When most people think of travel, they picture exotic locales, strange foods, and posing for pictures. After all, those are the fun and interesting parts.
A term that doesn't usually spring to mind is insurance. Why would it? You've got health care coverage already, right?
What else could you need?
As it turns out, insurance companies see travel as it's own thing. There is a logic to it.
You're in unfamiliar places, maybe doing atypical activities. You dumped an unusual amount of money into the trip. There's just more risk involved.
So, when thinking about your upcoming vacation, you should add finding the best travel insurance to your to-do list. Keep reading and we'll help you sort out the what and how of it.
Know What You Want Insurance For
Travel insurance is like other kinds of insurance. Different policies cover different things.
Let's say that you saved up money for two years, all so you could finally take that 3-week trip to the Scottish Highlands. That represents a big financial investment for you, especially if your airfare or hotel costs are nonrefundable.
Your main concern is protecting that investment.
On the other hand, let's say you travel overseas on regular basis. This time, though, your destination is somewhere you've never gone before. You worry that you might catch something from the food or water.
Your main concern is health care coverage.
You can't shop for the best travel insurance if you don't pin down your needs ahead of time.
Talk to Your Health Insurance Provider
Every health insurance provider develops their own guidelines for coverage while traveling.
Many US health insurance policies employ in-network restrictions. Essentially, the company limits coverage when you see doctors who are not on their approved list. Visit a doctor overseas and you can end up paying the whole bill.
Odds are good that you enjoy little or no health coverage when traveling out of the country. That means the best travel insurance for health is the one that offers the best coverage in your price range.
If that sounds like overkill, consider how often you get hurt in your own home. That's an environment you know very well. Traveling is all about going places you don't know well.
Now consider that there are locations where you can't get treated without insurance coverage that works there or cash in hand. It's not a big deal if you get a small cut, but what if you trip and break an arm?
It's not just your carefulness that you must consider. You're at the mercy of the carelessness of everyone you encounter.
Call Your Credit Card Company
For all the harsh words directed at them, credit card companies also provide a lot of unused or underused benefits. One of the benefits some credit card companies offer is some level of travel insurance.
Cancellation insurance that refunds a sizable portion of ticket and hotel costs is fairly common. Bear in mind that this travel insurance usually has some caveats.
For example, you must book the flight, cruise, or hotel with that credit card. This is a basic fraud prevention measure, but it also encourages you to use the card. If you planned on using the card anyway, though, it works in your favor.
The coverage is also very limited. In most cases, it calls for a death in your immediate family or an illness that prevents flying.
Get something in writing from your doctor if you think of it. The credit card company won't take your word for it.
Even if you buy additional cancellation insurance, it's good to know exactly what coverage is available.
Look for Policies that Don't Exclude Pre-Existing Conditions
Since these are insurance companies, it shouldn't come as a shock that most of them slip in clauses about pre-existing conditions. The gist of these clauses is generally the same.
If a pre-existing condition acts up, we won't cover the costs.
That's pretty disappointing if you want to make your mother's dream of visiting Asia come true and she's got a heart condition. Same for helping your grandparents take that around the world cruise.
The good news is that not every policy includes these clauses. It can take some digging around online to find them, but they do exist. You can also call the travel insurance providers and ask about their exclusions.
Explain your situation and ask if they offer any policies that will cover the specific pre-existing conditions.
Look for Policies with Terrorism Coverage
With acts of terror growing more common in popular tourist destinations, it makes sense that you might want to cancel because of it. Fortunately, some travel insurance companies now offer terrorism coverage.
A fairly typical clause only accepts terrorism as a legitimate reason for cancellation if there's an act of terror within 30 days of your trip.
Granted, the odds of any given destination experiencing a terrorist act are low. Still, the coverage doesn't hurt you. Plus, you can only benefit from it on the off chance something does happen.
In the end, finding the best travel insurance policy means doing some comparison shopping.
You must figure out kinds of coverage you need and how much you can actually spend on it. Then you look at the policies offered by different companies and crunch the numbers.
There might be some tradeoffs, but aim for the most comprehensive policies your budget will allow.
Parting Thoughts on Finding the Best Travel Insurance
Getting the best travel insurance for your vacation serves the same function as getting any other insurance. You're hedging your bets.
Of course, you don't plan on canceling the trip or getting hurt. You don't plan on losing luggage or getting delayed. Yet, any of these things can happen.
Getting travel insurance is your way of making sure that some unexpected problem or accident doesn't turn into a catastrophe.
Insurdinary specializes in helping smart shoppers find great insurance at the best prices. We can help connect you with the right home, auto, life, or travel insurance. For more information, contact us today.