DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT
Travel insurance can be a powerful tool for staying protected while on the road. Its original purpose was to protect travelers from theft, but over the years, travel insurance coverage has been adapted to pay for the costs of canceled flights, hospital treatments and dozens of other unexpected costs. Understanding how travel insurance works and how different types of coverage act in an emergency is essential when planning for a trip.
Travel Insurance and Trip Cancellation
Travel insurance premiums are based on things like the length of trip, trip cost and age of traveler(s). Travel insurance usually includes trip cancellation coverage, which provides an added level of peace of mind for travelers and covers the costs of missed flights, canceled reservations and other expenses associated with an unexpected trip cancellation. Different insurance companies offer very different terms for their trip cancellation coverage, but in general, policy holders don’t have to submit more than simple receipts (and proof that a covered event occurred) to receive a payout on a trip cancellation claim.
Travel Insurance and Medical Expense Coverage
Many travel insurance policies also offer medical expense coverage. This pays for the costs of treatment and hospitalization where a traveler’s normal health insurance policy won’t kick in. This can be significant in a number of situations. For instance, if a traveler has an HMO or a PPO, an out-of-state hospital might not take his or her insurance, and if a traveler gets sick in a foreign country, the cost of an emergency flight back to the United States could easily exceed several thousand dollars. Travel insurance with medical expense coverage takes care of those costs and makes it much easier to travel domestically or internationally without worrying. Having medical expense coverage is absolutely essential during long trips and is one of the most popular benefits of travel insurance.
Disadvantages of Purchasing Trip Insurance Through a Travel Agency
Although many people believe buying trip insurance through a travel agency is the smartest option, this is not always the best choice. An agency may only present a few plans from a small amount of providers. Also, a travel agent’s protection plans are not necessarily backed by legitimate underwriters.
Advantages of Trip Insurance Through a Comparison Site
Many features of a comparison website are very attractive to buyers. The biggest benefit that comes from buying travel insurance from a comparison site is the ease at comparing ratings, quotes, and features for a multitude of policies. Viewing a side-by-side explanation of benefits allows a person to choose a policy that makes the most sense for individual needs. A comparison site may also offer verified customer reviews to give prospective customers a clear picture of past customer experiences with various providers and plans. Potential buyers can select upgrades and see the price adjustments without hassle. Also, buyers have instant access to review plan certificates.
Travel insurance usually comes with a free look period. During this time, a person can review benefits and make sure coverage is adequate. If things need to be changed or cancelled, this is the time to make alterations.
Is Travel Insurance Worth It?
Before you purchase a trip insurance policy, check your current health insurance plan to find out if you are covered for medical treatment when traveling abroad. If your plan lacks this coverage, adding medical insurance makes good sense. For as little as $25 per week, you can receive medical benefits for treatment, transportation and medication. Travel insurance can be worth it for those with itineraries requiring substantial upfront payments, trips that include a moderate amount of risk or complex journeys that involve multiple flights and hotels.