There Are Four Types of Travel Insurance from Things You Didn't Know About Travel Insurance

Things You Didn't Know About Travel Insurance

Flickr/Daniel Foster

There Are Four Types of Travel Insurance

“Travel insurance” is an umbrella term, the four major types are: travel health insurance, medical evacuation insurance, trip cancelation insurance and property insurance.

Flickr/Ed Yourdon

Customization Can Lower Price

Most policies include elements from more than one of the categories; some policies will cover all of the aforementioned categories, for a price. To bring the cost down, some sites allow you to customize your policy and opt out of coverage you don’t want.

Flickr/Mindaugas Danys

Year-Long Policies Are an Option

Many insurance companies offer year-long insurance plans, ideal for frequent travelers. Some annual plans start below $100, with most plans at around $200-$250. At that price point, the insurance is typically a good idea if you’ve planned more than one expensive international trip. Even more valuable if the trip includes adventurous activities—hikes through remote rainforest and skydiving definitely apply.

Flickr/Rob Faulkner

Insuring Your Baggage is Useless

Some insurance policies offer coverage protecting your baggage from airline loss or damage, that coverage is a waste of money. In almost every case the airline is responsible for lost or damaged baggage by law. It is a good idea to review their policy and the law, but even on the rarest occasion when that falls through, they’re still a business and they still answer to the customer. In our experience, they’ll do their best to make it right in person, and if that’s not the case, a letter to headquarters will do wonders.

Flickr/Jo Christian Oterhals

This Should be Your Primary Concern

Reading through policies, exclusions and options, it’s easy to forget about the single most important aspect of the insurance—what will happen when the worst case becomes reality. More specifically, how will you get in touch with them? Are they available 24/7? Do they have qualified personnel on hand to help you? Or will you be left to deal with the problem yourself, only to find out later that doctor you visited abroad wasn’t covered by your insurance plan?

Have You Heard of Global Rescue?

Boston-based firm Global Rescue says when members call they will be connected to critical-care paramedics, nurses or other professionals. Global Rescue is also the only firm that promises to provide an airlift to the hospital of your choice. They say that rescue and evacuation usually arrives the same day the request is made, depending on location. The cost of an annual medical membership is $329.

Flickr/Alan Cleaver

You May Not Need Insurance If…

Your regular medical insurance covers you abroad, if your credit card company includes insurance on purchases, if your homeowners (or renters) insurance covers your belongings regardless of location. Many existing forms of insurance cover more than you may think, check before you make the investment in travel insurance.

Flickr/David Hilowitz

You May Not Want Insurance If…

You’re young and in good health, if you aren’t planning potentially dangerous adventures or if you would classify the trip as low to moderate cost. Additionally, travel insurance is not very useful if it’s a short domestic trip or a trip with a simple itinerary and few connecting flights. Ultimately the choice is yours, while anything can happen, the majority of Americans (either wisely or foolishly, depending on who you ask) travel without insurance.

Flickr/Kompania Piwowarska

Not All Insurance is Quality

This seemingly obvious statement needs to be addressed. Your travel agent might not have your best interests in mind when pushing you to opt in to their insurance—that was the case for me when booking my latest trip. Read the conditions carefully and if they pressure you, walk away. There are plenty of other insurers out there and a search engine doesn’t make commission.

Flickr/Michal Osmenda

The Best Way to Search for Insurance

Just like searching for and comparing a hotel or flight on Kayak, you can find a travel insurance plan on an aggregator site. Two favorites are Square Mouth and Insure My Trip. There are plenty of other choices out there; these are just two of the better choices. But it’s always a good idea to buy sooner, rather than later.

Flickr/Konstantin Lazorkin

How Much Should You Pay?

Most experts recommend spending between four and 10 percent of the total trip cost. So, if you spent $3,000 and you decide to insure your trip, you should be spending between $120 and $300 on insurance. Any less means you’ll likely be lacking in protection or the policy is a scam and more than 10 percent is typically exorbitant and unnecessary.

Things You Didn't Know About Travel Insurance