Why Travel Insurance is Important
by Daniel | Last Updated February 4th, 2020
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You have probably heard people dismiss the idea of travel insurance. They say, “Oh nobody needs it. It’s just a scheme for companies to get more money out of you.” But the truth is that it’s an investment that can save you thousands of dollars if there is a trip cancellation or an emergency. It may even save your life.
Before you book your next trip, do your research on travel insurance. Don’t simply decline to purchase any if you haven’t read up on its benefits. Once you do, you will see just how valuable it is. We’ve compiled this handy guide with everything you need to know about travel insurance. Read on to learn more!
What Are the Different Elements of Travel Insurance?
There is a reason that many travelers are quick to shy away from purchasing travel insurance for their trip. It’s a little complicated at first glance.
A standard travel insurance policy contains many details and a lot of fine print. For someone who isn’t familiar with dissecting policy, especially insurance, making sense of it can seem intimidating. But once you understand how it works, you will be prepared to purchase the right travel insurance plan.
Some of the basic elements of travel insurance include:
This is one of the most common issues that travelers face. Life isn't always predictable, and you may experience something that requires you to cancel your next trip. Examples include a death in the family or an accident/illness.
If the policy you are looking into does cover trip cancellations, make sure to purchase additional coverage when you purchase your tickets. Otherwise, it may not be applicable. Cancellation coverage will allow you to get a portion or the entirety of what the trip cost refunded to you. Make sure you read the details of the travel insurance plan you want before you book. Unfortunately, not all companies cover trip cancellation. The wording may be tricky, so pay close attention and call if you have questions.
This is something that most people don't expect will happen to them while traveling. If you are seriously injured while abroad and you don't have insurance, medical care, and hospital bills are steep. If you have travel insurance, it can help reduce these costs for an emergency medical visit.
The same can is true about evacuation. For example, if you are somewhere remote and need to evacuate, the costs associated with that procedure are high.
Sporting injuries are another type of injury to keep on your radar when you are looking to buy a travel insurance plan. When you go to a new destination, you may try out certain sports that that destination has to offer, such as snow skiing, scuba diving, surfing, and water skiing. These types of sports are all considered leisure sports and are covered under most travel insurance plans. Because your health is so important, make sure that you read the details about your coverage ahead of time. Also, be aware of any possible exclusions based on your health.
While you are out seeing the world, you may cause an accident of some kind. If this accident results in damage to someone else's property or person, you may be in legal trouble. You may be held liable for those damages.
If this occurs while you are traveling and you do have travel insurance, it will likely cover your major legal expenses (like hiring legal help) and liability. Double-check that the plan you select allows for personal liability coverage.
This is another common problem that people seek insurance. Airlines aren't perfect, and sometimes they lose luggage. It may be because it was labeled incorrectly or it ended up on a different plane. Whatever the cause, you should have travel insurance in case your items are lost. This is especially important if you lose any expensive items, such as cameras, laptops, and medical equipment.
To be safe, it is always a good idea to put these types of items in your carry-on bag, so you never lose sight of it. Sometimes lost baggage policies also apply to items you lose while on your trip, such as in hotel rooms.
Traveling Internationally v. Traveling Domestically
One of the factors to consider with travel insurance has to do with international v. domestic coverage. Typically, insurance is most important to have when you are traveling outside of your country of residence.
There are many reasons for this:
A foreign country’s official procedures, healthcare practices, and legal systems may be very different from your own.
If you get into a complicated situation, having insurance is a comfort.
When traveling within your own country, it is still a good idea to get some kind of travel insurance. You may want to look into a domestic-focused plan. Many companies offer deals for local trips.
Why It Is Better to Be Safe Than Sorry
When traveling, you hope you never have to face a medical emergency, legal issue, loss of property, and the many other unpredictable situations that you may find yourself in. But insurance allows you to have greater peace of mind. It is better to be safe than sorry.
How to Get Travel Insurance Through Your Credit Card Company
Did you know that you may qualify for complimentary travel insurance through your credit card company? This has become a growing trend in recent years.
To get the deal, you must purchase your tickets with your credit card. Depending on how inclusive the package is, you may want to add extra coverage.
When is the Right Time to Buy?
Another question that people often ask is, “When should I buy my travel insurance?”. Make sure you don’t overlook this question. Timing is important when it comes to this process. When purchasing a plan, it’s advisable to purchase it around the same time that you buy your tickets. This is especially true if you want coverage for cancellations.
When Might There Be Exceptions?
Sometimes, providers may limit your coverage based on certain conditions you have. The two most common ones are pregnancy and old age.
If you are pregnant, you will usually be covered until the 26th week of pregnancy. If you are extremely close to your due date, it is usually safer not to fly.
The elderly (typically 70 or older) may also face exceptions in their search for coverage if they have preexisting conditions. They may have to pay a higher premium.
Again, read the fine print before choosing a policy. The travel company might not advertise its exceptions for the pregnant and elderly. If you have questions about exceptions, call the insurance company while booking your other travel accommodations.
Not All Policies Are The Same
As you start planning your next trip, do your research on each travel insurance provider. Some people assume that all the options out there are the same, but not all policies are created equal. Some are fairer than others. It is important to dig into the details of every policy. If you don't, you may miss something important. What type of policy you should purchase depends on what your individual needs are.
Travel should be fun, so don't let the idea of getting insurance intimidate you. It is there to give you extra security and peace of mind, which will make the journey ahead that much better.
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My name is Daniel and I am a full-time world traveler and constantly on the move.