YOU ASK:

Can I buy travel insurance (primarily medical) at the airport?

WE ANSWER:

Yes, you can buy travel insurance at the airport.

There are a number of strategically placed vending machines that sell insurance in the airport.  In fact, you can buy travel insurance with primary medical cover anywhere, thanks to the Internet!

Primary Medical Coverage or Secondary Coverage?

Primary medical coverage refers to the type of health insurance that mainly covers you for your health insurance needs. This means that it is the "first in line" when a claim is supposed to be paid.

A secondary coverage will act to supplement whatever is left unpaid by the primary medical insurance.

Primary medical coverage will usually have faster claims processing, while claims processing for secondary medical insurance will take longer.

When will the medical coverage be fully in force?

Although you may readily buy this kind of coverage over the internet and at the airport, it does not necessarily mean that the policy is already in force.

When a travel insurance company is about to provide you with medical coverage, especially primary medical coverage, it would first want to assess the level of risk you present. You will need to provide your current medical information, as well provide proof of it. If you don't divulge all pertinent information about your health and you need to file a claim related to a pre-existing medical condition, the insurance company will more likely than not deny that claim.

In insurance parlance, pre-existing conditions could mean a medical condition for which you have consulted with a doctor, is currently awaiting diagnosis or currently receiving treatment or medication for. The possible pre-existing conditions you might have are usually looked into for as far back as three to six months before the policy is issued.

Thus, even if you can buy this kind of cover at the airport and through the Internet, there still are some conditions that you have to meet before this kind of policy can be fully in force.

Finally, buying travel insurance days before your trip will help you make the most of the benefits provided. For example, if you buy insurance after a hurricane or a storm is announced, this weather condition will not be included in the coverage. That means that if you file a claim related to that hurricane or storm, the insurance company will most likely refuse payment.

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