Tips for Snowbird Travel Insurance Shoppers

If you’re a snowbird you’ll have a greater variety of travel insurance plans available this coming season than ever before. But don’t limit yourself only to those plans promoted as “snowbird” products. The market for good insurance is much broader, so explore it well.

There is nothing unique about a “snowbird” plan that you can’t find in many long term, single-trip plans that are offered to all age groups, under hundreds of titles, sold by thousands of agents and brokers. That’s not to say they are all exactly the same or equally suitable for every individual buyer.  They’re not.

But plans touted as snowbird products are no different from plans marketed generically as single trip plans: they have pretty well the same benefits, the same limits, the same exclusions, the same fine print you need to be aware of, the same definitions, the same eligibility criteria, although they may be tweaked slightly to appear more expansive and generous to older age groups. But they’re not going to cover applicants who wouldn’t be covered by generic plans because of health conditions.

Neither will they be substantially cheaper than generic plans.

Insurance underwriters set the price levels.  They set them on the basis of the risk they are undertaking.

A younger, healthy snowbird or boomer or family will pay less than an older applicant with a heart condition: no matter how much business volume a broker brings to the table. Consequently, a broker promoting snowbird products is not going to be offered price breaks that go beyond the underwriter’s risk comfort zone.

What you need to do when shopping for travel insurance is compare products from the full marketplace, as well as those concentrating on snowbird products.

Assess plans from at least five or six producers.  Look at their eligibility requirements and see if they fit your health profile: and be honest.  See what medical questions they ask and apply the results to yourself.

Many rate your eligibility according to the numbers or types of medications you are prescribed. Count them all, whether you need them or not. If they have been prescribed for you, you must count them, even if you say you no longer use them.

If you are under order or referral for tests by your doctor—find out exactly what the tests are for and report them on your application. If you complete an application and see that questions remain, ask your doctor to clarify your status and if necessary, drop the application and look elsewhere. You won’t be charged for aborting an application.

You also have 10 days after you purchase a policy to examine to give it a thumbs up, or not. Examine it.

With all of the plans and plan options available to you in this expanding marketplace there is no reason you can’t find something that fits you perfectly.  And it’s only when you have a perfect fit, that you should consider the price. A cheap product that doesn’t fit your health status can be worse than no insurance.

Take your time.  Shop wisely.  This can be one of the most important purchases in your life.

The advertisers on this site offer many different plans and plan options. Assess them carefully and, if need be, look elsewhere too. Make the right choice based on the substance of the plan, no matter what its called.

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