What is Travel Insurance?
Do you have plans to go on a plane or cruise ride to another country? To enjoy freely, you need to set up guarantees to secure you and your companions in case of any traveling mishaps. Travel Insurance is a risk-managing contract that you purchase together with your cruise or plane ticket, and it comes with different kinds of coverage that suit the needs of every traveler.
Why Do I Need Travel Insurance?
It is common to think of cutting costs wherever possible. However, think twice before doing away with insurance. Here are three reasons why you need travel insurance for your next trip.
It is a common mistake to think of travel insurance as a drawback or additional expense when traveling. Instead, it allows you to rest easy and enjoy freely when in an unfamiliar city of unknown risks. With travel insurance backing you up, you get to take risks and have fun more.
Covers costs for you
The best kinds of travel insurance packages assure you that even though something goes wrong during your trip, you do not have to worry about these will cover the expenses for you. It saves you a lot of money when unexpected things come up, such as loss of your luggage, or your flight gets canceled, or your trip gets postponed.
Get more than what you pay for
The good thing is that they get to pay you more than what you paid them in case something goes wrong. Think of it as an investment to yourself rather than as an additional expense because we never know what could go wrong during a random trip. Travel insurance companies also provide different packages and prices depending on the kind of insurance that you get.
Core Features of Travel Insurance
Insurance providers tend to present you with lots of terms and policies. It can get overwhelming if you don't understand what you're signing up for. That's why you need to understand the crucial features of a travel insurance policy.
International Travel Medical Insurance Coverage
When traveling overseas, you are more exposed to unforeseen circumstances and unlikely risks. A great way to avoid unexpected expenses during this trip is to get overseas travel medical insurance coverage.
Interrupted Trips Coverage
No matter how much you want your planned trip to be perfect, you can experience delayed flights, trip cancellations, or trip curtailment. These are events way beyond your control; that is why you have to consider getting travel insurance to be fairly compensated with your unnecessary costs.
Passenger Inconvenience Coverage
Losing your valuables and other essential documents when traveling overseas is tragic. Travel insurance will give you peace of mind knowing that you do not have to spend a lot of money when these things get lost. The trouble from losing things is there, but at least you are one step ahead of solving the problems they caused you.
If the basic coverage does not cut it, you can also add some optional benefits. There are additional guidelines in the policy requiring you to pay for a separate amount. You can be more specific with the additional benefits that you want to get when traveling overseas.
Types of Travel Insurance
You can be insured with many kinds of insurance policies. Each insurance differs from specialization, comprehensiveness, and price range. Know your needs, budget, and travel habits so that you can select the best deal for you!
Comprehensive Travel Insurance
If you are unsure of up to what extent and what circumstances you want to get covered, you could get an all-in-one package. Comprehensive travel insurance allows you to make use of the basic and necessary insurance coverage in case of an emergency. It includes overseas medical coverage, interrupted trip coverage, and personal inconvenience.
Pros of Comprehensive Travel Insurance
Sense of security
In case of an emergency, you do not need to worry about getting the right kind of assistance because it is in your insurance policy.
Cons of Comprehensive Travel Insurance
Costly and partly unnecessary
A comprehensive coverage can be expensive, and you might not need all of the inclusions stipulated.
Vacation Plan Travel Insurance
You might have plans to take family trips or other large group trips. Usually, the itinerary is laid out together with hotel bookings, meal preparations, sightseeing, and travel insurance are already included in the payment. This allows you and your companions to enjoy the vacation and relax easier, knowing that the trip is covered.
Pros of Vacation Plan Travel Insurance
Ease and convenience
A vacation plan insurance is a great deal because it covers several kinds of assistance that you need for you and your group.
Cons of Vacation Plan Travel Insurance
As it covers a larger group, the costs would be higher than with solo coverage.
Only typical circumstances would be included in the coverage. Thus you would have to pay for optional benefits.
Medical Travel Insurance
Medical travel insurance offers limited assistance, such as medical, dental, and personal accidents. It covers the necessary procedures and assistance that you need in case of medical concerns.
Pros of Medical Travel Insurance
Medical Assistance is provided in case of emergencies
Traveling with medical conditions is difficult, especially if these conditions may be life-threatening without immediate treatment. The insurance guarantees immediate care and covered costs.
Cons of Medical Travel Insurance
Basic insurance coverage does not include pre-existing conditions
Basic insurance usually covers only medical conditions that are not pre-existing. So, if you have diabetes, cancer, or other illnesses, you need additional insurance for that.
Evacuation Travel Insurance
You might need a plan that covers security and medical evacuation situations. The insurance could also shoulder the costs of emergency medical reunion and transportation of minors during emergency cases. It can be due to hurricanes, thunderstorms, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
Pros of Evacuation Travel Insurance
In case of natural disasters, you can evacuate to another place with the help of travel insurance
This travel insurance provides you the kind of assistance you need during a calamity or natural disaster. Services provided to you may be home transfers, transportation from one place to another, or rescue vehicles provided to you and your family.
Cons of Evacuation Travel Insurance
Unnecessary for safe areas
This type of insurance is excessive if you travel to areas where there is only a rare occurrence of natural calamities.
The limited scope of coverage
You can only use this insurance for its specific guidelines, so it is restricted only to evacuation emergencies.
Accident Travel Insurance
This travel insurance covers permanent disabilities, dismemberment, and untimely death of the policyholder. It may also cover unexpected and sudden losses of valuable documents or possession during overseas travel. If you are in an accident-prone area, then you might want to purchase this travel insurance.
Pros of Accident Travel Insurance
Secures you for accidents
If you want to have peace of mind when traveling overseas and you do not want to spend a lot of money in case of an accident, then you may want to consider getting this kind of insurance.
Cons of Accident Travel Insurance
Unnecessary for safe places
You could be traveling to a safe area with good laws; thus, accidents could be unlikely. This insurance could be foregone in that case.
Annual Travel Insurance
Annual travel insurance is a great way to cut down on costs during sudden trips abroad during the year. Think of it as paying in advance for your travel insurance. Rather than coverage for a one-time trip, it is an annual commitment that covers for a number of your travels. You might own a company where your employees have to travel frequently to offices and meetings out of town.
Pros of Annual Travel Insurance
One time payment that is good for a year
As a frequent traveler, if you go to plenty of places within a year, then you might consider getting annual travel insurance to save a lot of cost instead of getting travel insurance every time you have your trip.
Cons of Annual Travel Insurance
Unnecessary for occasional travelers
It is costly for you if you do not maximize the use of this travel insurance and if you cancel a number of your trips because of personal reasons.
Specialty Plans Travel Insurance
This usually covers certain unplanned aspects of the trip and your unique needs. It can be car rentals, unanticipated out-of-pocket expenses, unforeseen risks, and other supplemental benefits that you need during your trip. You might have a highly-valued employee who is traveling in high-risk countries with noted cases of kidnapping and terrorism.
Pros of Specialty Plans Travel Insurance
Additional coverage and supplemental benefits
The good thing about this insurance is that aside from the basic coverage, you also get to have additional coverage for circumstances that do not qualify in the guidelines of the insurance policy.
Cons of Specialty Plans Travel Insurance
Unnecessary for short trips
This type of insurance can be costly if you only have a day or two on your journey. The additional coverage is a good thing, but if you are only going to familiar places that do not pose a threat to your safety, then this might be an additional expense rather than a benefit.
Who Needs Travel Insurance?
Passengers Traveling with Medical Conditions
You could be traveling with medical conditions, thus making you more susceptible to emergencies and more vulnerable to certain diseases. In that case, you can maximize the use of insurance if something happens during the trip.
If you want to go on a backpacking trip to a different country, you would probably need travel insurance. You likely want to go to multiple destinations without thinking about getting sick during their camp out session, getting pickpocketed while strolling amongst locals, or running out of pocket money during connecting flights.
You could love going to a famous theme park, checking out a new tourist attraction, attending music festivals, and meeting your favorite celebrity during a fan meet. Touring different places could bear risks. You might want to consider getting insured. It might save you from substantial costs in case an event gets canceled, or a country goes on lockdown, and you have to book for the next available flight.
You might always be on the lookout for the cheapest plane tickets, bargain tour packages, and big discount hotel bookings, which can save you money. People are so invested with the idea of a vacation that they forget about being safe during those times. To get the most value from your vacation, you have to be secured with insurance.
Adventure Travelers and Eco-tourists
You may have a bucket list that includes exploring remote and private islands, beach resorts, and isolated rainforests. Travel insurance gives you some sort of peace looking at the breathtaking view in front of you, and at the same time knowing when any untoward incident happens, you are reasonably insured.
Business Travelers and Service Workers
More often than not, your business trips happen at least once a week to meet a prospective client or attend a golf meeting in another town. You have to get insured in case of delayed or even canceled trips, which can be frustrating, especially when you are looking forward to starting a great deal. Also, securing documents and equipment during these travels are offered in these travel insurance policies.
You might be involved in missionary work and be assigned anywhere in this world to profess faith and religious beliefs. One day, you are assigned to a first-world country and a developing country the next day. Aside from being exposed to different cultural traditions and beliefs, you are also exposed to threats. It can be dangerous on your part if you are assigned in countries where laws are not enforced well.
Adrenaline Junkies or Extreme Sports Enthusiasts
If you just love the feel of adrenaline rush coursing through their system, travel insurance is indeed a must. Second, to persons traveling with medical conditions, you surely need to ensure yourself a great deal, especially when you do death-defying tricks and borderline dangerous activities. You love the thrill and suspense in doing such activities, but you surely do not like it when you experience severe disabilities or dismemberment due to such acts.
Students Enrolled Abroad
Are you planning to pursue your studies abroad? Students, like you, are sent overseas to pursue dream careers and study in a prestigious school would need travel insurance. It gives your parents some sense of relief knowing that if your trip gets delayed or canceled, you are accommodated and well-provided for by the airline until you arrive at your destination.
First-Time Overseas Travelers
It could be your first trip overseas, and it could be scary. It may be a bit pricey to pay, but at least when traveling alone or in groups, insurance protects you from financial risks. You get an assurance that whatever happens to you abroad, you will receive something as compensation, and you will be well taken care of.
If you own a corporation, you would want to get travel insurance for your chiefs and board members. This is important, especially for companies that are renowned and known not only for their excellent services, iconic building structures, great leadership, but also their rich and famous employees and bosses. Your officers may be targeted by groups who organize a kidnap-for-ransom scheme, which is why highly valued employees should be insured in this capacity in some ways.
Minors Traveling Alone
Are you sending off a minor to travel alone? Some airline companies allow minors to travel alone but with some strict restrictions in connecting flights and flight connections. Purchasing insurance for your unaccompanied child is undoubtedly the best decision you will ever make.
Travelers with Kids
As a parent, your number one priority during trips abroad for a family vacation is to keep your kids safe and protected anywhere they go. With travel insurance, your mind will be at ease knowing that things can get handful with these kids on board, but at least they will receive the proper medical attention that they need in case they hurt themselves during playtime or the kids suddenly feel ill during the trip.
Elderly, Pensioners, Senior Citizens
If traveling with kids can be a handful, traveling with an elderly or two is a whole different thing. Older people are fragile and need care and assistance poorly even when just confined in the comforts of their homes. How much more if they travel overseas? Getting their travel insurance can help you a lot if medical assistance is needed on their behalf.
Private Air or Ship Travels
If you are someone who can afford to hire a private aircraft or a yacht, then you might want to consider getting insurance. Most of the time, these private vessels do not have basic insurance coverage, so in cases of emergencies, you might burn a hole through your pocket.
Frequently Asked Questions
Of course, you can. It can be your spouse, your kids, your parents, or another qualified person you think is appropriate as a beneficiary of the insurance.
The coverage period begins from the moment you sign the insurance contract or when you bought the optional travel insurance that airline companies offer when booking for a flight.
The policy is valid up to the time you arrive from your trip overseas, and you go home safely to the comfort of your home. It is also valid for as long as you do not violate any of the provisions in the contract.
Aside from the basic and additional benefits, you can get 24/7 assistance from the insurance company in case you need one. You can call them or email them if you want to clarify some guidelines or provisions in your contract.
This really depends on you. If you are unlikely to make multiple trips in a year, then availing of the travel insurance for that particular trip only is acceptable. But if you take lots of trips in a year, then you should get annual travel insurance instead.
You can choose a coverage that clearly suits your needs when traveling. If you travel alone, then the basic coverage will work for you. But if you travel with kids or elderly, then availing of additional travel insurance for them can give you a worry-free trip.
Of course, you can decide on anything you want to do with it. If you want the insurance extended, then you just have to make a call to their contact person and have it extended. On the other hand, if you want it canceled, then you do the same procedure.
It is up to you. If you are a person who wants to play it safe, then you can have a printed copy of your insurance with you on your trip. However, if you find it inconvenient to carry around this document, then you can just store a soft copy of it on your laptop or cellphone or just call the insurance company hotline if the need for it arises.
Some insurance companies require medical examinations and their results in order for the client to be eligible for insurance. Second, they do interviews regarding the medical history and background checks of their potential clients. Lastly, they require their clients to go over the policies and guidelines in the contract before it will be signed. Agents have to make you aware of what is in the policy contract and the extent of coverage and benefits.
In some cases, there is a need for pre-approval before hospitalization because the insurance company has to make sure that their client is not bluffing. Furthermore, this is to check on the possible medical procedures that will be performed so the insurance company can negotiate with the hospital or medical provider what are the fees that they can cover and what amount will the client have to pay on his own.
In filing for a claim, there is a corresponding form that you have to fill up, so this unfortunate event will be documented. Any other supporting documents will also be required, and you will need to wait for a few hours or days to receive the corresponding amount for your claim.
Travel insurance would incur additional costs, but this may be the wisest decision you will ever make when traveling because it could save you from drastic situations.
Step-by-Step Guide on Purchasing Travel Insurance
Step 1: Consider the level of coverage you need for your trip
Set your plan by identifying your travel needs because it differs when you’re having a domestic or an international trip. The tiers of that could be provided range from emergency hospitalizations only, to some comprehensive coverage, which may include lost or stolen luggage, missed connections, cancellation costs, missing passport, or incidents.
Step 2: Compare the best travel insurance providers
Take time to research the best travel insurance providers, including their reliability and trust-rating. Make sure to read reviews from previous and existing customers by checking their websites and official social media accounts. Differentiate their policies and all the benefits that you can derive from those. Check for some features like unlimited medical coverage, trip cancellations, security evacuation, repatriation of the remains, and accidental death and dismemberment.
Step 3: Carefully read and understand the product disclosure statement
Getting travel insurance could mean an additional cost for you, that’s why you must understand what you are and aren’t covered for upon acquiring it. The product disclosure statement should be composed of the definition of words used by the provider, eligibility criteria to purchase a policy, coverage limitations, general exclusions, and the steps on how to file a claim. Knowing the limitations can help you prepare additional emergency funds or to check other providers and policies.
Step 4: Get a quote
When getting a quote for travel insurance, they usually based it with your trip costs, your age, and pre-existing medical conditions. If your age is higher and you have any pre-conditions, you might have to pay for a higher premium, because you are more likely to file a claim. There’s no age limit on minimum or maximum coverage; however, any conditions must be declared.
Step 5: Purchase a travel insurance policy
After comparing the providers and their policies, it is now time to finalize the contract and pay the necessary fees. After the purchase, print your confirmation email, or save a copy to your mobile device. It is also essential to identify the primary contact person from the provider, whom you will contact anytime in times of any needs and emergency. Keep a copy of their contact numbers and email addresses.