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Post-Departure Travel Insurance Benefits Explained

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A lot of people think “post-departure travel insurance” means travel insurance you buy after you've left on your trip. It actually refers to the benefits that can protect you once you’ve departed on your trip.

These post-departure benefits are there to help you when things go wrong: if your trip gets delayed, if your baggage goes missing, if you get sick, and if you just need some help.

(Many people wonder: Can you buy travel insurance after you’ve begun your trip? Not from Allianz Global Assistance, although it is possible to purchase a travel protection plan if you’re leaving tomorrow. Don’t delay: Get a quote right now!)

What Are Post-Departure Travel Insurance Benefits?

Most travel insurance benefits are post-departure benefits. The big exception is  trip cancellation benefits, which by definition only apply when you cancel your trip before you leave. The trip cancellation benefit can reimburse your prepaid, non-refundable expenses, up to the maximum benefit in your plan, if you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason.

Post-departure benefits include:

 Emergency medical and dental benefits, which can reimburse you for eligible costs of medical or dental care for an unexpected illness, injury, or medical condition you experience while traveling.

 Emergency transportation benefits, which can pay for pre-approved, medically necessary transportation to the nearest appropriate hospital or other facility following a covered medical emergency. These benefits also can pay for medical repatriation, which means transporting you home — with a medical escort or special accommodations, if needed — once you’re medically stable to travel.

 Trip interruption benefits, which can reimburse your unused, prepaid, non-refundable expenses, up to the maximum benefit in your plan, when you’re forced to pause your trip or cut it short for a covered reason.

Trip interruption benefits also can reimburse you for certain additional covered expenses: additional accommodation fees (such as a single supplement fee from a cruise line, if your travel companion interrupts their trip); transportation expenses you incur to continue your trip or return home; and additional accommodation and transportation expenses if the interruption prolongs your trip.

Travel delay benefits, which can reimburse you for your lost prepaid trip expenses when your trip is delayed, as well as additional expenses for meals, accommodation, communication, and transportation during a covered delay.

Baggage delay benefits, which can reimburse you for purchasing essential items (such as clothing or toiletries) following a covered baggage delay.

 SmartBenefitsSM, included with OneTrip Premier, which can pay you $100 per insured person, per day, for a covered travel delay or baggage delay (up to the maximum no-receipts limit). No receipts required — just proof of a covered delay! Learn more about SmartBenefitsSM.

 Baggage loss/damage benefits, which can reimburse you if your baggage is lost, damaged, or stolen while you are on your trip. This benefit can pay you the lowest of the following, up to the maximum benefit listed in your plan:

  • The actual cash value of the baggage;
  • The cost to repair damaged baggage;
  • The cost to replace the lost, damaged, or stolen baggage.

 24-Hour Assistance, which connects you with a team of expert problem-solvers for help with all kinds of travel challenges: medical emergencies, lost travel documents, misplaced luggage, lost or stolen personal items, changes in travel plans, etc. Included in every plan, 24-Hour Assistance can be accessed anytime by using the Allyz® TravelSmart app or by phone.

Other post-departure benefits may be available with specific plans, including the concierge benefit, rental car damage and theft coverage, business equipment coverage (and rental coverage), travel accident coverage, change fee coverage, and loyalty program redeposit fee coverage.

What Time Period Does “Post-Departure” Cover?

You don’t have to have boarded your plane/train/ship/bus to have departed for your trip. Essentially, your post-departure benefits kick in on your departure date.

For instance, let’s say you’re driving to the cruise ship pier in Miami when a distracted driver runs a red light and hits you. You go to the hospital for a fractured collarbone, and so you miss your cruise embarkation. A traffic accident (resulting in you or your travel companion needing medical attention, or the vehicle needing repairs because it’s not safe to operate) can be a covered reason for trip interruption.

When do your post-departure benefits end? Generally, your coverage period ends at 11:59 p.m. local time on the coverage end date stated in your plan. If your return travel is delayed due to a covered reason, your coverage period can be extended until you are able to return home or you arrive at a medical facility in the U.S. for further care following medical repatriation or trip interruption, whichever comes first.

Who Needs Post-Departure Travel Insurance Benefits?

The short answer? Everyone. You definitely need post-departure benefits if…

  • You’re traveling overseas. In most foreign countries, U.S. health insurance is not accepted as payment for emergency medical services.
  • You’re heading to a remote destination. When you’re far from a major city with modern medical facilities, emergency transportation benefits are a must.
  • You want to be reimbursed if you have to cut your trip short (or extend it!) for a covered reason.
  • You want protection in case of a travel delay. Without trip delay benefits, you’ll have to pay for food, accommodations, etc. during a delay.
  • You want to safeguard your baggage.

Travelers with few pre-paid trip costs may decide to purchase a travel insurance plan that includes only post-departure benefits. It’s called OneTrip Emergency Medical, and it provides the key protections you need while traveling, such as emergency medical and dental, emergency transportation, travel delay and baggage benefits. OneTrip Emergency Medical does not include trip cancellation or trip interruption benefits. As a result, it’s an economical plan that can be a good choice for spontaneous or budget travelers.

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