Essential travel insurance tips
The Caribbean islands aren’t always paradise. That’s why there’s travel insurance. Here are a few situations that you could encounter, and tips on how you can get the most out of your coverage.
Hurricanes and tropical storms are among the biggest threats of your trip turning upside down. If your flight has been cancelled or your hotel is unable to accept visitors, you may qualify for trip cancellation or interruption benefits, depending your country of residence. Timing is key here: You need to have bought your plan before the storm was announced. You also won’t be eligible for coverage if you cancel because of a few knocked-down trees or the forecast is cloudy and gray.
Street crime and petty theft, such as pickpocketing and mugging, are unfortunate realities in the Caribbean. Should that happen to you, get to safety first and go to the local authorities to report the incident (don’t forget to get a copy of the report). World Nomads, 24/7 Emergency Assistance team can give you hand with whatever you need in a crisis, such as helping to locate health care facilities or consular services and contacting family members.
If your personal belongings get swiped under your supervision, besides reporting the incident, you’ll also need the original receipts for the items. Your policy may have per-item and maximum limits and exclude coverage of high-value items or cash.
The Caribbean feels like a non-stop adventure, from snorkeling in crystal-clear water and trekking amid cloud forests to swimming under cascading waterfalls.
Whatever the activity, it’s important to choose the right level of coverage. Read the policy wording, browse the World Nomads’ Help Center, or contact our customer service team to see if what you’re planning to do is covered under your plan. You may have to pay an additional premium for an adventure sports upgrade or purchase the Explorer plan instead of a Standard.
Certain adventures may also have special conditions and exclusions which, if you don’t comply, could affect your coverage. These could be getting certification for your activity or booking the excursion with a qualified, licensed operator. It could also be as simple as abiding by safety practices, whether or not or they’re a part of the local law.
It’s never a good idea to guzzle multiple frozen daiquiris before scuba diving, or going hiking solo when you’re just a beginner and have a poor sense of direction. Your coverage is contingent upon your responsible behavior. So, best to refrain from anything that would be likely to get you in trouble. Also, be sure to check your policy for exclusions, such as unguided dives or search-and-rescue missions.
Surfing accidents, sunburn and dehydration, food poisoning, or – heaven forbid – an act of violence. Major and minor occurrences can happen in the Caribbean, and believe us, they do…no matter how careful or prepared you think you are.
The first thing to remember is to contact the 24/7 Emergency Assistance team, who will need to approve your surgical procedures, medical treatment, or evacuation before you go forward with them. Otherwise your coverage may be reduced or invalidated.
Remember: deductibles or excesses may apply; any emergencies due to pre-existing conditions aren’t included unless specified in your policy; and your plan only covers emergencies, not routine or preventative care, such as eyeglass prescriptions and annual physicals.
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