Approximately 1.2 billion people travel to international destinations each year.
If you’re keen to join the lineup of global wanderers this year, you may be considering investing in some travel insurance.
Travel insurance can be a must when it comes to the unexpected. The right policy can cover medical expenses and even flight cancellations.
Finding the right plan, however, takes time and effort, and there’s more that goes into travel insurance than meets the eye. In this post, we discuss the ins and outs of travel insurance so that you can make the best choice.
Keep reading for your complete guide to 2019 travel insurance!
What Is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is designed to protect travelers from eligible losses while they’re jet-setting.
Most travel insurance policies cover medical expenses incurred while traveling. So, if you get in a motorbike accident while zooming around Hanoi, for example, the right policy can offset those hospital costs.
Travel insurance policies can also cover costs that result from flight delays or cancellations, within certain specifications. If an airline loses your luggage, travel insurance can step in and save the day, too.
Unfortunately, theft and other petty crimes are rampant around the world. But if someone steals your laptop while you’re wandering, a travel insurance policy could cover this loss!
You don’t have to be an international traveler to purchase travel insurance. Policies can be applied to both global and domestic travel.
Travel insurance plans will also provide select coverage over the duration of your travels, from takeoff to touchdown. If you decide to extend your travels, most policies can be extended as well.
What Does a Travel Insurance Policy Cover?
Travel insurance policies differ widely. Most travel insurance providers will offer a few types of insurance plans with different types of coverage. In general, you can expect to pay more for more coverage.
Most travel insurance policies, however, are designed to be fairly comprehensive. They’re meant to address a wide variety of common financial losses incurred while traveling.
That’s why most cover the cost of medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and travel delays, within certain limits. These limits will vary from policy to policy.
This coverage may sound pretty general, especially if you don’t anticipate a very eventful trip. But your travel insurance policy may cover more than you realize, and it’s always important to be protected!
Reasons Why You Should Get Travel Insurance
Are you planning on wandering some foreign locales? If so, you may want to get some travel insurance ahead of time.
Here are some reasons why you might want to do so.
1. Your Trip Is Expensive
This may seem like a no-brainer. But if this is a costly trip, travel insurance can keep it from becoming even costlier.
You may have just purchased an around-the-world plane ticket, for example. These can cost anywhere from $2,700 to $15,000 USD! Obviously, if you’ve just forked over a couple thousand, it’s worth it to protect that investment.
If you are traveling with expensive gear, such as camera equipment or a laptop, travel insurance can be vital. A policy can offset gear loss, within limits.
Are you traveling for a long while? If so, your travel costs are likely going to be steeper than if you were traveling for a weekend. The longer the trip, the greater the need for travel insurance.
You get the point: if you’ve made a serious investment in your upcoming travels, an insurance policy is vital.
2. Your Trip Is Subject to Change
Most travel insurance policies will cover 100% of trip cancellation costs, provided they are eligible costs. For example, the majority of policies will cover cancellation costs due to illness, injury, or death of you, a traveling companion or a family member.
They will also cover cancellation costs related to terrorist activity or severe weather at your destination.
If your trip is subject to change for any of these reasons, travel insurance is critical. Of course, you can’t always predict when these things occur, but it is always better to be safe rather than sorry.
3. You Are Traveling to a Risky Destination
Is your travel destination risky? Don’t forget travel insurance!
Risky destinations may simply be less-traveled locations. Others may be prone to violence, crime, and other unrest. If your destination isn’t necessarily 100% safe, you’ll want an insurance policy.
Check out current travel advisories to determine if your travel destination is considered “risky.”
4. You Are Traveling Alone
Plenty of wanderers venture out into the world on their own. That being said, solo travelers may be at greater risk for all kinds of things, especially medical emergencies.
If you are planning your upcoming trip solo, invest in travel insurance. Doing so can give you peace of mind while wandering, especially if you are traveling to high-risk destinations.
5. You Want Peace of Mind
At the end of the day, would you rather enjoy your trip or fret the entire time? Travel insurance can fend of traveling anxiety, especially if you are concerned about medical expenses, cancellations, and theft.
Give yourself the luxury of peace of mind by securing a travel insurance policy before you board that plane.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
What other things should you know before you start browsing travel insurance plans? We have some ideas!
1. Buy Your Plan Sooner Rather Than Later
This is one of the most important things to keep in mind when shopping for traveler’s insurance. If you buy your policy last minute, you may not be eligible for full coverage!
In fact, most providers require that you purchase a plan within a certain time period after you’ve booked your trip. This window can be as short as 15 days.
What does this mean? Buy your plan as soon as you have those plane tickets in hand. Better yet, know what plan you want before you even buy those plane tickets.
Some providers may also have some stipulations about last-minute trip cancellations. You may, for example, only be able to cancel your trip up to 72 hours before scheduled departure to be eligible for coverage.
2. Read the Fine Print
All travel insurance policies come with a host of specifications. There are plenty of situations where your policy won’t cover you. Thus, make sure you are 100% familiar with these before you buy a plan!
For example, most policies will be very clear about what qualifies as “medical emergencies.” Some plans may only cover the cost of life-or-death situations. Others may also front the bill for non-emergency medical care, including exams, prescriptions, and hospital visits.
Most policies will also have deductibles of some kind. These are the amount of money you have to pay before receiving coverage.
That fine print can also tell you about certain timeframes, such as your window for cancellations or filing a claim. If you have any questions about a policy’s stipulations, be sure to contact a customer service representative.
3. Report Claims as Soon as Possible
If you have an eligible financial loss, don’t wait to file that claim. Do so as soon as possible. This is because some plans require members to submit claims within a certain timeframe.
For this reason, be sure to carry relevant traveler insurance ID cards and claim information with you.
The claim filing process is also likely to vary between providers. Make sure you know the ropes for filing claims before traveling.
4. Research Providers Wisely
There are scores of travel insurance providers out there. Plus, all of their policies differ widely.
For this reason, take your time when browsing potential plans. Do so preferably before you purchase your flights (or train tickets).
Inspect online reviews, but do not be dissuaded by negative ones. These may not be an accurate representation of the provider’s services!
Instead, we recommend identifying providers through a reputable insurance marketplace like Insurdinary. Doing so enables you to compare plans and policies according to your travel needs, and all in one place.
Always request quotes from multiple providers. Compare costs wisely, and remember that a cheaper plan isn’t necessarily the best option. Opt for coverage rather than cost!
5. Check Your Credit Card Protections
Did you know that a lot of credit cards provide users with various travel protections? Depending on your credit card company, you may already be protected for things like rental car damage and trip cancellations.
Identify whether or not your current credit cards offer any kind of travel protection. Then, use a travel insurance plan to complement these benefits.
We don’t recommend relying solely on your credit card’s protections, as these tend to be limited.
Final Thoughts on 2019 Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a vital component of safe travel. Investing in the right policy can give you peace of mind, especially if you are traveling to a riskier destination!
It can also be easy on your wallet. With travel insurance, you won’t have to worry about fronting the bill for the unexpected, including flight delays, lost luggage, and more.
Now that you’ve perused our 2019 travel insurance guide, what happens next?
It’s time to start browsing policies! Get a free travel insurance quote now so that you can choose between competitive browsers.