Travel Protection Insurance Basics

Travel insurance can cover financial or medical issues when traveling internationally or domestically. We'll take a look at the basics.

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Most often travel insurance can be purchased when booking a trip with your travel agent or by purchasing travel insurance online. This insurance protection can give you some peace of mind when planning a major vacation, international trip, or a cruise. And with geo-political issues soaring to new heights, travel protection insurance has become a more viable option than ever. It is necessary to understand, however, that of the large number of travel insurance companies, some are good and some are not so good, so you do need to take a close look at the details.

There are many different types of travel insurance; some may be more suitable for you than others. It’s important to determine your needs when looking for coverage. Travel insurance, such as trip cancellation insurance, evacuation insurance, and medical coverage can protect your travel investment and ensure that you and your family receive proper medical care in case of emergency.

    Some common issues covered by travel insurance:

  • Trip cancellation
  • Delayed departure
  • Lost luggage
  • Theft or damaged items
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Medical expenses
  • Accidental death, injury or disablement

Three types of travel insurance coverage:

Trip cancellation/interruption
The most common utilized form of travel insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, allows you to cancel your trip in the case of unforeseen circumstances such as illness or delays and cancellations. If you have to leave a trip early or cancel a trip, the travel insurance will reimburse you for any non-refundable deposits. This can prove invaluable if a parent has an emergency, for example, and you need to get home. Make sure to check the policy details, as some insurers will only make exceptions for medical emergencies, or won’t cover medical issues relating to pre- existing conditions. Some commonly accepted exclusions include self-inflicted injuries orcancellations for personal financial reasons.

The likelihood of needing cancellation insurance drastically increases when booking early. The further in advance you’re purchasing the more likely you’ll need the coverage. A lot can go wrong over time; cruise liners go under, airlines go bankrupt, plans change, cancellations happen, and so on. Trip cancellation insurance is commonly recommended when booking well in advance.

Emergency Evacuation Insurance
Emergency evacuation insurance can be particularly valuable if traveling in foreign countries or an exotic locale. If you break a leg while hiking the Himalayas, the cost of air evacuation can be inordinately expensive. In these circumstances, you’ll be covered for evacuation, and some travel accident insurance polices will get you home as well. Emergency evacuation insurance makes a lot of sense if you’re taking an adventure type vacation or you’ll be far from the conveniences of modern medical care.

Emergency Medical Coverage
Medical travel insurance provides medical coverage if you get sick or injured while you’re traveling abroad. It’s important to understand that many third world medical facilities won’t consider your health insurance card as an adequate form of payment. International travel health insurance that offers emergency medical coverage can be reassuring in these circumstances. This may or may not include travel accident insurance, which can provide coverage for accidental death, injury or disablement.

The above can be purchased individually, or bundled together. Whether you need full comprehensive travel insurance coverage or just one of the above,mdepends on your existing insurance. Your current health insurance plan may or may not provide medical coverage when traveling abroad. Before purchasing emergency medical coverage make sure to check with your health insurer to see if you’re covered internationally, if at all. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy may even offer international travel insurance protection. Some credit card companies provide some form of travel insurance protection if your trip is purchased via their credit card.

All travel insurers are not created equal. It is very important to look at the policy details. Many insurers will not cover pre-existing health conditions. Additional travel health insurance may be necessary when traveling to high-risk countries or participation in high-risk sports, such as skydiving.

You can expect to pay anywhere from 5 to upwards of 10 percent of your trip’s cost, for the more comprehensive travel insurance plans. Your age may play a roll in travel insurance costs, so if you’re in your golden years, expect to pay a premium. This coverage can be purchased through your travel agent when booking your trip or you can get an online travel insurance quote. Purchasing travel insurance online can save you some money, but don’t go with cheap travel insurance. It’s important to go with a reputable company and make sure you read the fine print.

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