Travel Insurance is a must-have travel essential and one of the biggest investments travelers can make. The number of accidents and incidents that insurance can cover assumes a high level of importance. It can protect against overall well being, medical emergencies, and can save you a lot of extra expenses and hassle during the duration of your trip.
Anything is possible while traveling, so it’s best to be prepared for the unexpected, and better safe than sorry. Medical emergencies, physical accidents, trip disruptions, flight cancellations, and global pandemics are just a few of the unfortunate events that can happen. While having huge issues while traveling is unlikely, there’s still a chance. Travel insurance allows you to have assurance knowing you are covered and protected for multiple circumstances out of your control, and give you peace of mind while on your adventure.
There are dozens of different policies coverages, and companies offering insurance for travelers. There is a lot to consider when purchasing travel insurance and it’s recommended to do your research long in advance. This guide will highlight what travel insurance is, why it’s important, and different factors to take into consideration.
What is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance has the same concept as any other type of insurance. It is coverage designed to protect against risks and financial losses that could occur before, during, or after traveling. Depending on the policy or package, risks ranging from accidents, minor inconveniences, medical emergencies, flight delays cancellations, and natural disasters can be covered by travel insurance. While most travelers don’t think about unfortunate circumstances occurring, it’s important to protect your investment, health, and personal belongings.
There’s a lot to do when preparing for a big trip, and travel insurance is something that you definitely shouldn't forget to pack. A vacation is an investment in your happiness and you don’t want a minor mishap to ruin your trip. Insurance can provide reimbursements, and assistance, and comes at an affordable cost. If you are already spending thousands of dollars on a long-awaited vacation, spending a few more hundred will be worth it should the worst happen.
Who Needs Travel Insurance?
In our opinion, all travelers need travel insurance. Even the best laid-out plans can fall through and unexpected incidents occur to the most seasoned adventurers. Travel should be considered an investment, just like a house or a car. You wouldn’t spend a year's salary on a new convertible without insurance, why go on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation without having the same protection as back home?
There are many benefits of travel insurance that aren’t covered by any other type of insurance policy. Extreme sports, overseas excursions, and activities that are quite common during vacations are typically covered in certain policies. Your health insurance won’t pay for surgery due to a rock climbing accident abroad, but there’s a good chance your travel insurance will. If you are planning on participating in any kind of adrenaline-filled activity, operating a motor vehicle, or doing much physical activity, travel insurance is even more essential.
Different Types of Coverage
Just as all insurance policies, travel insurance has different packages and coverage options best suitable for your travel arrangements and plans. It’s important to read all documents and policies carefully to best understand what is and isn’t covered in the insurance you’ve chosen. Typically, there are 2 different types of travel insurance: Vacation Plans and Travel Medical Plans.
Vacation travel insurance plans consist of 94% of all travel insurance sales represented. These plans provide the most coverage, including trip cancellations and interruptions, medical emergencies, emergency evacuations, delayed trips and baggage, 24/7 assistance, and various other factors as well.
Travel medical plans are designed for travelers going abroad but aren’t too concerned about cancellations and delays. These policies provide medical coverage while traveling abroad beyond your regular health provider, including medical expenses due to accidents and illness and emergency evacuations due to disasters or pandemics.
Keep in mind, when considering coverage and choosing a travel insurance policy, some of the most important factors that would cause the biggest inconvenience to your trip. For example, policies aimed toured trip cancellations and interruptions cover the cost of forfeited, unused, or nonrefundable payments, financial disaster or bankruptcy of tourism and travel company, acts of terrorism, labor strikes, natural disasters, and involuntary layoffs. These policies differ from trip delays, as these policies often include additional meals and accommodation, and transport due to pandemics, loss of passport, carrier delays, hijackings, and terrorism.
Additionally, baggage loss and delay, medical or dental expenses, collision loss or damage, emergency evacuation reparations, and accidental death and dismemberment are specific factors to consider when choosing a travel insurance plan.
Other Things to Consider
Access to 24/7 assistance is something many travel insurance agencies have started offering travelers. Since unfortunate accidents can happen at any time of the day, it’s important to be able to have access to what you are paying for when you need it. Typically, 24/7 policies include medical emergencies, legal assistance, documentation replacement, translation services, and emergency evacuations.
While most insurance agencies will be sympathetic if last-minute accidents or a change of heart arises before your debarkation, that doesn’t mean you’ll get your money back. However, there are specific travel insurances that include a “cancel for any reason” policy. As this is often an additional charge, this optional benefit assures freedom and flexibility to cancel or reschedule your trip for any reason.
Lastly, it’s important to know whether your travel insurance has primary coverage or secondary coverage, as there is a big difference. Primary coverage means that the insurance pays first and the traveler is directly reimbursed by the insurance company for any expenses. A secondary coverage would require you to submit documents to another supplemental insurance coverage, and then reimburse the traveler.