Common Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing Travel Insurance

Recently, a British publication released a set of tips that experts urge folks to avoid when purchasing travel insurance. Some of these are decent ideas that expert travelers could expand on. The first thing to keep in mind about travel insurance is that it’s a must-have for travelers. That’s especially true if your regular insurance policy won’t cover you abroad. These are some of the common mistakes you want to avoid when purchasing travel insurance.

Leaving It to the Last Minute

Man calling travel insurance while holding a laptop in his lap.
Image Credit: Shutterstock /

There are two main reasons why this is an issue. Firstly, if you leave this to the last minute, there’s a good chance you won’t have the time to do some decent research. This could lead to picking insurance that doesn’t really provide the type of coverage you need. There’s another issue that you’re going to have to contend with as well if you make this mistake. Sometimes, insurance doesn’t kick in for about 48 to 72 hours until after your purchase. Suppose that you buy the insurance policy when you’re already abroad, this means you may be spending a couple of days without coverage. Ideally, you’ll want to make the purchase before you travel.

Not Checking the Limits to the Coverage or the Facilities Where You Can Get Help

"Customer's signature" written\printed on a white paper with declaration of "I have read terms and conditions"
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Omkar09

Checking the limits of the coverage is the least that you can do. There can be other elements of the “fine print” that you want to be aware of. One of those has to do with any limitations regarding where you can seek medical attention. Many times, people wrongfully assume that their insurance is valid at any local hospital. When you go abroad, though, you may find that you won’t have access to public facilities. This is not a worldwide rule, but it’s a good idea to understand what applies where you’re traveling.

Is Your Trip Too Long?

Travel Aviation Insurance Website
Image Credit: Shutterstock /

Most of the prices that you’ll find when looking for travel insurance will cover you for one month. If the price is a bit lower than the industry standard, that may be a weekly fee. Sometimes, those low prices are the hook to get you to buy that particular insurance policy, but you may end up in a situation where you’re only covered for half the trip. Conversely, your trip may be too long to get coverage from certain companies. In those situations, you could be better off going to your regular insurance provider to see if they don’t have add-ons that can get you coverage abroad.

Not Declaring Pre-Existing Conditions

Travel insurance form, holding pen to fill it out.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / REDPIXEL.PL

Many people may be tempted to do this to get a better rate. Suppose that you have diabetes, which is, of course, a condition you’d have to declare. If something happens abroad, you run the risk of having that pre-existing condition be the cause of the problem or something that worsens your situation. In that case, the insurance company could limit your coverage or completely refuse to pay your medical bills. Knowing this, it’s probably best to declare any pre-existing conditions. Otherwise, you could put yourself in a bad spot on multiple fronts. You could end up locked in a legal battle in a foreign country, for example, over medical coverage. Yes, this could seem like the worst-case scenario, but that’s why you buy travel insurance in the first place.

Specialized Coverage for Cruises

A boat on the water
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Paul Vinten

Do you need traveler’s insurance if you’re going on a cruise? They have doctors on board, don’t they? Many cruise lines require people to have insurance before they board. At times, the company itself will let you know who you need to buy insurance from. This type of insurance covers certain elements that are unique to cruises, such as being left at a particular port.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

Leave a Comment