By Emily Miller With spring break in full swing and summer right around the corner, the discussion of travel insurance has resurfaced as a topic of interest. Booking a trip can be a difficult task at best without having to worry about the fine print of your travel insurance policy. Failure to not only read but understand the fine print of your travel insurance policy can result in your policy being voided. Travel insurance experts as well as agents from gocompare.com Travel Insurance have compiled a list of ten things that could potentially invalidate your coverage. The guide features everything from excessive alcohol consumption to reckless or illegal behavior to failure to take recommended vaccinations. Below is the top ten things that could void your coverage:
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions As like any other form of insurance, failure to disclose an existing medical conditions (including mental, nervous or emotional disorders) could present a problem for the policyholder.
Preventable or Avoidable Medical Treatments/Conditions On the other hand, failure to take prescribed medication or traveling against medical advice could also result in coverage being voided. Claims resulting from a tropical disease where the recommended vaccination and/or recommended medication for the country visited was not taken also falls into this category. So does self-inflicted injuries and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
Claims Arising as Result of ‘Excessive Alcohol Consumption’ A common “catch-all” – you become hurt or injured as result of ‘excessive alcohol consumption’ or drug abuse during your trip and file an incident report. This claim may be declined as you were under the influence or drugs or alcohol.
Sports, Adventurous Activities Generally speaking, standard travel insurance exclude the following activities – winter sports, jet skiing, bungee jumping, quad biking, rugby, paragliding, martial arts, cycling touring, diving (solo or beyond a certain depth), riding mopeds or motorcycles. Competitive and professional activities are excluded. When a specific activity is covered, you will be requires to follow any safety precautions and conditions. If you know you are going to partake in all of the above activities or others, ask your travel insurance agent if you can take out additional coverage to cover the activity. Certain activities such as skydiving may require you to speak with a specialist.
Taking Reasonable Precautions Another ‘catch-all’ – insurance companies except you to take ‘all reasonable precautionary measures to avoid any injuries, illnesses, and diseases while away. It is also implied that all policyholders will take reasonable steps to safeguard property or belongings from being lost, stolen or damaged and to help recover property lost or stolen.
Reckless or Illegal Behavior In the eyes of insurance companies, there is an endless list of reckless or illegal behavior an individual can partake in while on vacation. Some examples include – sitting on any balcony railing;
Visiting Volatile Destinations If you go against travel warnings from the State Department, World Health Organization or other organizations/government agencies, there is a possibility your coverage will be voided. It is also recommended to understand how war, civil commotion and/or terrorism is noted in the fine print, regarding of your destination.
Travel Paid for Using Loyalty Schemes or Points Some policies exclude ‘any claim for unused travel or accommodation arranged by using air miles, loyalty or points based ownership schemes, timeshares or similar promotions.
Visas and Other Documents Failure to obtain the necessary visa or other travel documents prior to departure date could render your policy invalid. For example, each foreign country has a certain limit on the number of days you can visit the country without obtaining a visa. Almost every country in Europe requires you to obtain a visa if you are planning on staying there longer than three months. This visa also need to be valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure.
Work; Paid, Unpaid and Voluntary In most incidents, undertaking paid or unpaid manual work or physical labor of any kind could invalidate your coverage. It’s best to ask your insurance agent prior to departure.