Blog What is Travel Insurance?

What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance covers you for medical emergencies, trip cancellation, and a variety of other situations that come up during a trip. It is purchased on a trip-by-trip basis, annual basis, or is included (with limitations) in a group insurance employee benefits plan.

With a tight economy, those who spend money on personal travel are often budget conscious. They are looking for great deals and ways to travel more and save money. It’s normal for anyone to think, “let’s cut costs on the travel budget and skip the insurance”. There are many reasons travel insurance is not the place to cut costs.

You Bought Travel Insurance, But Want to Extend Your Trip?

Luckily most insurance providers are flexible. They understand it happens. That you might be on a trip and decide you’d like to stay a few more days. Don’t let your travel insurance be the only reason you fly home early. Many travel insurance companies offer the option of a top-up.

The coverage you purchased or that you already had is about to expire, call them in advance and ask for a top-up or additional time to be added to your coverage. Top-ups are relatively affordable and are based on how much additional time you need. You can top up for a day, or a month. Just call to ask your travel insurance representative what is available to you.

Many people don’t realize that there are ways to add more time on existing travel insurance by using top-ups. Depending on what kind of insurance you have, it is really easy to get that added protection. You do this to make sure you are insured and save your money.

Want to know how to add extra days to your existing travel insurance when a trip lasts longer than is covered? It all depends on what kind of base coverage you have. Ask the insurance provider before you leave if the plan you are purchasing offers this as an option. Similar strategies are used for adding trip cancellation insurance to existing group benefits insurance plans provided by your employer.

Top-Ups on Travel Insurance are Also Available to Extend Existing Group Insurance Plans

Tip: Any time you travel, call your employee group benefits insurer. If you have a company plan, ask them what is automatically covered. Find out if there are any options to add more coverage through them.

If you have travel insurance through your work, it may be limited to a specific number of days. It varies by insurance company. Be sure to ask. That doesn’t mean that you can’t request a top-up. Piggybacking on your existing group insurance plan will save you a lot of money. Always call them first to find out what is covered, before you buy anything else. Group rates are less expensive than stand-alone rates in most cases.

Beware: Top-Ups on Travel Insurance Can Be Denied

Don’t leave calling about a top up to the last minute. Although travel insurance providers can add top-ups at the last minute. The process is more difficult. The coverage can be denied if during your trip you already used the travel insurance for medical situations, or had a change in your situation.

In a case like this, they will evaluate your situation. They will decide if they will approve a top-up or deny the extension. The evaluation may take a few days. Always give yourself as much time as possible. Don’t leave things to the last minute.

Also, depending on where you purchased your insurance, they sometime have a policy where you can not get a top-up. Be sure to read their policy on top-ups for travel insurance booked through a credit card company or airline. Call to ask them how this works. Sometimes they will offer additional services through a partner provider. Other times they will not.

What Questions Will Be Asked When You Request a Top-Up?

They will want to reassess your eligibility for travel insurance. All the factors that come into play when you apply for insurance will be brought up again.

  • Any illnesses or hospitalizations in the past 90 days?
  • Had any change in prescriptions?
  • Did you require any medical care?
  • Is there a condition that already exists that you will require medical assistance for?

Important Information About How Top-Ups Work for Travel Insurance

The top-up works in the same way regular insurance does. It is not meant to cover situations you are already aware of. It is meant to cover unknown or unforeseen events.

What Affects the Cost of Travel Insurance?

When any of the factors below changes during a trip, your eligibility for insurance or the type of coverage you could change. Here are the main things that the cost of travel insurance is based on.

  • Location you are travelling to.
  • If it is one country or multiple countries.
  • Your age.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Length of the trip.
  • Type of insurance coverage you want.

The best time to ask for an extension on your travel insurance or a top-up is the moment you know your trip will be extended. Waiting  to contact the insurance company could cause your coverage to be denied.

Travel Insurance Is Not Just for Medical Emergencies

There are many emergencies and dangerous situations happening in the world. It’s one thing to limit expenses on things you can control. When things are out of your hands, anything could happen. A few dollars spent on travel insurance saves you in a difficult situation.

For example, even though home insurance or renters insurance could cover situations like theft during travel. The deductibles may be high, or coverage may be limited. It is good to know that travel insurance may also cover you if your personal things are stolen during a trip.

Naturally, a top-up is not something that will help if an emergency has already happened. It is something that will help you if you decide you just want to stick around and extend your trip because you’re having a good time, or want to explore more.

Now you know how easy it can be to keep that insurance coverage even if you extend your trip. Just call your provider and ask for a top-up.

Want a travel insurance quote?

We offer all kinds of plans, from one-time only, to annual plans. Give us a try. As travel insurance brokers, we will check all our available companies for you and give you the best options to help you save money on your travel insurance.

This information is meant as general information and should not be taken as advice provided by a broker, but as tips for you as a consumer to be better informed on products and services that may be available to you. Contact a certified travel insurance representative to understand your insurance plan, or get options. In any case, the actual wording of your policy and your local provincial regulations will prevail over any tips we include in our articles.


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