While it may be hard to imagine that you will have an emergency while traveling, especially if you are healthy, travel insurance is something you will be more than happy to have if an unfortunate situation arises while you are abroad. We all know there are no guarantees in life and that anything can happen, so choose wisely and don’t skip out on this important travel necessity.
Whether your flight is canceled, a family member dies and you need to return home early, your laptop gets stolen or you lose a suitcase, you will be covered in an emergency when you purchase the right travel insurance. Travel insurance can help you avoid paying out of pocket for things that could potentially cost you a lot of money, such as an expensive hospital stay, and having that peace of mind will help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Hopefully you won’t need it during your travels, but it is certainly better to be safe than sorry!
What Should Be Covered in your Travel Insurance Policy
Choosing a travel insurance policy can be confusing, especially with so many plans and companies that offer it. There are several things you should look for in a great plan, including:
- High coverage limits on medical expenses for injury or sudden illness, with at least $100,000 USD in care
- Emergency evacuation and care, including transportation from a hospital to your home country if needed, with a minimum of $300,000 USD coverage
- Coverage in most countries around the world
- Some coverage on electronics (with the option for a higher coverage limit)
- Twenty-four hour emergency assistance (imagine calling during an emergency and being told to call back later!)
- Coverage on damaged, lost or stolen property such as cameras, documents, jewelry, luggage, etc.
- Coverage of cancellations including flights, hotel bookings and other transportation bookings due to a death in the family, sudden illness or other emergencies
- Coverage if you have to return home early because of an emergency or strife you encountered in the country visited
- Personal accident coverage
- Financial protection in the case the insurance company goes bankrupt while you are abroad
Understand What Isn’t Covered
You should be aware of what isn’t covered by your travel insurance plan as well. Most companies only include a small limit on electronics under their basic coverage, so you may want to buy supplemental insurance to cover a higher amount. You can also check with regular (non-travel) insurance companies about their electronic coverage policies.
Accidents that occur while participating in extreme activities like bungee jumping, hang gliding and paragliding are typically not covered unless you pay more. Most policies do not cover drug or alcohol-related incidents, injuries you have inflicted on someone on the road (third-party liability), or handling your luggage or possessions in a careless manner. Simply put, anything the insurance company sees as reckless behavior will most likely not be covered, period. As far as the medical side of travel insurance is concerned, pre-existing conditions are not covered, nor are general check-ups. It covers emergency care and accidents and should not be thought of as a replacement for your standard healthcare.
When planning your next trip abroad, do not hesitate to make a small investment on travel insurance, because you never know when you might need it! Please contact your choice of travel insurance companies for more detailed information on this topic.