The Importance of Travel Insurance

A travel insurance is your best friend when traveling as it helps minimize the financial risks during the trip such as accidents, illness, missed flights, lost luggage, terrorism, theft, canceled flights, emergency evacuation, and returning your body home in case you die.

The potential loss, however, varies depending on how much you paid for your trip, the refundability of your ticket, your health state, luggage value, the destination you’re traveling to, and the financial health of your tour company and airline. Most travelers see having an insurance is a great deal, and there are others that say it’s not. But how important is travel insurance really is? Let’s take a look by reading these travel insurance facts down below.

  • Insurance Basics

  • Travel insurance is divided into five courses and these are trip cancelation and interruption, medical, evacuation, baggage, and flight insurance. In addition, supplemental policies can also be included such as identity theft or political evacuation. An insurance is usually purchased together with your itinerary and they come in complete form. You can’t purchase an insurance for your bag or medical purposes only. That’s why they are usually called “Comprehensive insurance” because it already covers up anything in one.
  • Price will also vary depending on the trip you’ve booked. Usually, an insurance can take up to 5 to 12% of your total itinerary. However, age plays a vital role when it comes to insurance pricing. If your age is 50 and above, prices are relatively higher. While people below 17 are cheaper and sometimes free-of-charge.
  • Don’t be surprised when travel agents recommend that you get a travel insurance for your trip. This is a part of their job and they will be held liable for your losses if they don’t explain the importance of a travel insurance to you.
  • Policies will also vary by state, and not all insurance companies are licensed in every state. If ever you encountered any problems with a company that isn’t licensed in your state, then that’s their problem and not yours.
  • Insurance Coverages
  • Each company has different insurance coverages and policies. Certain companies and policies have different levels of coverage depending on your purchase. Below, we are going to break down each coverage and see what they are all about.
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance – One of the most usable and money-worth insurance is probably this one. It’s expensive to cancel a flight and puts you into a risk of losing money in case something happens in the way. If you spent a lot of money for an important tour or something, then getting this insurance is probably a bang for your buck. Keep in mind that purchasing a standard trip-cancellation insurance are nonrefundable and only will be if there are valid reasons such as:
  1. You or your travel partner can’t travel because of illness or death.
  2. The airline company you’ve booked ran out of business and can’t perform as promised.
  3. A family member at home gets sick and you can’t leave them alone.
  4. You accidentally missed a flight because of issues such as a car accident, unpredictable weather, or a strike.

This Insurance can also be used whether you’re on an organized trip or traveling independently. The difference between “cancellation” and “interruption” is a bit different from each other. Cancellation means that you’re not going to the trip at all while interruption, on the other hand, means that you begin a journey but you have to cut it short and you’ll only be reimbursed for the portion of the trip that you didn’t complete.

The best date to buy your insurance policy is a week prior to the first payment of your trip. Purchasing it later than a designated cutoff date that’s determined by the insurance company are less likely to cover tour company or air carrier bankruptcies, pre-existing medical conditions, or terrorist incidents. The only thing that’s not covered is mental health concerns.

Terrorist attacks and natural disasters are two reasons that travelers are fretful about. You’ll only be covered from terrorist attacks if only your hometown or destination has been the target for such attacks within 30 days of your trip. Natural disasters, on the other hand, are only covered if your destination is completely damaged such as flooded hotels, airport gone due to the flood, or roads being broken due to an earthquake. Situations like war or disease outbreaks are not covered.

 

  • Medical Insurance – When it comes to buying a medical insurance, you might want to check with your medical insurer first because there are times that you’re already covered by your existing health plan. Even though you’re already covered with your health plan, opting for a medical insurance policy is still a must. This policy often covers some special medical needs that your health plan doesn’t have. A lot of pre-existing conditions are covered by medical and trip-cancellation coverage, depending on where you purchased the coverage and how you’ve been recently treated for the condition.

Travelers ages 70 and above will pay more for their medical insurance. But if they opt for getting a travel medical plan with a comprehensive insurance, it comes with plenty of good medical and evacuation coverage in just a single payment. Contact your travel insurance company to help you out with these options.

 

  • Theft Protection – Bringing expensive items along with your trip such as laptops, cameras, smartphones, etc. is a bait for thieves and pickpockets. That’s why having a theft protection insurance is a must. “Travel Guard” is an insurance company that has a wide variety of travel insurance options to choose from that includes theft protection. It’s also ideal to ask how worth is the value of your stolen objects first before applying for such policy.

Before you fly, take time to create an inventory of all valuable items you will bring. Jot down their serial and model numbers. It’s also advisable to take photos of each of your belongings as this serves as records. Just in case they’re stolen, you can show these evidence to your insurance company and the police. If you reside in Europe, a police report is needed if you want to file an insurance claim.

 

  • Evacuation Insurance – This is an insurance that covers the cost of getting medical treatment when an emergency happens. Keep in mind that this is not usually covered by your existing regular medical insurance plan back at home. The best thing about this insurance is that it brings you home when an accident happens to you, but more often, it will bring you to the nearest hospital possible. Before opting for such policy, contact your insurer and ask them what exactly is covered before and after you get to the hospital.
  • Baggage Insurance – This insurance covers lost, delayed, or damaged luggage. It can’t be bought separately, because it’s usually included when you’re getting a comprehensive insurance. The airline you choose already covers your baggage liability limit. But still, you can buy an “excess valuation” insurance to increase its functionality. Insurance for both homeowners and renters already covers your important belongings no matter where you travel. The job of the baggage insurance is to cover deductibles and items that are excluded from your existing homeowner policy.
  • Flight Insurance – This is probably the insurance that heirs are dying for. This insurance covers you when you’re on the airplane and a plane crash happens. Since plane crashes are rare these days, you can skip on getting this insurance overall. But still, accidents are inevitable. If you want to prepare yourself in a matter of life and death, then getting this insurance will benefit your family.

About the author: Virginia J. Waller

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