Travel Insurance Basics
Travel insurance can cover financial or medical issues
when traveling internationally or domestically. We'll take
a look at the basics.
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
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:
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 or
cancellations 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
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
The above can be purchased individually, or bundled together. Whether you
need full comprehensive travel insurance coverage or just one of the above,
depends 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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