Is Travel Insurance Necessary When Travelling Abroad?

Travel insurance provides an easy way to insure against trip cancellations, trip interruptions, emergency evacuation, accidental death and loss or damage to baggage or personal effects. Millions of dollars are wasted each year by travelers who purchase unnecessary travel insurance or travel assistance policies. Taking care in purchasing any travel insurance or travel assistance policies is a prerequisite although these products may be valuable to some travelers only in limited circumstances.

Buy only the insurance you need. Frequently, several types of insurance are bundled together and sold as comprehensive travel insurance. Make sure you purchase what you need only after reviewing this chapter and doing comparison shopping among several travel insurance policies

Decide on the type of travel insurance after analyzing the type of coverage you already possess. Specific consideration of following facts is required. While you are traveling, provision of liability and personal property protection can be provided by home owner’s or rental’s insurance policy.

Do check the specific limitations and exclusions of the policy even if there is a probability of your health insurance providing you with some coverage. Your automobile insurance policy can also provide cover for a car on rent which is being used by you. In some cases your credit card can offer some protection when you rent a car or if you want to cancel or change your flight.

You can opt for excess or secondary coverage through many travel insurance policies. If any other coverage can be applied to the loss first, such as homeowner’s insurance in case of theft of your personal property, then it means that the travel insurance will provide coverage only for amounts which are not paid by the primary insurance like deductibles. Few of the travel insurance policies offer primary coverage, which is most useful when your own coverage is insufficient or has a very high deductible. Premium for excess coverage is generally low as compared to premium for primary coverage.

A major problem with travel insurance is that most policies contain a number of exclusions and travelers often don’t learn about the exclusions until they try to use the coverage. At the time of reviewing a travel insurance policy you should check the exclusions and definitions carefully to determine how much protection your policy is really offering. Since there are losses which are not covered by any other insurance which you may already have, therefore trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance are probably considered the most important types of travel insurance.

In terms of protection, trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance are different although you cannot deny the fact that they are closely related. Now you can be insured and be sure of getting your money back in case you plan to cancel your trip, by opting for the trip cancellation insurance before you travel. Trip interruption insurance helps you by providing cover during your trip and reimbursing certain expenses if you cut short or change your trip. Since the exact terms of the policy may vary but the answer to validity of trip cancellation insurance for reimbursing you for nonrefundable and prepaid trip expenses lies in following three things. Your travel companion or you may have to give immediate attention to a situation or if you are in a spot which forces you to abandon your trip though arrangements have been booked. Trip cancellation insurance is applicable before your departure.

After you purchase your trip cancellation insurance, you should make sure that you are covered by the insurance policy when you move from your home to your departure point. In the same manner, trip cancellation policies expire when there is possibility of occurrence of last time crisis. If you purchase cancellation insurance, make sure you are covered during the entire period of time before your departure.

Timing is Everything — Especially With Travel Insurance

Few things in life are as satisfying as a trip abroad, and most of us can hardly wait until we leave on our great adventure. Anticipation of things to come merely heightens our delight. Planning our trips is part of the enjoyment. Running around, buying our tickets, luggage, clothes and other items that we plan to take with us don’t even seem like chores. It’s not even painful to pay for these things because we know that soon we’ll be exploring places we’ve never been before. However, there is one “fly in this ointment”, one more expense that we’d rather not have because even though it costs us money, we receive no tangible benefit. What am I talking about? Why, travel insurance, of course!!!

Is Buying Travel Insurance at the Last Moment Okay?

I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned, paying for travel insurance is not exactly my favorite way of spending money. Could it be because travel health insurance is not exactly sexy? Or is it because it just adds to the cost of an already expensive trip? Whatever the reason, I’d rather not spend the bucks on travel medical insurance. However, because I know that it really is a necessity, I buy it. Nevertheless, I tend to put off the purchase as long as possible because it still feels like an “extra”. Am doing myself a favor or not?

Are You A Gambler?

Is keeping my money in my pocket for as long as possible helping me or hurting me? By delaying my travel insurance purchase until the day I leave, I’m actually hurting myself. This is because I’m actually gambling that nothing will happen to me before I buy my insurance. I’m betting that I or someone in my family won’t fall ill or get injured prior to departure. Also, if I haven’t bought it and something bad does happen, I won’t have any insurance coverage and I’ll be out of luck. Wouldn’t I be smarter to get my travel insurance ASAP in order to minimize my risk and maximize my potential benefits?

Don’t Lose Your Pre-Existing Condition Coverage

There is another reason to buy travel insurance without delay. Sometimes we make our travel arrangements in stages and don’t book our flights at the same time. We travelers are eligible for pre-existing medical condition exclusion waivers provided we buy our travel insurance from 7 to 21 days (depending on the policy) of making our arrangements. If we wait longer, we may not be eligible for those benefits, especially if a previously unknown health condition should materialize.

Don’t Wait To Finalize Everything Before Buying

Whenever I have traveled, I have known in advance what my plane tickets were going to cost, but what about you? Maybe you’ve made travel plans but have not yet bought your plane tickets. I suggest that it’s a good idea to buy your travel insurance even if you haven’t bought your tickets because doing so will ensure that you will qualify for the pre-existing condition exclusion waiver. If you don’t know what your flight will cost, estimate the cost and include this figure in the total cost of your trip. Later, when you have purchased your flight tickets, you can advise the insurance company. That way you will not risk being ineligible for coverage for a medical conditions that crops up prior to departure.

What If You’ve Already Left on Your Trip?

I happen to be one of the world’s greatest procrastinators. My motto is, “Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow because you might get lucky and not have to do it at all!” Maybe you, too, are a Great Procrastinator and you avoid buying travel insurance before you leave on your trip. What happens if you have delayed buying your travel insurance or expatriate insurance until AFTER your departure? Are you out of luck? Are you ineligible for insurance because you didn’t buy it before you left home?

Fortunately, the good news is that, even if you decide to buy after departure, you are still eligible for insurance. If you can get access to the internet, both travel insurance and expatriate insurance can be found and purchased online, even after you’ve left on your trip or taken up residence abroad. As the old saying goes, “Better late than never,” especially in this case!

Can You Get Insurance for Someone Else Who Has Already Left?

Here’s another scenario. What if there is an emergency and a family member (including minors) or a friend or employee has not bought travel insurance but has already left on their trip? Do they have to travel uninsured? The answer is no, they don’t have to go without travel insurance. You, or someone else they designate, can go online and purchase travel insurance on their behalf. It’s good to know that when friends, family or employees are too busy to get their own travel insurance, they don’t have to go without it.

In this case, all you need to do is fill out an online application and make the required online payment. You’ll get instant confirmation and can even print out a copy of the policy. There is one cautionary note though. If you’re purchasing travel insurance on behalf of a minor, you’ll first have to register as an adult in order to get the insurance. It is also important to note that they will not be eligible for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions that occur during the trip after departure and prior to purchasing their insurance. This is merely another reason why purchasing travel insurance should not be delayed.

In the World of Travel Insurance, Timing Definitely Is Everything

Timing is everything, they say. Purchasing travel or expatriate insurance was probably not on the mind of whoever coined that phrase. Nevertheless, those words apply as much to buying travel insurance as they do to anything else. Given the potential for financial ruin if you’re not insured, the time to buy yours is before you need it because buying it after you need it is impossible and much too late. Learn from the “Great Procrastinator” and get the insurance you need before you need it.

Travel Insurance – Got You Covered

Planning to be traveling soon? Should you buy travel insurance? It’s a tough call whether spending the extra money is worth it. Are you over 50? Travel insurance goes up significantly as you get older. If you’re spending a lot of money on a trip, travel insurance is a must.

Travel Insurance Coverage

Travel insurance covers these basics:

  • Trip Cancellation Or Interruption
  • Medical
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • Baggage
  • Flight Delays and Cancellations

Travel Insurance – What Does It Mean For You?

Trip Cancellation refers to canceling prior to your trip whereas trip interruption refers to a problem during your trip. What if you or one of your travel companions gets hurt or sick and you need to cancel your plans. This is where travel insurance comes to the rescue.

What if you have a medical emergency? Think you’re covered by your medical insurance? You might be. But most medical insurance policies don’t cover you outside of the United States. Medicare never covers you when traveling abroad. Find out if you’re covered when traveling to your next destination.

What happens if you do sick and need to be airlifted? Or you need medical care on your flight home. This can be very expensive.

Have you arrived at your destination just to find that you have no luggage? What if you’re ready to board a cruise? Now what? Travel insurance will pay for essential items until your luggage is found and delivered to you. What if it never shows up? Make sure to have a list of items that you packed for your trip. Better yet, keep as many receipts of these items as you can. If your luggage was stolen, make sure to file a police report. This will help in making an insurance claim.

Did you get to the airport just to find out your flight has been delayed? What if the delay causes you to miss your connecting flight? Travel Insurance will reimburse you for hotel stays and meals while waiting to get out on the next flight. But what if your flight leaves on time and you get held up in traffic and miss your flight? You probably won’t be covered.

Travel Insurance – Do I really need it?

Check with your homeowner’s policy. It may already cover such things as lost luggage. Be sure to check the maximum amount of coverage as it may be limited in the payout. Check your medical insurance and find out what is covered when you’re traveling away from home. Verify if you’re covered when traveling abroad. Finally, check your credit card coverage. Some credit cards will provide a limited amount of insurance if the trip was booked with their credit card. If you have an airline’s credit card, check with their coverage. They may have better coverage if you’re traveling with them. But credit cards may not cover you being airlifted back home. Both health insurance and credit cards don’t usually cover travel emergencies.

Once you decide you need travel insurance, read the fine print. Check to see if there are any time limits concerning the purchase of insurance prior to your trip. Find out if the entire length of your trip is covered. Make sure your destination is covered. If the government is warning you not to visit a particular country, you may not be covered if you go there.

What if you get sick? Make sure you list all medications you’re currently taking. Failure to do so could invalidate your policy. What if a family member back home gets sick and you want to cut your trip short. Most travel insurance policies don’t cover this unless it’s a death in the family. There is an option called “cancel for any reason”. If you have older relatives back home, you may want to consider this option for peace of mind. This would allow you to cut your trip short and return home for any reason. Even if you just changed your mind and decided not to go.

Check the fine print and decide if purchasing travel insurance is right for you. You may be glad you did!