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Five things you need to know about Travel Protection Insurance
Even the most seasoned travelers sometimes feel confused about travel protection insurance. There’s the questions of what’s out there, what it covers, whether or not they need it. Even though coverage and policies might vary from state to state, here are some of the basics of travel protection insurance to get you started:
There are five main types of travel protection insurance.
What you might need depends largely on what kind of trip you’re taking. It also will depend on what kind of traveler you are and how frequently you travel. The five main types are:
- Trip cancellation and interruption: This can be full or partial reimbursement for a trip you might need to cancel prior to departure. It can also cover a trip that gets cancelled because a tour company or resort goes out of business. Trips can get cut short for a wide variety of reasons.
- Medical: If you have health issues that occur outside of your normal coverage area, this will be the type of coverage that will cover you.
- Evacuation: This type of coverage will kick in if there is a disaster, dangerous weather, political emergency or medical emergency.
- Baggage: Should your luggage be lost, stolen or damaged, this type of coverage will reimburse you.
- Flight insurance: This is also called “crash coverage”. It is basically a life insurance policy that covers you while you’re on the plane, in the event of a statistically-rare crash.
Travel expert Rick Steves explains that the way they generally work is like this:
“The various types are generally sold in some combination. Rather than buying only baggage, medical or cancellation insurance, you’ll usually purchase a package. Most of these packages include most or all of these coverages. If you want just one type of coverage in particular — such as medical — ask for that (though it might come with a little cancellation or baggage insurance, too). ‘Comprehensive insurance’ covers all of the above, plus expenses incurred if your trip is delayed, if you miss your flight or if your tour company changes your itinerary.”
Just because you have health insurance at home does not mean that it will cover you on your trip.
You need to check the ins and outs of your particular health insurance policy. It might cover you while you travel but many do not. In fact, some insurance policies don’t even cover health emergencies experienced on foreign-flagged vessels. Most cruise ships fall under this category. Check with your provider, ask your travel agent for suggestions and, of course, direct any insurance-related questions to the provider. Steves says, “Before purchasing a policy, ask your insurer to explain exactly what’s covered before and after you get to the hospital”.
Avoid purchasing travel protection insurance from the company that’s also hosting your trip.
The reason for this? If that company goes out of business, chances are that their insurance will not cover you.
Some companies offer comprehensive coverage that can serve as your primary coverage while you’re traveling.
What does this mean and how can it benefit you? It means that the insurance company will pay first, regardless of what other insurance you have. They don’t even inquire about additional insurance, saving you tons of paperwork and out-of-pocket expenses. TravelSafe is one company that provides these policies as an option.
Weigh the cost of the trip with the cost of insurance.
If you just bought a $79 ticket for a quick weekend in Chicago — is it worth it? Maybe, maybe not. If, however, you’re headed out on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that you’ve been saving for over many months, travel protection insurance is likely a great idea.
If you’re looking to maximize your fun and minimize your risk, travel protection insurance might be just the right option for you. Take your time, ask tons of questions and find what works best for you and your family.
Have questions about insurance or any other travel-related topic? We’d love to sit down with you in person or over the phone and get to know you and discuss your travel plans together. To get in touch with us, just click here.