What is travel insurance? Why should I buy it?
Travel insurances are packages of insurance coverages and travel assistance services which provide comprehensive travel protection for you and your family before and during your trip. Expected incidents can occur and often do occur before or during your trip that would cause you financial loss. You need to buy travel insurance to protect you against the unexpected.
If you have already paid for your trip, in-full or partially, and you need to cancel the trip or return home early by interrupting the trip, travel insurance provides trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage for the pre-paid and non-refundable portion of your trip for a covered reason.
If you get sick or injured while traveling abroad, most domestic health insurance plans provide little or no coverage outside the coverage area. Medicare does not cover outside the United States. Very few domestic insurance plans cover supervised emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains or emergency reunion. Travel insurance companies are experts in international health insurance coverage.
Travel insurance also provides coverage for loss of checked luggage, travel delay and baggage delay. Travel insurance covers many unforeseen events like you, your traveling companion or family member has a medical emergency or dies, need emergency medical evacuation, your travel supplier (airline, cruise line, tour operator) goes out of business or bankrupt, bad weather, travel delay, a plane crash, or there is a terrorist incident in a city you are visiting. Some benefits other than medical are provided only once per trip. E.g., if your baggage is delayed twice, you will get reimbursed only once.
Additionally, travel insurance also provides 24-hours emergency assistance in multiple languages and provides you access to prescription drug refills, emergency cash, legal assistance, eyeglasses replacement and much more.
Is there any discount?
No. The prices are fixed no matter where you buy the insurance from.
You have so many plans for travel insurance. How do I decide which one to purchase?
We have different plans to suit your individual needs based on the amount of premium you are willing to pay up front, your age and also the amount of risk you want to share in case you need to use the insurance. Most travel insurance plans are package plans that include various coverage like trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, lost or delayed baggage, medical coverage, medical evacuation etc. Please look at the side by side comparison of various plans that we offer, look at coverage limits for different features and see which one meets your requirements and choose accordingly.
What information would you require if I want to purchase an insurance plan?
In most plans, you need travel dates (departure and arrival date), your prepaid trip cost and your date of birth.
You do not need to send any paperwork or any medical reports to us or to the insurance company. You can complete the entire process completely online. Insurance can be effective as early as the next day after your purchase or any other future date you specify.
Can I purchase trip cancellation insurance if I did not go through a travel agent and made my own travel arrangements?
Yes, you can purchase trip cancellation insurance even if you did not go through a travel agent. Travel insurance will cover the pre-paid, non-refundable portion of your trip expenses.
Will the travel insurance cover trip cancellation if my mother's boyfriend were to die?
No, mother's boyfriend is not a covered family member. God forbid, if your mother were to die and you needed to cancel the trip, you would be covered.
Can I purchase the trip insurance to cover the necessity of having to cancel the trip due to the death of a close family member who is not insured under the trip insurance or traveling on the same trip?
Sure. Most trip insurance policies cover trip cancellation due to a non-traveling family member's death or illness requiring you to stay home.
What is the initial trip payment date?
Initial trip payment date is the date when you made the first payment for your trip and you would like to buy travel insurance for. You should count this date as the date when you actually paid (wrote the check or provided your credit card), or arranged for frequent flyer tickets. It does not matter when your check was cashed or when the charge was posted on your credit card.
How do I find out the trip cost for travel insurance purposes?
You should include all non-refundable pre-paid trip costs to determine the trip cost for purchasing travel insurance.
What is the latest date I can purchase travel insurance?
Some travel insurance plans allow you to purchase up to one day before you travel; however, it is recommended to purchase as soon as possible. Otherwise, if you wait and something were to happen before you purchased the insurance, you would not get coverage for that situation.
In fact, it is highly recommended to purchase the travel insurance within 7 to 21 days (varies by insurance company and particular plan) of initial trip deposit to get the maximum benefits from the trip cancellation insurance. Even though it highly depends upon the insurance company and the plan, usually you get several benefits for timely purchase:
- Protection against the financial default of the provider such as tour operator, cruise or airline.
- Pre-existing condition coverage exclusion is waived.
Some companies provide the above listed benefits even if you buy the insurance within 24 hours of FINAL trip payment.
When will my coverage become effective?
Trip cancellation coverage becomes effective 12:01 AM the day after you purchase the travel insurance. All other coverages become effective once you depart on your trip.
I have already paid for my cruise, but have not yet booked the flight. I would like to purchase the trip cancellation insurance within the pre-existing condition exclusion waiver period so that they are covered. Do I have to first book the flight before purchasing the travel insurance?
You can purchase the trip cancellation insurance right away. Include the cost of airline tickets in the total trip cost while purchasing the insurance. If you are not sure about the exact amount, find out the best estimate for them. If that is not possible, purchase the policy with the trip cost equal to the money paid so far and once you book your flight, contact us at ecivres to get the total trip cost changed. Be prepared to provide your policy number. In this case, make sure to change the trip cost within the 7-21 days of initial trip deposit requirement (depending upon the insurance company) in order to get the pre-existing conditions exclusion waived.
Can I purchase the travel insurance that covers trip cancellation for any reason such as not being able to take time off from work or any other personal reason?
Yes. Please look into our trip cancellation insurance section for further details.
Can I purchase travel insurance if I have already departed on my trip?
No. Trip cancellation insurance can only be purchased before departing on your trip. If you would like to cover trip interruption, emergency medical evacuation or medical expenses, consider buying travel health insurance instead.
What are some of the advantages of buying the travel insurance from the insurance company, instead of the travel supplier?
Unlike many travel supplier plans, travel insurance plans pay you in cash, not vouchers or credits. Also, if the travel supplier itself were to go bankrupt or out of business, you would have no protection. You wouldn't buy house insurance from a builder or car insurance from the dealer. Then why should you buy travel insurance from a travel supplier?
Can I purchase trip cancellation insurance if I am not U.S. resident?
Yes. Even though most trip cancelllation insurance plans available only for U.S. residents, a couple of plans cover non-U.S. residents as well. Please look into our trip cancellation insurance section for further details.
Does travel insurance cover trip cancellation due to war or threat of war?
No. All insurance companies exclude the trip cancellation because of war or threat of war.
Does travel insurance cover trip cancellation due to terrorism?
Yes, most of the plans cover trip cancellation due to terrorism. However, as the definition of terrorism varies by each insurance company and even by each plan, make sure to read the brochure for an accurate definition.
It means the unsanctioned and illegal use of violence which caused destruction of property, injury or death by an individual or group for the express or implied purpose of achieving a political, ethnic, or religious goal or result. A Terrorist incident does not include a general civil disturbance, rioting, an act of war (declared or undeclared) or the intentional release of a biological material. Nuclear radiation and chemical agents are excluded in most plans also.
Does travel insurance cover trip cancellation due to business obligations?
Yes. Please look into our trip cancellation insurance section for further details.
Does travel insurance cover trip cancellation due to mental conditions?
No. Travel insurance does not cover trip cancellation due to mental, nervous or psychological disorders including depression, anxiety, neurosis or psychosis.
Does travel insurance cover trip cancellation if I am called to duty or denied leave, and I am in the military?
No, the insurance company will not cover trip cancellation if you are called to duty or denied leave because of declared or undeclared war. For all other reasons, the coverage is different in different plans. Please make sure to read the brochure of each plan for more information.
There are many unrelated persons traveling in our group and I don't have control whether everyone buys the travel insurance. Does everyone in the group have to purchase travel insurance?
No. Everyone traveling together need not buy the travel insurance. The policy premium is based on the per person trip cost. Whoever buys the travel insurance will be covered.
Who is considered a family member or a traveling companion for travel insurance purposes?
Family member: Usually your spouse, child, spouse's child, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, brother, sister, mother, father, grandparents, grandchild, step-brother, step-sister, step-parents, parents-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, guardian, ward, significant other. As each insurance company has a little different definition of a family member, please check the brochure of each product to make sure. In general, family members are related by blood or marriage.
Travel companions: Persons "related" by their accommodations and itineraries.
What types of travel delays are covered?
Hijacking, natural disaster, unannounced strikes, quarantine, lost/stolen passport, money, or travel documents, your delay caused by a traffic accident while en route to a departure.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
What is the definition of the pre-existing medical condition?
Any medical condition (sickness, injury or accident) that occurred prior to the effective date of the insurance is a pre-existing medical condition. This condition applies to you, your traveling companion, family member, or business partner. Boyfriend or girlfriend relationships, or domestic partners have no significance for insurance purposes.
There is a look back period of 60, 90 or 180 days depending upon the insurance company and the plan.
What benefit would I get regarding pre-existing medical conditions if I purchase the travel insurance within X number of days from the initial trip payment?
The insurance company will pay for pre-existing medical conditions (exclusion is waived) if you purchase the travel insurance within X number of days (varies by the company and plan) from the initial trip payment. Some companies also waive pre-existing conditions exclusion if you buy travel insurance any time within 24 hours of FINAL trip payment. Additionally, you must purchase insurance to cover all of your prepaid trip arrangements, cover the entire length of your trip and be medically able to travel.
Would it be considered a pre-existing condition if I take the medication for high blood pressure?
If your medication is controlled, dosage has not changed within the past X number of months (varies by company and plan), and you visit a doctor for routine check ups, it would not be considered a pre-existing condition. If your doctor recently changed your medication, changed the dosage, changed your diagnosis or a requested that test be performed, it would be considered as a pre-existing condition.
Does the travel insurance cover the loss due to the financial default of a travel agent?
No, it doesn't.
Could you please explain the financial default coverage?
Even though it varies by the insurance company and the plan, you are covered for the financial default of the airline, cruise line or tour operator if you purchase the travel insurance within 7-21 days of initial trip deposit. Some companies cover financial default as long as you purchase travel insurance within 24 hours of FINAL trip deposit. Additionally, some plans have 7-14 days waiting period before the benefit would become effective even if you purchased the travel insurance within the required time period. This coverage is usually part of travel insurance. Financial default coverage means you are unable to travel or suffer financial loss because travel provider goes out of business.
It is important to note that financial default benefits are available only if the airline, cruise line or tour operator was not in bankruptcy at the time of purchase of the travel insurance policy.
Airline Miles & Rental
While calculating the total cost for the trip cancellation insurance, should I include the equivalent monetary cost of the airline ticket that I purchased with frequent flyer miles?
Travel insurance companies do not provide trip cancellation for the airline tickets that you purchased through frequent flyer miles as you did not really pay money to buy those tickets. You should still insure yourself adequately for trip interruption coverage to cover the cost of an economy ticket home and the cost of any unused, non-refundable trip arrangements that you might lose if you have to interrupt your trip.
Can I buy the travel insurance to cover the loss of frequent flyer program miles in case the airline goes out of business?
There is no such travel insurance.
Can I insure the rental of a house or condo during my vacation?
As long you have a written agreement or contract between the insured and the renter, the travel insurance company will provide the reimbursement of your pre-paid cost if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason.
I made a mistake entering the data while applying online. What should I do?
Please send an email to ecivres indicating your certificate number (or Id number, policy number, confirmation number as appropriate depending upon the product you purchased) and the changes you would like to make. If correcting the data requires any premium changes (such as entered wrong age), please also mention that you authorize the insurance company to charge you (or credit you) the difference.
Please allow 2 to 3 business days to get this processed as it is a manual process.
I applied online last week and I have not yet received my ID card in the mail yet. What should I do? Is my insurance still valid? What should I do if I need to go to a doctor before the ID card arrives?
When you applied online, if you saw the confirmation on the screen that your application was approved and received, please be assured that your coverage is in effect. Most of the insurance products that we offer also send a virtual ID card (that you can print) by email immediately after you complete your purchase. It has exactly the same information that is there in the physical card.
Insurance cards are mailed the next business day by regular postal mail (first class). Please allow 7-10 days for the post office to deliver your mail. If you have not received the mail after 10 days, please contact us at ecivres indicating your certificate number (or Id number, policy number, confirmation number as appropriate depending upon the product you purchased) and that you have not received the cards yet.
People frequently do not receive cards because of various reasons such as:
- Did not specify the apartment or suite number.
- Specified wrong country in the address (e.g. address is Sunnyvale, CA but the country specified is India instead of USA).
- Sometimes, the post office may not be able to figure out the house/apartment properly if instead of your name, your parents name is listed in the mailing address; the mail may be returned back to insurance company.
Some insurance companies allow you to choose online fulfillment only. In that case, you do not receive any cards in the mail. If you selected that by mistake, please send us an email and we will arrange for new cards to be mailed to you.
If you did not receive the email confirmation after the purchase, and if you specified public domain email address (such as Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.), please check in your bulk mail folder, spam mail folder. The email may actually be there.
Can I cancel the trip cancellation insurance after purchasing it? Will I get the refund?
As long as you have not departed on your trip, have not made any claims, most insurance companies allow you to cancel the policy within 10 to 20 days following the purchase. You will get a full refund for the premium, but you will not get the non-refundable application fee (typically $3 to $6) back. If this is a concern of yours before you purchase, please be sure to check in the certificate wording or call us to verify.