A Buyer’s Guide to Travel Insurance
Monday, 6 March 2023
Traveling for vacation, work, or adventure are all valid reasons for packing your bags, waking up at the crack of dawn, and heading out to catch that early flight. Traveling is incredibly rewarding but also fast paced and very busy. It is beneficial to prepare for your trip in advance, and this includes considering possible coverage needed for your travels.
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a type of coverage that protects you from losses stemming from unforeseen circumstances while traveling either domestically or internationally. Such losses can be incurred through the need to pay for medical treatment in a foreign country including hospital stays, doctor fees, testing, or ambulance services. Travelers insurance also offers protection from losses that arise from non-medical circumstances like trip cancellation or interruption and lost or stolen baggage.
The cost of travel insurance is dependent on the level of coverage and duration of the trip; costs can also be determined by a traveler’s health, age, and destination. Travel insurance can be purchased as an independent policy or as part of a package with other travel related services like flights and accommodations.
Things to look for when buying traveler’s insurance
It is important to research a policy before purchasing and binding it. Varying traveler’s insurance offerings come with different types of coverage so here are some things to consider before buying.
Firstly, check what type of coverage a policy provides; make sure the activities you plan on doing while traveling are covered under your policy.
Secondly, you should check the limits (the limit of insurance coverage you will be provided from a policy) and deductibles (costs covered that are incurred from losses caused by unforeseen circumstances) of your policy. These factors should be considered to understand the maximum amount of coverage you will receive from the company issuing the policy, and to see how much you will have to pay out of pocket before the policy kicks in.
If you’re traveling with a companion, something to consider is travel companion coverage. When traveling with someone else, it is good to understand if your policy covers both of you, or if you and your travel partner will need to purchase separate insurance policies. Also consider if your policy provides 24-hour emergency assistance.
The next thing you need to consider is exclusions that could limit the coverage of your policy. For example, pre-existing medical conditions or activities that are considered “high-risk” may not be covered by certain policies, so it is important to be aware of any specific exclusions outlined.
Now, these things go hand in hand but consider the price of a company’s offerings, and the company’s reputation. How do their prices compare with other insurance providers and how do they treat their clients? To make it easy for yourself, use a broker to find you the best rates for travelers insurance in a variety of markets. Brokers act as middlemen, they directly connect clients with policies that are affordable for them. BIG brokers will always search for policies tailored to the specific insurance needs of a client, including their budget expectations.
Next, you want to check policy duration to see how long your policy’s coverage lasts to make sure you’re covered for the entire time you’re traveling.
Finally, investigate the cancellation policy of the insurance provider you’re thinking about purchasing from. This is to see if there are any restrictions or penalties for canceling the policy or making changes to your travel plans.
Types of Travelers Insurance
There are a variety of insurance policies that cater to the different needs of travelers, some of which include:
- Trip cancellation insurance provides coverage if you need to cancel or cut a trip short due to a covered reason such as illness, injury, or severe weather. Trip cancellation insurance, depending on the policy, may also cover non-refundable expenses like flights, accommodations, or certain activities.
- Baggage and personal effects insurance provides coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged personal valuables.
- Emergency evacuation insurance provides coverage for emergency transportation services to the nearest medical facility for treatment.
- Accidental death and dismemberment insurance covers accidental death or dismemberment while traveling.
- Single or multi trip insurance allows customers to buy into a policy that can last for one trip, or multiple trips if they’re frequent travelers.
- Adventure sports insurance provides coverage for injuries or accidents that may occur while participating in high-risk activities during travel such as scuba diving, skydiving, or skiing.
- Group travel insurance insures a group of people traveling together; this type of insurance is ideal if you’re traveling with your family.
- Business travel insurance provides coverage for business specific travel and can cover reimbursement for business expenses.
Anything can happen while traveling. Regardless of if it's at your destination, or on the way to your destination, something bad can happen that requires coverage. Whether it be lost luggage, or an injury sustained abroad, travelers’ insurance can help to prepare you for the worst, while enabling you to hope for the best.