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News: 2011 Press Release
For Release: May 26, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Jones Urges Californians to Protect Their Vacation Investments with Travel Insurance
Tips for Purchasing Travel Insurance
The Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the summer travel season. With that in mind Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today urged California travelers to make sure they are protected against possible vacation losses. While considering holiday destinations, he encourages Californians to also evaluate their needs for travel insurance.
"Whether your family is headed to Disneyland or Lake Tahoe travel insurance can protect against possible financial losses if you are forced to cancel, delay or interrupt your vacation," Commissioner Jones said. "With the upcoming holiday weekend, Californians are spending their hard-earned money to take a vacation. I want to make sure they are protected from financial loss."
Travel insurance can protect against the loss of non-refundable travel costs, such as airfare, hotel and tour expenses. Other types of travel insurance offer protection against losses due to medical emergencies, damage to personal property, and even death. Before buying travel insurance, consumers should check the refund policies on prepaid expenses. For example, some policies will issue refunds for cancellations made months in advance, but few will offer any refund for a trip canceled at the last minute.
To find out more about travel insurance, ask a trusted travel agent for recommendations of travel insurance companies. Travelers planning adventurous vacation activities like skydiving or scuba diving should ask if their insurance will cover those activities.
Major types of travel insurance include:
- Trip Cancellation - Reimburses you for pre-paid travel expenses if you are unable to take your trip because you or a family member becomes ill or dies.
- Travel Delay - Reimburses you for pre-paid expenses if you are unable to take your trip because of a travel delay, such as a flight delay or cancellation.
- Trip Interruption - Reimburses you for pre-paid expenses if your trip is cut short because you or a family member become ill or die or because of any other misfortune listed in the policy. Covered reasons might include bad weather, airline strikes, terrorism, bankruptcy, jury duty or fire or flood damage to your home.
Medical and Accidental Death Insurance
- Medical or Health - Reimburses you for medical and emergency dental expenses that you have because of an illness or injury while you're traveling.
- Medical Evacuation - provides emergency transportation to take you either to a hospital in the geographic region where you are or for transportation back to a hospital near your home.
Tips for purchasing travel insurance:
- Travel insurance policies aren't all the same. If you buy travel insurance, be sure to review the policy, especially the list of covered reasons for cancelling your trip.
- Before purchasing a travel insurance policy, ask about pre-existing conditions and age limits.
- Cruise and tour operators may offer cancellation waivers. Keep in mind that waivers are not insurance policies and are not regulated.
No policy can guarantee your safety when you are traveling. But knowing that you are covered for medical emergencies or the loss of personal property may help travelers relax and enjoy their vacation.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2012 the California Department of Insurance received more than 160,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $64 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Out-of-state callers, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
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