Travel insurance provides financial coverage for travelers who undergo unforeseen circumstances while traveling abroad. Many traveler’s insurance policies cover various risks that may occur when traveling. Some of the most common risks include missed flights, canceled tours, lost baggage, theft, accidents, illness, emergency evacuation and accidental death benefits.
Depending on the type of insurance policy you purchase, you may be afforded different benefits based on your purchased policy. For most people, travel insurance can be worth the purchase, especially if they travel a lot. On the other hand, other people may need to look further into an insurance policy that fits their travel-related needs.
Selecting the right travel insurance can be difficult for various reasons, but it’s not so hard when you know what you’re looking for. In this article, we’re going to learn how to select travel insurance.
What You Need To Know Before You Buy
If you’ve already taken a look at the market, you’ve probably noticed that several types of travel insurance exist. Some of the most common types include trip cancellation and interruption insurance, medical insurance, evacuation insurance, baggage insurance and flight insurance.
In most cases, a typical travel insurance policy provides enough coverage for a short term trip or a long term trip. Short term or single trip insurance generally covers trips up to 90 days. Long term or multi-trip policies tend to harbor enough coverage up to one year.
Some types of travel insurance provide coverage for people who do live overseas or those who aren’t citizens of the United States. Many travel insurance policies do have a deductible, while the premium is based upon the length of a trip or derived from a percentage of the cost of your trip.
Most of the time, people purchase what’s known as comprehensive travel insurance, which pretty much includes most of the aforementioned policies. Comprehensive travel insurance tends to provide coverage for most aspects of your trip. Some of the features that may be included in a comprehensive travel insurance policy includes:
- Emergency medical care or emergency dental care, which doesn’t typically include routine checkups.
- Medical evacuation, which covers the cost of transporting you to the nearest hospital in a medical emergency.
- Trip cancellation or delay coverage, which covers the cost of a trip in the case of unforeseen circumstances.
- Lost or delayed baggage coverage, which provides coverage up to a specified amount.
- Remains reparation, which assists with the cost and legalities of returning your remains back home in the case of your death.
- Legal aid, recommendation assistance and multilingual help.
Comprehensive travel insurance, in addition to other forms of travel insurance, tend to have exclusions, including the following:
- Sports activities, particularly for ‘high risk’ sports like scuba diving, rock climbing and other organized sports.
- Self-inflicted injuries.
- Mental illness and/or suicide.
- Declared or undeclared claims originating from war-related circumstances.
Many travel insurance policies are also supported by supplemental policies, which add on more coverage for people who might need a specific type of coverage, such as identity theft coverage or evacuation coverage. These supplemental policies are typically sold as add-ons to main policies or as a part of a complete travel insurance package.
Selecting the Right Travel Insurance Policy
What goes into selecting the right travel insurance policy? To start, it’s best to personally examine what type of coverage you might need for your trip. Some factors that typically influence the type of policy that a person may choose include:
- The length of their trip.
- The type of destination they may travel to.
- Whether they may participate in high risk sports or activities (like climbing or mountaineering).
- The status of their personal health.
Remember: some of these factors do influence certain aspects of a travel insurance policy. Travel insurance prices can vary by much as 5 to as much as 12 percent of the total cost of your trip. Age is one of the most common factors that affect the cost of a travel insurance policy.
Rates typically get higher for customers aged over 50, while coverage is typically inexpensive or even free for children under age 17. Most people should expect middle of the road prices for their travel insurance coverage, particularly those aged 20 to 49.
Also, travel insurance policies vary by state. While some travel insurance companies do sell to customers in most states, you’ll have to learn if the company is licensed in your state, otherwise you won’t be able to use that particular company for your needs.
You’ll also want to find a plan that harbors a high coverage limit for your medical expenses. Some of the better travel insurance companies offer as much as $100,000 minimum. The maximum limit tends to get as high as $1 million—but do note that your coverage limit does influence the price of your insurance premium.
One of the other things you want to ensure is that the policy has emergency evacuation and care coverage that’s separate from your medical coverage. This coverage should take care of expenses up to at least $300,000. Don’t forget to double check and make sure the emergency care provides coverage for a return trip home.