Even the most seasoned travelers sometimes feel confused about travel insurance — what’s out there, what it covers, whether or not they need it. Let’s face it, current events teach us (i.e. viruses, volcanoes, accidents, etc.) that travel insurance is an absolute must! You especially need it when you’re traveling outside the US. As my mom used to say “It’s better to be safe than sorry.!”
While coverage and policies vary from state to state, of course, here are some basics of travel insurance to get you started:
- There are five main types of travel insurance. What you might need depends largely on what kind of trip you’re taking, what kind of traveler you are, and how frequently you travel. The five main types are:
- Trip cancellation and interruption (full or partial reimbursement for a trip you need to cancel prior to departure, a trip that gets canceled because a tour company or resort goes out of business, or a trip that gets cut short for a wide variety of reasons)
- Medical (for health issues that occur outside of your normal coverage area)
- Evacuation (due to disaster, dangerous weather, political emergency, or medical emergency)
- Baggage (reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage)
- Flight insurance (also called “crash coverage,” this is basically a life insurance policy that covers you while you’re on the plane, in the event of a statistically rare crash)
- Just because you have health insurance at home does not mean that it will cover you on your trip. You need to check the ins and outs of your particular health insurance policy. It may cover you while you travel, but many do not. In fact, some insurance policies don’t even cover health emergencies experienced on foreign-flagged vessels — which is what most cruise ships are. Check with your provider, ask your travel agent for suggestions, and of course, direct any insurance-related questions to the provider.
- Avoid purchasing travel insurance from the company that’s also hosting your trip. The reason for this? If that company goes out of business, chances are, so does their insurance.
- Some companies offer comprehensive coverage that can serve as your primary coverage while you’re traveling. What does this mean, and how can it benefit you? It means that the insurance company will pay first, regardless of what other insurance you have. They don’t even inquire about additional insurance, saving you tons of paperwork and out-of-pocket expenses. Allianz Global Assist is my go-to company. However, TravelInsurance.com and InsureMyTrip.com are two websites that allow you to shop and compare many different policies so that you can select the best one to suit your needs.
- Weigh the cost of the trip with the cost of insurance. For instance, if you just bought a $99 ticket for a quick weekend getaway to Martha’s Vinyard — is it worth it? Food for thought.
There are also additional services and benefits that you can get from having travel insurance. They can offer passport services in case you lose yours. They may also serve as interpreters if an issue arises while you are abroad, and you can’t speak the language. Travel insurance companies have a global network where they have partners that they can reach out to assist you while you are traveling.
If you’re looking to maximize your fun and minimize your risk, travel insurance might be just the right option for you. Take your time, ask tons of questions, and find what works best for you and your family. If you would like more details about this topic, I recorded a live video the other day on why you need travel insurance. Check out the video.
Have questions about insurance – or any other travel-related topic? Start planning your next trip now. I can help you by making sure your travel plans go smoothly. For some inspiration check out Travel Restrictions Won’t Last Always – Where Are You Dreaming Of Going?
I’d love to chat with you over the phone and get to know you and your travel plans better. To get in touch, just click the link to schedule a 15-minute, video Courtesy Consult with me today.
-Priscilla, CEO & Travel Advisor, Cilla Travel