If you’re a little hazy on the ins and outs of travel insurance, you’re not alone! Many travelers don’t fully understand how travel insurance works or what benefits it provides.
Take a look at these common FAQs to learn the basics:
Why do I need travel insurance?
Don’t assume your health insurance, home owner’s insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or credit card policies will cover you when you travel internationally. In many cases, they do NOT. Travel insurance covers everything from trip cancellation or interruption, to medical expenses, to lost or damaged luggage, and more. Travelling without sufficient coverage is a gamble that could end up costing you some serious money.
What is a travel medical plan?
A travel medical plan will primarily protect you in case of a medical incident. While the plans do offer trip protection benefits such as loss of luggage and trip interruption, they are typically at a lower level than what you would find in a trip protection plan. The main benefit of a travel medical plans is high levels of medical coverage, in many cases up to $5,000,000, the ability to choose the deductible you want, and high levels of emergency medical evacuation benefits.
What is a trip protection plan?
A trip protection plan will reimburse you for your non-refundable, prepaid trip costs for a list of covered reasons (such as weather, sickness, injury and more) if: • You must cancel your trip • You must interrupt your trip • You miss a cruise or tour connection • Your trip is delayed
What are trip cancellation and trip interruption plans?
A trip interruption plan A trip protection plan may also reimburse you if your luggage is stolen, damaged or delayed. There are also benefits such as Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) that allow you to cancel your trip for any reason for an extra cost.
Will my regular health insurance cover me when traveling abroad?
In many cases, your health insurance may not provide coverage when travelling internationally. This means you’ll be responsible for the bill if you get sick or injured on your trip. Considering that 3 out of every 100 travelers experience an unexpected (and expensive!) illness, medical emergency or accident, travel medical is a must when traveling abroad.
Do I need travel medical insurance if I’m visiting a U.S. territory?
U.S. territories are not considered part of the United States for many travel medical insurance plans. This includes Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you’re visiting one of these locations, you should definitely consider travel medical coverage.
What should I look for in a travel insurance provider?
When it comes to choosing a provider, look for one that offers a variety of programs, outstanding customer service, understandable and affordable policies, a vast network of international doctors and hospitals, and 24/7 emergency assistance to travelers.
Read more: 10 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Insurance
What types of travel insurance plans are available?
There are several types of travel insurance, including:
• Travel Medical: Provides medical coverage when traveling internationally.
• Trip Protection: Provides coverage for trip cancellation, delay or interruption, as well as lost, stolen or damaged luggage.
• Student Travel: Provides medical coverage for those studying, teaching or doing research abroad.
• Adventure Sports: An additional benefit you can add onto your travel medical policy to cover incidents that arise from certain sports and adventurous activities.
• Visitor & Immigrant: Provides medical coverage for non-U.S. citizens traveling to the United States.
When should I purchase travel insurance, and when does coverage begin?
The sooner you can purchase your travel insurance policy, the better. With many providers, you can purchase travel insurance up until the day before you travel, but it’s best to buy at least within a few days of making your initial trip deposit, especially for a trip protection plan. For trip protection plans, certain benefit options are available only if you buy the insurance plan within a specified number of days of your initial trip deposit. For travel medical plans, your policy goes into effect that day after you purchase it. For trip protection plans, the trip cancellation benefit begins the day after you buy, and all other benefits begin when you depart on your trip.