Here’s a common question:
“If I buy trip cancellation travel insurance policy today, does my coverage go into effect immediately?”
First, the answer to the question is “No, your trip cancellation coverage starts tomorrow. Nothing that occurs that causes you to cancel your trip on the date the policy is purchased is covered.”.
Next, on the surface, that question sounds innocent. But, something important is “hidden in plain sight”. What isn’t being revealed is that perhaps there is something happening right at that moment that could cause a trip cancellation.
And, as part of the call after we take an order, we double check all their travel details and then always say, “your trip cancellation coverage starts tomorrow”. Now and then telling them this results in the person not buying the policy which is fine with me.
We have never had a legitimate claim turned down from any of our companies since we started in 2001. However, we have had a few people over the years who did not have legitimate claims. In case you don’t know, we go to great lengths to uncover exactly why someone wants to get travel insurance. It’s important to us that the policy will work as expected and if it won’t to our satisfaction we will refuse to sell it. For more on this read “We Don’t Sell Travel Insurance To Everyone“.
Here are three of those non-legitimate claims:
- A lady called us about trip insurance for a trip three months in the future that she paid in full that same day. We discussed the plan coverages with her explaining exactly what she needed to know. Later that same afternoon she called back and bought a policy. The next day she called because they need to cancel their trip. It was then that she told us she bought the policy while waiting in the Emergency Room because her husband had a heart episode. She wanted assurances that even though the policy hadn’t gone into effect that she would still be fully covered.
- On a Wednesday a lady called to make sure she could get the waiver of the pre-existing medical condition exclusion because her husband had some currently stable medical condition. She met all the requirements and bought a policy. Five days later she cancelled her trip because, apparently, at the same time she bought the insurance her husband was having some symptoms of a brain condition. Shortly after calling us he was rushed to the Emergency Room where he received brain surgery.
- In mid-January a man called to get trip cancellation insurance for a cruise he was about to pay the Final Payment on. He said that while his wife had been treated for a medical condition months earlier, it was completely stable. It was so stable that the last contact with any medical professional was the previous September. He also stated that, yes, they both are medically able to travel that day. A few days before the trip they filed a trip cancellation claim. What he neglected to mention was that the previous September his wife’s doctor told he she was no longer able to travel.
In case these three examples and what I wrote above are not very clear, here’s what I’m saying:
The Trip Cancellation coverage begins at 12:01 a.m. on the day after the date the policy is purchased. All other coverages begin when you leave home for your trip when your departure date is in the future. Nothing that occurs that causes you to cancel your trip on the date the policy is purchased is covered.