YOU ASK:

What does excess waiver mean when buying travel insurance?

WE ANSWER:

In travel insurance, as well as in other types of insurance, the insurance company sometimes requires you to take part in the claims by paying the excess, specifically, the first part of the claim. This is the portion that you pay towards each claim's costs, subject to the maximum limits stated under each benefit.

For example, you lost your baggage, where the maximum limit is set at $1,000 where your excess is at $100. You will pay for the first $100, then the insurance company will pay for the rest, subject to the maximum limit. That means that if the claim is for $500, the insurance company will only pay for $400 since you will pay for the first $100 of the claim.

Usually, each benefit under the travel insurance policy has its own separate excess amount. That means that if you make two claims under two different benefits in the travel insurance policy, you will have to pay excess for each one.

When we talk about "excess waiver", this means that you don't have to pay an amount every time there is a claim against the travel insurance policy. The excess waiver would mean that you have to pay an additional premium amount as this really constitutes additional cover under your travel insurance policy. If you would like to lower your premium for the travel insurance, you can also have the excess increased.

There are travel insurance companies who allow you to select a medical excess level, or to change the excess into an amount you would like. Please also check whether the excess can be covered by your existing medical insurance. Ask whether coverage provided by such insurance like the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can be used against the excess amount.

Excess amounts may differ from benefit to benefit, and there may be no excess waiver allowed for benefits which provide coverage for sports and adventure activities that are deemed "risky".

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