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Travel Insurance Glossary

It is important to understand the terms and wordings of your Travel Insurance policy in order to find out what you can count on in case you have to cancel or interrupt your trip, get sick during your journey, or if your baggage gets lost, stolen or damaged. As the situations may differ greatly, it is necessary to be aware of the fact that some of them may be excluded from the policy or interpreted in a special way. Reading the fine print of your policy and understanding what every term means is crucial in getting ready for a travel.

Benefits is the amount paid by the insurance provider to a beneficiary who filed a claim under the terms of his/her policy.

Deductible is the amount the insured has to pay before the insurer starts paying. This may be an annual amount, an amount for the policy duration, or an amount for each incident.

Co-Insurance or Co-pay is the amount that the insured pays after the deductible is paid.

Exclusions are the expenses that the insurer or travel protection provider will not pay, for example: pre-existing conditions, participation in various dangerous activities, hazardous sports etc.

Insured is the individual covered under the terms of an insurance policy.

Premium is the amount that you pay to purchase travel protection plans or international medical insurance coverage. Depending on the policy, premiums may be paid in advance, monthly, annually, or on a per trip basis.

Individual Plans are plans designed to cover one individual only.

Family Plans are designed to cover all members in a family traveling together. Compared to the rates for an individual, the premiums for family plans are usually priced at a discount. They may also include relatives beyond the immediate family, for example, grandparents and in-laws.

Primary Coverage is the coverage which offers insurance regardless of any other coverage the policy holder may have.

Secondary Coverage is the coverage which requires policy holders to have Primary Coverage. The Secondary Coverage protects only the expenses not already covered by the Primary Coverage plan.

Single-Trip Plan is a travel insurance plan which covers only one trip.

Annual/Multi-Trip plans are the travel insurance plans which cover all trips taken within a year (with a maximum duration of 30-120 days per trip).

Non-refundable Travel Expenses are the costs for a trip you cannot obtain a reimbursement for. You usually pay such costs for airline tickets, cruise deposits or hotel deposits.

Maximum Policy Coverage is the maximum amount which the insurance provider will pay for covered travel expenses. This may be a sum for each accident or illness or overall maximum.

Pre-existing Conditions are medical conditions of the insured which existed prior to the plan or policy purchase. Plans often specify a maximum amount of time (for example, 5 years) prior to the effective date of the plan during which the pre-existing conditions would be policy exclusions. Most policies provide limited or no coverage for medical expenses or trip cancellation expenses related to pre-existing medical conditions. Pre-existing conditions exclusions may be waived in case the insurance plan is purchased within 7-10 days after the initial trip deposit is paid.

Lost Luggage benefit is the secondary coverage to any other available coverage, paid if the common carrier permanently loses an insured person' s checked luggage.

Emergency Benefits cover the expenses for sending an injured or sick person home or transporting him/her to a spot where immediate medical care is available.

Repatriation Benefit pays the cost of preparing the body of a person who dies in a foreign country and returning the body to the deceased's home country.

Emergency Evacuation is the coverage providing the emergency medical evacuation of the insured to the nearest medical facility or the country of residence. It covers the expenses of travel and accommodations resulting from the evacuation, the cost of returning to the home country or the country where the medical help occurs.

Emergency Reunion Coverage means covering the travel and lodging expenses for having a family member or friend brought to the injured or ill insured in case of a medical emergency to be reunited with the insured.

Hazardous Sports & Activities Coverage is the coverage for medical expenses which can result from participating in high risk sports and activities, for example, scuba diving, sky diving, rock climbing or bungee jumping. This coverage is often excluded by international medical insurance and travel protection plans. If you are planning on participating in any high risk activities, you should look for plans providing optional, supplementary hazardous sports and activity coverage.

Travel Assistance Services include any special help useful for travelers in difficult situations far from home, such as toll-free multi-lingual 24-hour emergency telephone numbers, local offices around the world, medical and legal help, translation services, passport and visa assistance, assistance filling prescriptions, and web sites offering aid and advice to travelers.

Travel Supplier Bankruptcy/Default usually covers travel expenses which were lost because of a complete cessation of services due to financial circumstances, regardless of whether or not a travel supplier files a bankruptcy petition. There are substantial differences in such plans and one has to be very attentive to fine print and wordings.

Trip Interruption Insurance covers policyholders in situations when they have to cancel or interrupt their trip due of covered reasons, such as sickness, injury, death of a relative, adverse weather conditions, terrorism, problems with the airline, cruise operator, or tour operator, etc.

Baggage and Personal Effects Coverage protects your costs associated with lost, stolen or damaged baggage, credit cards, passports and travel documents and personal effects during your trip.

Rental Car Insurance covers damage or theft to a car that you rent while traveling. It also covers liability to other people you might injure or cars you might damage using a rental car.

UC&R (or Usual, Customary & Reasonable) Charges are the average amount of rates charged by providers for a particular service, procedures, treatment, or supply in the same geographic area. The information on average rates is compiled into a data bank and updated on a regular basis. Before making the claim payment, the insurance company reviews the UC&R rate and checks that doctors are not billing excessively for the particular service.