Dive into this guide and discover how to choose the best travel insurance for your next vacation.
Learn what it is, how travel insurance works, and whether your situation justifies you buying it.
You’re traveling abroad, and the airport staff misplaced your luggage. Now what? Unless you have proof, it’s likely gone forever, and you can’t get reimbursed. Keep reading to learn how travel insurance could protect you in this scenario!
What’s Travel Insurance, and How Does It Work?
Like any other form of insurance, you purchase a travel insurance plan based on your needs, and it protects you from various unseen scenarios that could happen while you’re abroad. For example, if you’re injured while on your trip and fit under the travel insurance’s requirements, they’ll reimburse you for some or all of the medical expenses. Conversely, keep in mind that coverage and benefits vary by plan.
To receive your reimbursement, open a claim online, through your provider’s app, or VIA a phone call, and give the agent any required documents to show them what happened. If they don’t require additional proof, you will wait until your claim is declined or approved. If it’s approved, you’ll receive your reimbursement through the payment method you and the provider agreed upon, such as direct deposit or check.
To better illustrate how travel insurance works, imagine you’re getting ready for a flight, and you feel a fever brewing. As the hours pass, it develops into something that’s crippling, making it so you can’t fly. Unfortunately, your flight’s nonrefundable, yet you have to cancel. Once you have a pep in your step again, gather your receipts and paperwork—whatever your provider requires. Afterward, file a claim with your provider. If your claim’s approved, congratulations, you didn’t lose out on thousands of dollars!
What Types of Travel Insurance Are There?
When choosing the best travel insurance, you first need to know what’s available to prevent wasting money on needless coverage. The most common types of travel insurance that you’ll find are travel medical plans and vacation plans.
The first covers situations such as emergency medical evacuation, pre-existing conditions, and other accidents that could happen while you’re abroad. While some vacation plans cover medical situations, they’re ideal for canceled or interrupted trips, delays, and lost baggage.
A few other travel insurance types include; baggage, accidental death, and annual—this variation covers any trip you embark on for the following year.
Elements of Travel Insurance To Look For
While researching to choose the best travel insurance, you should look for or consider the following:
- What situations do their cancellation policies cover?
- Are you traveling with children?
- Did you pack any items that are invaluable or expensive?
- What will you do during your trip? For example, do you plan to scuba with sharks?
- How are you getting to your destination? Are you flying, renting a car, or taking the bus?
- Where in the world are you going? Some places might trigger higher insurance costs.
- Does the provider offer 24/7 support?
- How are the provider’s reviews? Are they legitimate?
Above all, when looking for travel insurance, the most important travel insurance element is medical coverage. It’s vital, especially if you have pre-existing conditions that could affect you during your adventure.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Usually Cost?
According to General Travel Insurance, travel insurance will cost between 4–12% of your trip’s total cost.
However, this varies by plans, your needs, and other factors such as the number of travelers, your age, and the timespan you need the insurance. It appears that age is the biggest factor. For instance, if you have children, you can add them to your plan at a lower price—or free—depending on the insurer. Or, if you’re over 65, you’ll likely experience increased rates.
For this example, we’re going to use World Nomad‘s Insurance calculator with the following details:
- Destination: Vietnam
- Travel dates: October 12 through the 18th
- Our country of residence: Vietnam
- The number of folks traveling: 2
- Our travelers’ ages: 32 and 25
- State the travelers originate: California
After calculating our quote, the total for the standard plan was $137.87 for two people. It doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions or rental car damage, but it does cover a myriad of other scenarios such as trip cancellations ($2,500), dismemberment ($5,000), and baggage loss ($1,000). That’s a lot of mitigated risks.
What’s Not Covered by Travel Insurance
Before you sign any papers, scan all of the clauses for anything that your provider won’t cover. Otherwise, you won’t choose the best insurance plan—since it can’t help.
Many travel insurance plans won’t cover pre-existing conditions; however, if they do, inquire about their “look back period”—the time you were diagnosed. Speaking of medical, if you’re a medical tourist—one who travels to another country to receive cheaper treatments—travel insurance plans won’t cover it. Furthermore, most plans won’t cover any damage caused by psychological conditions like schizophrenia.
Other situations that travel insurance won’t cover are:
- Childbirth expenses
- Reimbursements for risky sports accidents
- Stolen item reimbursements for things such as passports and glasses
- Cancellations of events due to bad weather
- Flights purchased with travel reward miles
- Double-booked accommodations
- Falsely listed accommodation
- Ticket scams
Bear in mind that some plans might cover some of the previously mentioned factors, but don’t count on it.
Do I Need Travel Insurance for a Cruise?
While cruises are meant for relaxing, a lot can go wrong when riding in these miniature cities.
Hijackings, staff strikes, horrendous weather, diseases, and more; are all scenarios that cruise insurance could cover.
Is There Travel Insurance for Multiple Trips
When choosing the best travel insurance, you might want something that’ll cover multiple trips. This is vital for nomads and expats. Fortunately, insurance for multiple trips exists under an annual plan. This is where you pay the provider once a year for your coverage.
Are There Travel Insurance Scams?
Isn’t the point of investing in travel insurance to mitigate risks and save money? If you fall for a travel insurance scam, you’ll lose more than just money, but potentially your information as well. These usually come in emails, phishing, or phone calls claiming that you can save big on travel insurance. However, it’s too good to be true.
Don’t give your information to any company until you’ve thoroughly checked their reviews, Better Business Bureau rating, and their company’s history.
How Do I Get Travel Insurance?
First, go over your budget and itinerary to decide whether you need travel insurance. Afterward, choose the best travel insurance by comparing companies’ rates, coverage, claims process, refund policies, and customer support. Set everything up, scan their contracts, and pay. Finally, you have travel insurance.