Diana, do you actually know what you are paying for?”

That was the first question that Stacey Aarssen asked me.

Stacey is a financial planner who specializes in educating people about the ins and outs of travel insurance.

Personally, I have a travel insurance policy that provides annual coverage.

It was very reasonable considering I need coverage for up to 30 days or more at a time, multiple times of year, but did I know much more about my policy than that?

Even with all the recent horror stories in the news about denied claims, I was embarrassed to reply, “Uh no, not really.”*

Stacey assured me I was not alone. She says people buy travel insurance but don’t read the fine print hoping they will never need it.

What is your Stability Period?

I had never even heard the phrase Stability Period before!

So Stacey gave me an example.

“Let’s say  your doctor reduces your blood pressure medication a month before you travel.”

“But then on your cruise, you have a heart attack or a stroke and incur expenses. If the insurance can connect the change in medication to your condition, your claim may be denied,” says Stacey.

Why? Because your Stability Period was 3 months, which means your policy was only valid as long as nothing changed in your overall health in that time frame.

In some circumstances that includes any increase or even decrease in medications.

It turns out most stability periods after 55 years of age for annual travel insurance are 6 months.  Mine is.

Something to keep in mind if you are experiencing changes to the circumstances to your health before you travel.

Do You Know Your Exclusions?

“Exclusions are events or conditions that insurance companies will not pay for under any circumstances,” says Stacey. “They are constantly changing and the list varies from company to company.”

I learned about a few exclusions that I had never thought much about —

  • Acts of War or Terrorism — Sadly this is more common than it used to be.
  • Parasailing — I did this once. Hated it.  Never again. Nice to know that accident related injuries from this activity are not something I need to worry about. But if you are taking a cycling trip, a mountain climbing trip etc. be sure to check if you are covered.
  • If are injured while Alcohol-induced — This could definitely be problematic for a lot of people on holiday!

Do You Need A Travel Insurance Checkup?

I am scratching the surface on this topic, but if you are interested, Stacey provides a complementary one-on-one “Travel Insurance Checkup” to readers of this blog.  That is what I did. 

Stacey’s goal is to ensure that people are educated about travel insurance before purchasing it.

She feels denial of claims can be avoided with proper education.

I really appreciate the time Stacey spent with me.

Diana Bishop‘s life’s work has been telling stories as a professional journalist, author, film maker and international personal branding specialist. Now she is blogging about her passion for Paris! Check out her website- Woman of a Certain Age in Paris.