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Why Buy Travel Insurance?

Millions of people decide to travel every year for business and for pleasure. Only a small percentage of those people decide to purchase travel insurance, partially because most people aren’t aware of the option or don’t know how travel insurance works. There are several good reasons to look into insurance, particularly when taking a long business trip, an international vacation or any other potentially high-cost trip.

When most people think of travel insurance, also called trip insurance, they think of it reimbursing you if illness, injury or a death in the family prevents you from going on a trip. But travel insurance actually covers myriad other issues that might prevent you from going on your trip or end it prematurely.

For example, if you get sick or injured six days into a 14-day trip and can’t continue, your trip insurance can reimburse you the costs for the remainder of your trip. Other situations in which insurance will cover you and reimburse your non-refundable costs include: severe weather that cancels flights or causes damage at your travel destination; you losing your job or being required to work during the time your trip was scheduled; if you are called to jury duty and can’t get out of it; if your travel provider goes bankrupt. Please keep in mind that coverage can vary by provider and plan.

Trip insurance usually also offers other coverage, such as a death benefit, coverage for emergency medical treatment you need on a trip and reimbursement for lost baggage.

How To get Travel insurance
Many travel booking sites sell travel insurance, but they typically just offer one (or a few) plans to choose from. You wouldn’t feel comfortable buying a flight if a travel site only showed you one option, so why should travel insurance be any different? Fill out our simple form on the right side of this page to compare travel insurance quotes from leading providers. By comparing multiple quotes, you can ensure that you are getting adequate coverage and spending an amount that you are comfortable with. Finally, you can buy online through our safe and secure checkout and receive your confirmation of coverage instantly via email. A policy usually costs anywhere from about 5 to 8 percent of your total trip cost.

How to File a Claim
If something happens during or before your trip, you need to contact the travel insurance company as soon as possible so it can advise you about what to do. You also need to keep meticulous records. If an illness in the family is the reason you can’t make the trip, you need a doctor’s note and copies of any bills sent to you. If you have to cancel your trip due to work, you would need a letter from your employer. When filing a claim you will need to submit all written documentation to your insurer.

Vacationers often spend a great deal of time planning the perfect trip, but unforeseen circumstances can cause travel plans to change unexpectedly. Traveling involves certain risks, and it’s important to protect yourself from situations that are beyond your control. A travel insurance policy will provide monetary compensation if an unanticipated event negatively impacts your plans. Let’s explore whether it is worth it to buy travel insurance.

The Benefits of Travel Insurance
Whenever you purchase insurance, it’s important to carefully read the policy to determine the actual level of coverage the issuer is providing. This is essential if risk activities are part of your itinerary. Behaviors and actions that increase the likelihood of injury may not be covered under a standard travel insurance policy. Coverage can vary, so you should always compare plans online and read details to tailor a policy to fit your specific needs.

While trip insurance providers may offer a variety of specialized provisions, coverage for the following events and activities is usually included in most standard polices.

  • Trip Cancellation: This coverage will reimburse you for expenses resulting from cancelling your trip due to covered reasons – an unexpected emergency such as a death in the family, medical crisis or a catastrophe in your home.
  • Accident Coverage: If you are injured or die during your trip, you or your loved ones would be entitled to compensation (similar to life insurance).
  • Medical Care: If you are involved in an accident or become ill while traveling, you will be covered for medical care and transportation. It’s important to read the policy to identify coverage limitations and exclusions.
  • Personal Possessions: This type of insurance covers your bags and belongings, including computers, smartphones, cameras and jewelry. Most policies also offer coverage for lost money and passports as well.

Is Travel Insurance Worth it?
Before you purchase a trip insurance policy, check your current health insurance plan to find out if you are covered for medical treatment when traveling abroad. If your plan lacks this coverage, adding medical insurance makes good sense. For as little as $25 per week, you can receive medical benefits for treatment, transportation and medication. Travel insurance can be worth it for those with itineraries requiring substantial upfront payments, trips that include a moderate amount of risk or complex journeys that involve multiple flights and hotels.

The purpose of trip insurance is to protect you financially in the event of canceled flights, medical emergencies or other unexpected situations. There are several types of travel insurance plans, and it can be confusing to choose one if you don’t know what each type covers. Clear up your confusion by reading the below overviews of each type. Once you understand the main differences between these plans, you can begin comparing plan coverage and prices between insurance providers.

Travel Accident Insurance
The purpose of this insurance is to provide term life and accidental death and dismemberment protection for you and your family. This covers unexpected and sudden losses that occur because of travel or flight accidents. Some other emergency assistance benefits might cover baggage loss, evacuations, medical and dental expenses, pre-existing medical conditions and repatriation. The benefits apply while you are on a trip that is insured or during the coverage period. This type of trip insurance is ideal for frequent world travelers, particularly those who visit risky regions.

Travel Medical Insurance
General health insurance doesn’t protect you when you travel abroad, but travel medical insurance acts as a sort of extension to cover medical, dental and evacuation costs during your travels. This trip insurance is very affordable because it doesn’t cover a host of other incidentals such as trip cancellations. However, some plans include benefits for delayed or lost baggage or delayed trips. You can usually purchase travel medical plans for a single trip or multiple trips over a certain period.

Medical Evacuation Insurance
This type of plan focuses on covering the cost of evacuations and repatriation. If you are hospitalized while traveling with your family, it may cover the cost of an emergency medical reunion and the return of any minor children home. Some plans may also provide term life and AD&D benefits to protect your family as well as coverage for lost luggage, adventure sports and trip interruptions.

Package Travel Insurance
Compared to travel accident, evacuation and medical insurance plans, package travel insurance is much more comprehensive, which is why it’s the most commonly purchased. Package plans are customized according to the different needs of various travelers. A typical plan includes coverage for evacuations, luggage problems, medical and dental costs, returning minors home, and trip cancellations, delays and interruptions. Some plans also cover adventure activities, credit card and passport services, identity theft assistance, pet care, pre-existing medical conditions, rental car collisions, roadside assistance and sports equipment.

Annual and Specialty Travel Insurance
Annual travel insurance is similar to package travel coverage, but instead of covering a single trip, it covers all of your trips for an entire year. Some of these plans are renewable. Specialty travel insurance provides coverage for certain aspects of a trip, such as car rentals and term life, to supplement the benefits that you already receive. This type of plan is ideal when you are concerned about a specific risk.

In general, you need travel medical insurance for medical emergencies and package travel insurance to cover trip cancellations. Since the specific benefits or coverage differ so much between plans and providers, it’s important to read the terms and conditions of each before buying trip insurance.

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