One of the most common misconceptions about travel insurance is that it covers absolutely every risk you may encounter while traveling. It doesn’t. The purpose of trip insurance is to protect you financially in the event of canceled flights, medical emergencies or other unexpected situations. Because there are several types of travel insurance coverage, you should know what a travel insurance plan covers before choosing one.
How do you know which travel insurance coverage is right for your trip?
Since the specific benefits or coverage differ so much between plans and providers, it’s important to understand the main benefits of the plans offered. Once you know this you can begin comparing plans and prices between insurance providers.
Here are some of the main benefits that most travelers would like to have in a travel insurance policy:
Trip cancellation and interruption
The trip cancellation is pre-departure coverage, while the trip interruption goes into effect after the traveler has started the trip.
Trip cancellation or interruption coverage is for specific unforeseen covered reasons. These reasons can include illness, death of a family member, natural disasters, or instability in your destination country. If you do not purchase trip cancellation insurance and any of these situations occur, you run the risk of losing the money you’ve invested in your trip. This could be a substantial amount- especially with international travel. Be sure to read a policy in its entirety before making a purchase so you know what situations it covers and what actions you’ll need to take to file a claim if your trip is canceled.
This type of coverage can help with the expenses that arise when a flight is unexpectedly delayed or canceled. It can cover up 100% of your pre-paid travel cost.
You may assume that your domestic health insurance provider covers you while you’re abroad, but many health policies either don’t cover international travel or only cover a portion of international medical expenses. In addition, many times a domestic health insurance company requires that you pay the bill in the other country and apply for reimbursement from them after the service. There are often requirements that the information from the foreign provider of service be in English which can cause problems for the insured. Note that Medicare does not cover international medical treatment.
With a travel medical plan, the focus is on emergency medical and evacuation costs. If you are abroad and have an accident or become ill, it would cover medical costs for you. Emergency medical evacuations will get you out of a remote area and transported to a place where you can receive proper medical care. Some plans often include some Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) and/or term life benefits.
Unpredictable scenarios are not uncommon when traveling abroad, so you could be putting your health at risk without even realizing it. Travel medical insurance is worth the investment!!!
Please note that travel insurance is NOT the same as medical travel insurance. Buying travel insurance through an airline may cover cancellations and disruptions to your trip, but it most likely will not provide protection for medical emergencies or air ambulance services.
Carrying valuables in your carry-on luggage can decrease the risk that they will be lost or stolen, but this isn’t always a viable option. If you’re bringing valuable items with you in your luggage, such as musical instruments or jewelry, insuring your baggage will help protect you financially if something goes missing. Some travel medical policies offer these services already, so be sure to research all available benefits of a plan.
Read your policy
Remember that the key to protecting yourself with travel insurance is to be informed. Always read carefully the entire policy so that you fully understand each of its benefits and exclusions.
Do you need travel insurance for an upcoming trip? At MLJ Insurance Services, we are ready to assist you in determining which plan better fits your needs. Visit our site for additional information or you can contact us for an individual quote for travel insurance.