Eye on Travel Insurance

A discussion of “Medivac,” who supplies it and what to do if you should need it.
Answers to questions received from readers regarding travel insurance. Read about ITN readers’ travel insurance experiences.
1. A discussion of the structure of the travel insurance business. The companies which we commonly refer to as travel insurance companies are only suppliers/providers (and administrators of travel insurance policies). They are backed up by underwriters, who are the actual insurance companies. 2. A Tennessee “travel insurance company” was selling not travel insurance but “travel protection plans” without a license. According to the Tennessee Insurance Commissioner, “this leaves policy holders in danger.” Advice on how to avoid this type of problem.
A further discussion of the topic first published in the August 1994 issue, page 37.
Insurance companies generally charge according to the cost of the trip (typically 4% to 8%). For example, at 6%, coverage for a 3-week trip costing $4,000 would cost $240. STA's charges are based on the length of the trip; for any trip lasting 16 to 22 days, coverage would cost only $100. (See June 2009, page 58, for changes for the over-35 traveler.)
What to do if your travel insurance claim is denied.
Answers to a reader’s question: “Is it possible to buy travel insurance covering trip cancellation/medical evacuation, etc., on an ANNUAL basis for us travelers who take several trips throughout the year? (See February 2006 issue, page 46, regarding a new, long-term travel insurance policy, "Travel Protect International," offered by World Travel Center; phone 402/343-3621 and ask for Dan Drennen.)

How did the travel insurance industry respond to the Asian tsunami disaster in December 2004 and how did this affect travel insurance coverages for this period and for subsequent travel?

General travel insurance policy coverages

Claims for medical, trip interruption, trip delay and miscellaneous coverages such as baggage loss, etc., are being accepted as a result of tsunami-related losses.

Claims for trip cancellations are generally accepted only if the claim meets...