What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Travel insurance covers these basic categories: Medical Insurance Emergency Evacuation; Accidental Death and Dismemberment; Travel Protection; and Baggage Protection. Plans typically combine coverage from all these categories So the way to save money is by knowing what you do and don’t need.
Generally, travel insurance is protection against anything bad that can happen while you are traveling, from losing your luggage, getting injured while you travel, get sick to losing your life, God forbid. Insurance is one of those things that many people take for granted and believe that you never need, until you do.
Now, let’s discuss these categories in detail:
1. Medical insurance. This covers any bills you might have from going to a hospital or seeing a Doctor abroad. But first, you need to think about where you’re going. In Europe or Canada, you might not need it because health care is mostly free, even for foreigners. But not so in the United States, where even a quick visit to a hospital or doctor could run you thousand of dollars out of pocket. Remember that travel insurance is not a substitute for the health care that you have back at home. It’s just protection against accidents or emergencies overseas. It will cover you if you get hospitalized for any number of ailments and diseases while you are traveling including Typhoid Fever, Malaria, Dengue Fever, Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis, Hepatitis A, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever and others.
That being said, if you are American ,or if you are already paying for health care back home, there are global health care plans. So, if you travel regularly, find a plan with global coverage.
2. Emergency evacuation and accidental death and dismemberment. Nobody likes to think about dying or serious injury, but one has to be prepared for any emergency for when there will be a need for this sort of coverage. Emergency evacuation insurance pays for you to receive medical care, to be airlifted to a local hospital, or flown all the way back home.
Imagine that you’re back packing somewhere remote, like the Canadian Rockies. You fall off a cliff. Just the thought of it is enough to put a scare into anyone considering the ramifications. And you need a helicopter ride to go back to the hospital and save your life. Helicopter rides to the hospital are not cheap. Or you could get in a serious accident in a developing country where there’s not a great health care system. Emergency evacuation insurance will pay for you to fly home so you can get proper treatment in your own country. Without insurance, these situations can bankrupt you and your family.
There are countless bars in Southeast Asia with collection jars for back packers who got in a motor cycle accident, are brain dead, but too broke to fly their comatose bodies back home. Don’t be that person.
3. Travel protection. Travel protection will reimburse you the cost of your trip if for some reason, you have to cancel at the last minute. With travel protection, you get back the money from your flights, as well as any other reservations you made in advance. If you’re a traveler who likes to book everything in advance, then it probably makes sense to buy this. It saves quite a bit of money should you have to cancel. But, if you prefer to arrive to a destination and wing it, you probably don’t need it especially if you buy your airfare on your credit card. You could be insured through your credit card, so just double check before you make a purchase.
4. Baggage Protection: The last type of insurance is baggage protection, which covers anything lost or damaged on your flight. Airlines are liable for any baggage lost or stolen up to a certain amount, and if you bought your ticket with your credit card, that should have some coverage as well. Just make sure you check the limits, and get insurance for anything over that. You can also insure your possessions against theft, loss, or damage, which is really smart if you carry around laptops and camera equipment. Again, you might already have coverage if you have renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance. So just check your policy to make sure.
Choosing a plan.
It is advisable to review each plan and make an informed decision that is right for you and your situation. The plan you will choose will depend on what is appropriate for you, what will serve your needs and provide the best protection. Hence, which ever plan you choose, make sure that it includes the following: coverage in the countries that you’re visiting, obvious, but very important and crucial. Having the best plan that you can’t use in a given country is like not having one at all. Adequate protection for your valuables and 24 hour assistance. Medical coverage for injuries and illnesses, and protection from natural disasters, civil unrest. war, or anything else that might turn your holiday into a hell-aday.
Finally, remember that most plans do not cover the following: extreme sports, skydiving, hang gliding, bungee jumping or snowboarding off peaks. Any accidents that happen when you were drunk or high. And finally, car accidents that involve a third party.
Basically, if you do anything dumb or reckless, you’re out of luck. So be smart. If anything does happen, you’re going to have to file a claim to get reimbursed. No matter which company you chose, in certain situations, your insurer is going to do everything it can to not pay you. So remember to keep track of your receipts, tickets, hotel booking, or whatever electronics you bring with you. Filing a claim is a pain in the ass. It’s going to take a lot of time, and there’s a ton of paperwork, so make sure you’ve double checked everything before you send it in, or else you’re going to have to do it all over again.
There are varying plans to choose from when considering travel insurance. You can start your plan search here with SureHits.com where you can compare various plans. It’s an industry leader in travel insurance. InsureMyTrip.com also allows you compare different plans from around the world. For more information, visit these sites about their offerings. If you use those links while booking, it will help support this site at no extra cost.
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