For a traveler, having travel insurance is essential. A travel insurance coverage policy can often provide you some benefits, especially when you are flying abroad on holidays, however, there will also be a few circumstances where you may not be covered by your travel insurance policy. Things are not covered in your travel insurance coverage. This is because there are limitations attached to it which travelers must understand.
While the specific travel insurance cover you choose will ultimately determine what you are (or aren’t) covered for, there are some well-known circumstances that will usually prevent you from being able to make a claim. All travel insurance policies have specific exclusions so it’s common-sense to take the time to read the policy carefully.
Therefore, in this guide, prepared by Treknova, we shall take a look at the various things that are excluded from the travel insurance coverage policy.
Things Are Not Covered In Your Travel Insurance Coverage
When you purchase travel insurance, it is not unreasonable to assume that you are insured for all aspects of your trip. This, however, is rarely the case. Travellers are often seen getting frustrated upon finding that their travel insurance coverage is full of holes, with exclusions that are typically stated in the fine print but, confusing and sometimes counterintuitive. If you are not quite sure as to what your travel insurance cannot cover, then the following will give you a better understanding.
Given below is a list of common things that your travel insurance coverage policy will not cover you from.
- Claiming against an unapproved medical condition
- Health crisis that occur before you purchase travel insurance coverage
- Dental care
- Natural disasters that occur before purchasing insurance
- Leaving your belongings unattended
- Your engagement in reckless activities or behaviour
- Participating in sports and activities that have higher risks
- Travelling against government advice
- Ignoring road and driving rules
- Making last-minute decision
These have been explained below.
Claiming Against an Unapproved Medical Condition
Your travel insurance claims with regard to your medical needs may immediately be rendered void for a few reasons. The reasons include, if you have a pre-existing medical condition or if you are waiting for test results or treatment for a medical problem and you fail to inform your provider. A pre-existing condition is something that happened (or started to happen) before you had insurance coverage.
When you file a claim due to a medical condition, the travel insurance provider will look at your medical records. They will need to determine if or when this condition started to occur. If they look back and see no sign of the condition, that means it was not a known condition. But, if they see that you were diagnosed for the condition, then that would be referred to as a pre-existing condition and the chances of coverage can greatly be disapproved. Travel insurance companies have now developed a pre-existing condition waiver to provide coverage in certain situations only.
In many cases, you may also not be covered if you travel against medical advice or if you travel in order to seek medical treatment. You must be honest and upfront when you purchase your policy about your pre-existing (or potential) medical conditions.
Health Crisis that Occur Before You Purchase Travel Insurance Coverage
Generally, a travel insurance may cover losses due to global health emergencies. However, it is required that you must make the purchase before the crisis is a considered a known event. For instance, your best bet for recouping costs is cancel for any reason insurance purchased before the COVID-19 pandemic became a known event. The date from which the event is considered known varies depending on the insurance provider. Most travel insurance policies will generally not provide cover for cancellation due to fear of a pandemic. So, if you want to use insurance to protect your payments, particularly non-refundable airfares, make sure it is a policy that reflects to cancellation for any reason.
With non-refundable airfares, your recourse is either to rely on the airline’s generosity, where some can even waive fees in times of emergency, or purchasing travel insurance with the policy to cancel for any reason. Most policies exclude foreseeable contingencies, or existing threats, like the already known pandemics that have occurred in the past.
If you are undergoing a routine dental care, then it is not included in your travel insurance coverage. Although dental trauma may be included under certain circumstances only. A few travel insurance policies may provide coverage only for damage to sound natural teeth.
Natural Disasters that Occur Before Purchasing Insurance
A travel insurance policy usually covers losses due to natural disasters, such as hurricanes or tropical storms. However, you must make the purchase before the storm is identified/known or named. There are similar conditions that also apply to other forms of natural disasters. For instance, if you purchase a travel insurance coverage policy after a volcano starts erupting, then, you will not be covered for any losses related to the volcanic activity because it has just begun and has not been known.
Leaving Your Belongings Unattended
There are quite many policies that can cover you for loss or theft of your belongings and valuables, such as baggage and personal items. However, they will not cover you for loss if you purposely leave your belongings unattended or in an unsecure location or with someone that you do not know.
You must, therefore, keep your belongings with you at all times or ensure they are locked away in a secure safe. In order to make a claim, you will need an official police report outlining the incident and the items stolen.
Your Engagement in Reckless Activities or Behaviour
If you are indulged in any reckless activities, for example, excessive drinking or taking recreational drugs, this can also lead to a rejection of any insurance claim, whether it is related to medical, baggage, liability or anything else.
Try to be aware of the situations in which any reckless behaviour could exclude your eligibility for a claim and consider how this will impact the decisions you make while on holiday.
Participating in Sports and Activities that have Higher Risks
Your travel insurance will not cover you if try to make a claim resulting from a sport or activity that is not covered by your policy. This can also apply to coverage for injuries and illness, such as medical, as well as equipment loss or damage and any personal financial losses.
Many travel insurance policies often exclude losses due to adventure sports that include bungee jumping, back-country skiing, snowboarding, rafting, caving, skydiving, scuba diving and so on, which involve severe risks. Some policies take this even further, by applying exemptions for any sports involving bodily contact. That means your kid’s football tournament might not be covered. If you are planning an active vacation, carefully check the terms of your policy before committing.
It is necessary that you make sure that each sport or activity you will be engaging in is covered by your insurance policy; if it’s not, enquire about upgrading to ensure you are appropriately covered.
Travelling Against Government Advice
If you decide to travel to a specific region despite advice or warnings from the government, your travel insurance provider will not cover you for that destination.
What you can do is pay attention to government warnings and be wary of travelling to destinations that involve high risk or serious personal dangers.
Ignoring Road and Driving Rules
Hiring a car for ground transportation is common on any trip. However, things like driving on non-tarmac/cement roads, driving under the influence or letting an unauthorised person drive the car can all render your travel insurance coverage null and void. In most cases, you may also have to take out Collision Damage and Third Party insurance through the rental company to ensure your travel insurance coverage stays active.
To overcome this, you must pay close attention to the rules or limits set out by both your travel insurance policy and your rental company; if any of these rules are broken at the time of an incident, you won’t be covered. Make sure you read your Product Disclosure Statement carefully for a list of full terms and conditions.
Making last-minute Decision
Unfortunately, very few travel insurance polices will approve your claims if you simply change your mind at the last moment about travelling or if other circumstances, such as failing to get a passport or visa on time, can thus, have a direct effect your travel plans.
If you are still unsure about certain circumstances under which you may not be covered by your travel insurance policy, you should carefully go through your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or contact the insurance provider’s customer service centre to understand your options before you make the purchase.
There is no doubt that you will find almost every travel insurance policy having a list of situations in which coverage is not provided. This is also known as exclusions. It is a specific list if reasons, and it should be reviewed carefully to avoid misunderstandings. Wanna know more about Travelling and stuff? Follow Treknova.