Tips for Purchasing Travel Insurance Online

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It’s easy to book all of your travel arrangements online, but what about your travel insurance? By knowing what to look for on the Web, it’s easy to find the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

It's easy to book all of your travel arrangements online, but what about your travel insurance? By knowing what to look for on the Web, it's easy to find the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

Online Brokers: The primary benefit of purchasing through an online broker is a broader selection, which increases the likelihood of finding the right product for your trip. And unlike the online comparison sites, good brokers narrow down your options to the top quality products.

Experience: Read the "About Us" page. You should find more than just the number of years an online travel insurance company has been in business. Consider if this is an internet only company or if this was an established business that moved their products to the Web to help better serve their customers. Also, does the site list other details like membership in the Better Business Bureau, the type of customers served and if the company has set any standards for the industry?

Web site breadth: A thorough Web site is critical. You should be able to have your questions answered without ever contacting the company—look for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Look for details about the plans—what's covered, rates, exclusions—in easy-to-understand language. Is the "fine print" for the plan you are considering posted? This should be found in a document called the Travel Insurance Certificate or Outline of Coverage.

Pricing: Look for a travel insurance company that offers either online quoting capabilities or complete online rate charts. Read the details to ensure that you've accounted for any special circumstances—especially if you plan to participate in adventure sports like motorcycling, scuba diving, skiing or mountain climbing—which may be restricted or require additional coverage. And remember that if you can purchase online, the order page should be secure—the Web page address (URL) of the order form should begin with "https" to let you know you are in a secure area. Also, a key or a closed padlock icon will appear in the lower right corner of most browsers to notify you that this is a secure page.

Ease of contact: Make sure that the "Contact Us" page provides multiple ways to reach a customer service representative—both by email and phone—just in case you have questions.

Broad Search: Try searching for "travel insurance" through more than one search engine. You may be surprised to find that you'll get different results, which increases the likelihood for finding the company that best fits your needs.

With the summer travel season in full swing, using these tips can make finding an experienced travel insurance company online easier. For a sampling of plans, visit travelinsure.com.

Travel Insurance Services (TIS) is a USI Affinity Company, a division of USI Holdings Corporation (USI). TIS is a nationwide insurance brokerage that has been meeting the insurance needs of travelers for 33 years. It develops, markets and administers travel insurance and international medical policies for individuals, families, groups and businesses. For more information about the company and its products, visit travelinsure.com. USI is a leading distributor of insurance and financial products and services to businesses throughout the United States. USI is headquartered in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., and operates out of 68 offices in 19 states, usi.biz.

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Kathy Barlow
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