Weighing the cost of travel insurance against the potential risks is one of the big decisions travelers must make. Assess the risk factors and examine other coverage you may already have: credit card insurance, medical coverage and even your homeowners or renters policy.
Typically, you’ll purchase comprehensive coverage that includes trip cancellation/interruption and emergency medical coverage. You’ll also purchase additional supplemental policies such as lost/stolen baggage or flight insurance.
The coverage offered by different travel insurance policies varies. For example, some policies include a higher amount of medical cover than others. However, you should always check the policy details carefully as soon as you receive it. If you are not satisfied with the policy, you should ask for a refund.
You should also pay attention to the exclusions, which may include certain medical treatments or activities, such as adventure sports and winter travel. Also, make sure that you have a high enough personal possessions cover to protect your valuables against theft.
Another option is cancel for any reason coverage, which allows you to get a percentage of your pre-paid, nonrefundable trip costs back without giving a reason. This type of coverage is available from some travel insurance providers and through comparison sites like Squaremouth.
Many policies state a specific timeframe within which claims must be made. This can vary from company to company, so it’s important to check the details of each policy you are considering buying. Single-trip plans tend to have shorter coverage periods and are generally cheaper than annual travel insurance. Annual plans cover as many trips as you want to take within a year and often offer more flexibility in terms of dates. Some plans also allow you to carry over unused days from one trip to the next.
Whether you’re flying cross-country for a business trip or jet-setting around the world on a holiday, a medical or security emergency can throw your entire itinerary into disarray. Fortunately, most travel insurance policies include 24/7 assistance numbers that can help you out of a jam.
These services can include rebooking flights or hotels, lost luggage replacement and missed connection coordination. Some providers also offer concierge services like passport assistance and vehicle return. However, these services can vary by provider and policy.
Look for a policy that offers travel assistance as an add-on or a supplemental coverage. It may cover expenses that aren’t covered by your regular health insurance, such as a deductible or copay, or may pay secondary to Medicare when you’re traveling outside the United States. Most insurance companies list this service on their website or in the policy brochure. This feature can be especially helpful in the event of a natural disaster or civil unrest, when many people will try to leave the area at once and overburden transportation resources.