When planning a trip, purchasing insurance may be the last thing on your list of to-do’s. However, overlooking international insurance and accident coverage could leave you with an unfavorable financial situation. Travel insurance may not be necessary for all trips, but if you’ve invested a significant amount of money it can protect your funds and your plans, and ensure you have assistance in the event of any accidents. Here we’ll explore the basics of travel insurance, why you need it, and what it covers.
When Do You Need Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is mainly necessary for international trips and non-refundable trips. Any trips with connecting flights and multiple layovers are at risk of cancellation and delays, and insurance can be helpful in these situations.
It’s also highly recommended for any travel plans to remote locations with limited healthcare resources or emergency services. These costs can add up when seeking assistance abroad without having coverage in this location, and travel insurance can reimburse you and provide assistance with access to services.
Individuals who live in hurricane-prone locations or are traveling to hurricane-prone destinations may also consider travel insurance since severe climate events often lead to trip interruption.
Travel insurance is a small cost compared to the loss you may face if you experience a trip interruption, cancellation, or an accident while abroad. The average cost of coverage in 2022 was $266 per person, while the average claim was over $2,000. If you want to avoid a loss, and at minimum break even on what you invest into your trip, travel insurance is highly recommended.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
The benefit of travel insurance extends far beyond just reimbursement for flights or non-refundable cancellations. Travel insurance can minimize a multitude of considerable risks, and ensure your trip, safety, and finances are protected while traveling. Some of the core coverages included within travel insurance policies include:
Trip Cancellation and Interruption
The travel industry is not as stable as it used to be, and delayed or canceled flights occur very frequently. While a delay for a domestic one-leg flight may not have considerable risks, international travel tends to include layovers and connecting destinations. One delay or cancellation could interrupt the entirety of your itinerary and require additional funds to get to your destination. Travel insurance can reimburse you for these occurrences, and even reimburse a non-refundable flight in the event you need to cancel.
Coverage can also reimburse you for canceled tours and accommodations if you need to cancel due to medical illness, injury, or other unforeseen circumstances.
Travel insurance provides coverage for medical bills, doctor’s fees, hospitalizations, medication, and other emergency services while abroad. While no one plans to fall ill or get injured abroad, it does happen frequently and can lead to steep medical bills without international coverage. Healthcare costs do vary between countries, but in general, will be costly for foreign travelers. It can also cover transportation in the event your medical concerns require you to come back to your home location, which is known as medical evacuation. Without coverage, medical evacuation can cost up to $50,000, making insurance absolutely vital in these scenarios.
Airlines occasionally lose or delay baggage, which can significantly impact your trip depending on the contents you carry with you. Travel insurance can cover lost, stolen, or delayed baggage and reimburse you for the items lost, helping you replace your items and minimizing trip interruption.
Travel insurance can also aid in miscellaneous emergency needs such as assistance with rental vehicles, emergency transportation, accommodations, and more. Each policy may differ slightly so it's important to read the fine print of your coverage, understand the exclusions, and choose the best policy for your specific needs.
Finding the Best Travel Insurance Policy
To secure coverage, first, you need to assess your needs. Calculate how much you have invested into your trip to find the best policy limits for you, and shop around with different providers to get the best possible rates. It’s also important to read the exclusions and make sure that your policy covers the risks you may face. For example, some policies may have covered cancellation reasons while others may have a “cancel for any reason” policy. If you think you may cancel for reasons other than illness, death, or injury, you may want to consider a more broad coverage policy. Working with an agent can help you define your specific needs, and secure coverage that will assist you in all scenarios of travel interruption. Click here to connect with an ECBM agent today.