When you start packing for your trip, whether 500 miles or 5,000 miles, you may want to be sure you’re also packing travel insurance.
Preparing for the worst while planning your vacation may seem like a downer, however, it’s not as bad as it could be if you don’t plan at all. What would you do if your purse or wallet were stolen? What would you do if you stepped down from a Mayan ruin only to find it was further down than you thought, and you broke an arm or leg? How would you deal with that? Travel insurance is designed to help you with these issues. When is the last time you knew in advance that you would have to cancel your trip before ever going? Say you have paid in full for your vacation and “something” happens…You CAN’T go. Now what? If you are within a certain time frame and DON’T have travel insurance, you could lose ALL of your money. Now that’s a real downer.
Peter Greenberg of TODAY Travel discusses the 9 reasons you want to buy travel insurance.
Reasons to buy travel insurance
1. Your flight has been cancelled.
2. Your bags are lost and your medication is in it. You need to have an emergency prescription filled.
3. Your passport and wallet are stolen, and you need emergency cash and a replacement passport.
4. You’re involved in an accident and adequate medical treatment is not available. You need medical evacuation.
5. You need to cancel your trip due to illness.
6. Your cruise line, airline or tour operator goes bankrupt. You need your non-refundable expenses covered and to get to your destination.
7. You have a medical emergency in a foreign country.
8. A terrorist incident occurs in the city where you’re planning to visit and you want to cancel your trip.
9. A hurricane forces you to evacuate your resort, hotel or cruise.
One of the Travel Insurance Companies we use most is the MH Ross Company. In order to answer some of your questions regarding Travel Insurance I conducted the following interview with Senior Vice President, Sheri Machat.
The MH Ross Company was founded in 1952 as an insurance agency and first began offering a custom travel insurance plan in 1961 for Unitours/Club Universe. Sheri Machat, Senior Vice President joined MH Ross Travel Insurance Services in 1980.
Q: What makes MH Ross stand out or better than other Travel Insurance offered?
A: Our balanced distribution of Coverage, Cost & Customer Service. The service by our staff is one of the ways that we stand out from the competition – we truly care about our agents and their passengers. Our benefits are very solid and provide industry leading coverage, such as Primary Medical on all plans but Asset Value. Our Bridge and Complete plans include some of the following benefits at no additional premium:
- Hurricane Warning Benefit – cancellation of the trip if NOAA issues a hurricane warning within 24 hours of departure for your destination
- Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation – if a local authorities or the U.S. State Department issue a formal recommendation to leave a country due to a natural disaster; civil, military or political unrest; being declared persona non-grata – this benefit MUST be made by One Call Worldwide Travel Services
- Cancellation due to work reasons – being required to work during the trip – documentation is required
Both Asset Plus and Complete plans include Cancel For Any Reason allowing the Insured to cancel for reasons such as their dog had puppies, or a child made the soccer playoffs. Depending on the plan selected, the Cancel For Any Reason benefits will pay 60% of the cancellation penalty on Asset Plus and 80% of the cancellation penalty on Complete.
Q: Is there something unique or different MH Ross is doing for the insured that is not offered by other Travel Insurance Services?
A: MH Ross offers four plans on two brochures – the Asset series for the budget traveler, and the Bridge/Complete series which offer superior coverage’s at a competitive price. Each brochure includes one product with Cancel For Any Reason and one without, which facilitates the price comparison between the two products for both you and your client. Also, on the Asset Plus, Bridge and Complete products, the Medical is Primary without compromising the benefit amounts- making the MH Ross medical benefits on these plans among the best in the industry.
Q: Does your Travel Insurance cover Air only, or does it also cover Train, Hotel, etc??
A: The insurance will cover the specific trip segments that insurance is purchased for, whether it is air only,cruise, land, train or hotel. The passenger should consider insuring all pre-paid non-refundable portions of their trip that are subject to cancellation penalties.
If the trip is interrupted for a covered reason, we will also cover the unused, forfeited, non-refundable payments for shore excursions, theater, concert or event tickets or sightseeing if the arrangements are made during the trip.
Q: What are the common things that travelers might think is covered by travel insurance, but is not?
A: Baggage Delay – people sometimes think they are automatically paid the Baggage Delay benefit as a lump sum and not realize that it only pays for reimbursement of items purchased when the baggage is delayed for a minimum of 12 hours.
Trip Cancellation – if someone needs to cancel a trip due to illness, they must see a doctor. They cannot just say I did not feel well and so I cancelled my trip.
Trip Interruption – medical treatment must be provided by a legally qualified physician documenting that the illness or injury prevents the Insured from continuing the trip.
Q: What is your refund policy?
A: The Insureds have a 10 day free-look to review the policy once purchased. Should they wish a refund, within that time period, it is given without question.
Q: A medical emergency happens in a foreign country, how does this policy help?
A: First of all One Call 24-hour Assistance should be contacted. They will make contact with the treating physician to verify the proper treatment is being provided. It is important to note that when a medical case arises during the trip due to injury or illness, the primary focus is to make sure the patient is stabilized before they will even consider moving them to a different facility or returning them home. Also, a “fit to travel” release form must be completed by the treating physician before we will allow them to come home to indicate that it is safe for them to travel.
Q: Luggage is stolen or lost by the airline and important documents/medical equipment and prescriptions are inside the luggage. How does MH Ross handle this loss?
A: Prescriptions should never be checked in baggage, they should always be a part of the carry-on luggage. Second, if something did happen, then the Insured would need to contact One Call Assistance Service in order to assist getting their prescriptions replaced.