligible:
- Coverage must be purchased within 10-30 days following your first trip payment.
- The traveler must be physically able to travel on the day they purchase insurance.
- Travelers must insure their trip cost to value.
Issue number two: Unfortunately, among the top issues facing travelers in this day and age is that of terrorism. It’s a sign of the times and as such, it will play an important role in 2015, and possibly beyond, as has been witnessed by the recent heinous act of terror in Paris, one of the world’s greatest cities. With groups like Al Qaeda posting instructions on how to make a bomb designed for airline targets—whether real or merely designed to create economic chaos—it’s a wise policy to purchase travel insurance that covers cancellations or interruptions caused by a terrorist event.
Issue number three: Abnormal weather conditions causing delays and/or cancellations are always a distinct possibility. Not all travel insurance plans cover cancellations, interruptions, or delays caused by weather in the same way. If the threat of bad weather might create havoc during your trip, it’s a good idea to compare travel insurance plans carefully in order to fit your travel plans.
Issue number four: Widespread diseases, such as Ebola, have always presented a challenge for the travel insurance industry, and 2015 is not an exception. There is no doubt that insurance companies will continue to restrict coverage for epidemics, either by adding exclusions to their plans or by refusing to insure travelers going to countries where there is an ongoing epidemic.
If you plan to travel in 2015, consider the top four issues that may determine exactly which and how much insurance coverage is appropriate for your travel.