Are you traveling without travel insurance? You might be taking more risks than you realize.
A recent study from the U.S. Travel Insurance Association shows that the people who are most likely to buy travel insurance have more education and higher incomes than those who don’t. However, the truth is that travel insurance is for everyone, not just the wealthy and educated. If you travel a lot, insurance should be a part of your regular travel budget.
Without insurance, domestic and international travelers can find themselves in seriously dire circumstances. You’ll end up spending a lot more time and money to resolve the situation than you would have with insurance.
Ready to learn our top tips for getting the most out of your next trip with insurance? Keep reading to learn more!
What Is Travel Insurance?
Like any other kind of insurance, travel insurance exists to help you face unexpected events in your trip at minimal cost. Travel insurance is not required for travel, but it’s recommended for many reasons.
Most travel insurance packages include some of all of five main types of insurance. There’s medical, evacuation, trip cancellation or interruption, flight, and baggage insurance. However, other types of insurance also apply to domestic and international travelers, such as life insurance (more on that later).
If you want to, you can add other types of insurance to the package for extra protection, too. If you’re traveling to a politically unstable area, you might want a political evacuation policy, for example.
For some types of travel insurance, you can only be paid through reimbursement. You’ll need to have enough money to pay for problems out of pocket until the insurance company pays you back. Other types of insurance will pay your bills directly. Make sure to find out how your policy is set up before you travel.
Insurance for Domestic Travelers
If you’re traveling domestically, it’s up to you whether or not to buy a travel insurance package to cover costs like missing luggage. These packages can help you save money, so it’s a good idea to have them.
However, you won’t need to worry about medical and evacuation coverage as a domestic traveler. Just make sure that your current health insurance policy covers you no matter where you go in the country.
Insurance for International Travelers
Outside of the country, your health insurance may only cover certain things – or none at all. International travelers definitely should protect themselves with medical and evacuation coverage, as well as other coverage for things like flight cancellation.
Keep in mind that traveler’s insurance is different from traveler’s health insurance. Some packages don’t cover health care at all. When you shop around for packages, make sure that you’re clear on what’s included so you’re not missing any coverage.
You might be able to buy a supplemental health insurance policy from your insurance provider to cover you for the duration of your trip. Don’t forget to look up local medical facilities at your destination, so you can easily get care if you need it.
How Much Insurance You Should Get
To figure out how much insurance you really need, there are a few questions you should ask before you buy travel insurance. Use this guide to make sure you get enough coverage – but not too much.
What Kind of Medical Care is Available?
The medical care offered by destinations varies greatly.
In some places, the taxes in the country cover healthcare even for foreign travelers. However, the vast majority of countries will expect you to cover at least part of the cost of your healthcare. You might also be expected to pay right away, or even before healthcare is provided.
For a guide to what to expect in your destination, start with the list of countries on the U.S. State Department’s website. This will help you decide what kind of insurance package to get.
How Remote is Your Destination?
If you need to be evacuated for medical care, the distance will greatly affect the cost.
In a remote location, you’ll pay a lot more for transport and medical care than in a bustling, modern city. Of course, the extent of the care you need will also affect the cost. If there aren’t any nearby major hospitals, you should take out more insurance coverage to cover the cost of transportation.
What are Your Risk Factors?
Some travelers are riskier than others.
The amount of coverage you should have depends on factors like whether or not you plan to do any dangerous activities on your trip. If you have pre-existing conditions, that can also increase your risk. Factor in all the variables of your trip to figure out the level of insurance you’ll need.
Do You Have Coverage Already?
Before you buy travel insurance, check with your current provider to see if they’ll cover you outside of the country. You might be able to take out a supplemental plan with them for your trip, which can save you the money and hassle of finding a travel insurance policy.
Life Insurance for Frequent Travelers
In addition to travel insurance, plans such as direct term life insurance can be a good idea for frequent international travelers.
Life insurance is especially important if you’re traveling to dangerous locations, doing dangerous activities, and have dependents that rely on you. No matter how good your travel insurance is, it won’t provide anything to your family after your death, besides perhaps transporting your body back home. Like all types of insurance, life insurance allows you to prepare for the worst, so you can enjoy the best of your trip.
Will You Give Travel Insurance a Try?
Travel insurance isn’t right for everyone. But for frequent travelers, especially international travelers, it is strongly recommended.
Travel insurance will take the stress away from the incidental mishaps of travel, so you can focus on enjoying your time abroad. Ready for more travel tips? Don’t miss my guide to the benefits of learning the local language.