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7 Unexpected Benefits of Travel Insurance

Travel Team | Jul 18, 2023

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Woman buying travel insurance in a cafe.

When you think about travel insurance, your first thought might be protection for flight cancellations or coverage for COVID. There’s so much more to travel insurance, though. We bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what travel insurance can cover.

What Is a Travel Insurance Benefit?

A benefit, in the general sense, is a payment or service provided under an insurance plan.

Examples of travel insurance benefits include reimbursement for trip cancellation, damaged luggage, or medical expenses. Non-insurance benefits you might see as part of a travel insurance plan include travel assistance services.

How Do Travel Insurance Benefits Work?

When you look at a travel insurance plan document, you will find a list of benefits for that plan. You will also see a list of covered reasons for each benefit. Think of those as situations that trigger your eligibility for that benefit.

For example, if you purchase Seven Corners Trip Protection, one covered reason for trip cancellation is the death of a family member. If you need to cancel your vacation because a family member passes away, you could be reimbursed for prepaid, nonrefundable portions of your trip. That’s because the Trip Cancellation benefit was triggered by a covered reason.

However, if you cancelled your trip because you decided to attend a friend’s wedding instead, you would not receive reimbursement. The cancellation in this scenario — getting a better offer — was not triggered by a covered reason.

Filing a travel insurance claim

If you file a travel insurance claim, licensed advisors will review all the information associated with your situation. This includes the reasons for submitting a claim.

In our example above, the advisor will review why you cancelled your trip. They will evaluate if your claim meets the covered reasons for you to be eligible for a benefit or if it falls under an exclusion. That allows them to determine if the claim can be approved and paid.

Reading your plan document

Taking the time to read and understand your plan document is one of the best pre-travel steps you can take. Often, when travelers’ claims are denied, it’s because their situation wasn’t triggered by a covered reason or they didn’t understand the exclusions.

There’s a lot to sort through when you’re reading a plan document. These tips can make it easier:

  • Take advantage of the free look period. Many plans provide a period of time during which you can review your plan and if it doesn’t meet your needs, you can return it for a refund. The length of the free look period and whether it’s available at all — this varies by plan, and some states don’t permit this option — should be included on the travel insurance provider’s website. If you don’t see it, ask an agent.
  • Take time to look up definitions of key terms. Sometimes “common sense” terms aren’t what you think they mean when they’re used in the insurance industry. Other times, a word or phrase might be completely new to you. Your plan document will have a list of definitions, or you can use a resource like this guide to how to read a travel insurance plan.
  • Talk to a licensed travel insurance agent. Whether it’s your first time buying travel insurance or your 50th, it can be helpful to talk to an expert about the details in the plan document. If you’re unclear about anything, call the provider for an explanation.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

In addition to the benefits most people are more familiar with, like Trip Cancellation, there are some benefits you might be surprised to know are available (depending on the plan you choose). These unexpected benefits of travel insurance are just as advantageous, giving you peace of mind and financial protection when you travel.

1. Accident & Sickness Medical Expense

This is a benefit that will cover you if you become sick or get hurt and need to see a doctor. Foreign health care can be expensive and cause unforeseen financial stress. With this coverage, you could be reimbursed for treatment you receive at a foreign medical facility.

Just as with Trip Cancellation and other benefits, there are exclusions that could impact reimbursement. For example, this benefit typically will not reimburse you for preventive care. Read your plan document carefully before traveling to understand all the terms.

2. Find a doctor

If there’s anything worse than getting sick on your trip, it’s not knowing where to go for help. Seven Corners can help you find a nearby medical facility. We can also arrange translation services if a language barrier keeps you from understanding medical staff.

3. Medical evacuation

Thinking about getting stuck in a foreign country without adequate health care can be unsettling. If you get sick or hurt while traveling and your destination is unable to provide medically necessary care, the Emergency Medical Evacuation benefit can pay for the transportation to get you someplace that can provide appropriate treatment.

The Seven Corners Assist team will arrange the medical evacuation for you, scheduling transportation and coordinating care with medical teams.

Watch how the Emergency Medical Evacuation benefit saved Daniel and Felipe during their tour of Asia.

4. Cancel for work reasons

We all have responsibilities, and work-related obligations are some of the biggest. If you have to cancel your trip because your company involuntarily transfers you or you get laid off from employment, you may be covered.

It’s important to realize that in order to be covered by this benefit, there are specific criteria in your plan document that must be met — length of employment and distance of transfer, for example — but we understand that these life events can greatly affect your ability or desire to travel.

5. Optional Cancel for Any Reason

Some things, like snowy weather in December, you can anticipate or at least plan for. Other things you never see coming. If you need to cancel your trip for an unexpected event, and that event isn’t a covered reason, unfortunately you won’t be reimbursed.

If that makes you nervous or you want extra flexibility to cancel your trip for reasons not listed in your plan document, you want to consider adding optional Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage. This benefit allows you to cancel your trip for any reason you wish, whether it’s because you simply changed your mind about traveling or decided to attend your friend’s wedding instead.

If you don’t opt into the CFAR benefit, then you are only covered for the reasons listed in the plan. But if you choose to add this benefit for an additional cost, you’ll get 75% of your prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses back if you have to cancel to attend your uncle’s hairdresser’s daughter’s graduation.

6. Extension of coverage

Some of our plans allow you to extend your coverage if you must delay your return because of unavoidable circumstances out of your control.

Check your plan document or contact our team to see if extension of coverage is included.

7. 24/7 customer service

We’ve already mentioned that our Assist team helps you find a doctor or arranges emergency medical evacuations, and they’re available to provide that emergency support 24/7. You can call, chat online via our website, email, or text on WhatsApp.

Also, if you have questions about your benefits at any time — before, during, or even after you travel — our customer service team is more than happy to help.

How Can You Buy the Best Travel Insurance for You?

Were you surprised to read about any of these benefits? Do you have questions now? Talk to one of Seven Corners’ licensed travel insurance agents. They’ll explain any benefits you might be unsure about and recommend the best coverage for you and your trip.

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