Ensure You're Covered No Matter Where You Are
When you’re going on vacation or traveling, the over-arching feeling is one of excitement. What clothes should you wear? Which restaurants will you eat at? Which famous sights will you visit?
While planning a vacation is undoubtedly fun, there are some more practical elements to think about. If you get sick in another country, for example, and need to use their healthcare services without the same insurance coverage you enjoy in your own country, you leave yourself vulnerable to being hit with a huge bill.
Likewise, if you’re traveling long haul and you arrive at your destination only to find your suitcases haven’t arrived with you, you may require money to cover lost, stolen or damaged goods.
That’s where travel insurance comes in. If you’re wondering whether or not to buy travel insurance and whether you need that extra layer of travel protection, read on to discover the benefits and when it’s needed.
What is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance provides financial protection in the case of problems when you’re traveling either internationally or domestically. You pay a fee (which might be one-off, monthly or another format, depending on the length of your travel), which allows you to claim financial compensation when you experience one of the issues covered in your policy.
Many travel insurance policies include an ‘excess,’ which is the amount of money you have to pay to access the compensation. Let’s say your excess is $100, and your medical bill amounts to $500, you’d have to pay ⅕ of the costs.
Travel policies vary in the types of issues they cover, but in general, you can expect insurance coverage for some of the following things.
If you need to use a doctor abroad or suffer the unfortunate fate of needing to use a hospital, this cover will take care of your medical expenses. Depending on where you’re visiting, medical bills can be huge, so this is one of the most important types of coverage you’ll need. Just don’t forget to tell your medical insurance provider about any existing medical conditions, or they may not approve you.
If you take out a medical insurance policy, the amount of money it covers should be significant - thousands of dollars.
Cancellation, Delay or Missed Departure
Anybody who’s ever traveled by plane knows things don’t always go to plan. If your flight is canceled or a delay impacts your connection, this type of coverage takes care of the resulting costs.
Good coverage should cover at least $3,000 worth of costs.
This type of insurance covers you if you injure somebody or damage their property while on vacation. You should look for policies that cover at least $500,000.
Personal belongings insurance will pay out if your personal items, luggage or money is lost or stolen. Look for coverage of around $2,000, depending on how valuable your items are. Remember to check whether you have an existing insurance policy for items like your phone or laptop.
The Benefits of Travel Insurance
The most obvious benefit of travel insurance is that you won’t miss out financially in the case of emergencies. Thanks to travel insurance, a trip to the doctor or a canceled flight won’t bankrupt you.
Peace of Mind
Traveling can be stressful enough as it is without worrying that you’ll spend your life savings on a hospital trip if you get food poisoning. Travel insurance provides you with peace of mind that can make your trip more enjoyable.
If you fail to take out travel insurance, you might be reluctant to visit a medical professional when you’re sick or injured on vacation, which can have serious consequences. When you’ve taken out travel insurance, you won’t have to make the difficult choice between your health or your money.
When Should I Get Travel Insurance?
In most instances of traveling (especially internationally), insurance is worth it. Travel insurance policies don’t tend to be too expensive, and you’ll enjoy peace of mind on your trip as well as financial support if anything were to go wrong.
You might consider skipping travel insurance to save money, but in most cases, you’ll be glad you bought it if the need arises. While healthcare costs are cheaper in some European countries, for example than elsewhere, it’s still better to have coverage than not.
You can apply common sense to these situations, too. If you’re driving a few states over, where your existing health insurance covers you and you’re taking one bag and your own car, travel insurance is probably unnecessary.
If you’re going on a 6-month trek through the Amazon jungle, however, travel insurance will be as crucial to your journey as your passport.
Some cards come with travel insurance, so check whether you’re already covered before applying for a new policy. If you don’t have existing coverage, look for insurance providers with an excellent reputation, good coverage and reasonable prices.