Though many wonder how to choose the right traveler’s insurance policy, few know what parameters to take into consideration. Traveling is as fun as it as scary. Although no one likes to think about it, a lot can go wrong when you are vacationing in a foreign area. You can come down with a strange illness, you can lose your phone, or you can even break a bone. Luckily, travel insurance exists to cover all these potential issues to make traveling a lot less stressful and a lot more enjoyable.
Now you too may be wondering how you can choose the right traveler’s insurance policy for you. With hundreds and hundreds different types of affordable travel insurance in existence, it can be a bit overwhelming to know which policy is right for you.
When trying to choose the right travelers´ insurance policy, there are two main aspects of travel insurance to take into consideration: health/medical expenses and travel incidents/personal belongings expenses. These are both critically important for any type of vacation regardless of who you are and where you are going. Therefore, your top priority should be to find a policy that provides a good balance of coverage for both types of incidents rather than to find a cheap policy that will not provide proper coverage if you need it. You do not want to be cheap when it comes to your life and most expensive possessions.
Before purchasing a travel insurance policy, you should make sure it possesses the following things: emergency and regular medical coverage, medical evacuation coverage, trip cancellation coverage, lost/damaged items coverage, and strong customer service.
Emergency and Regular Medical Coverage
Most health insurance policies will not cover anything that happens abroad and you do not want to be stuck paying the big bills if something goes wrong…and plenty could, unfortunately. You could become dehydrated from food poisoning, catch an illness like typhoid or yellow fever, or even get hit by a bike and need to be treated for injuries. You do not want to be in critical condition in the hospital only to find out that you cannot afford treatment.
Although it should be obvious, you need to make sure your travel insurance will cover any illness or injury that can occur on vacation for reasonable prices. You should aim to find plans that provide at least $50,000, if not $100,000, in medical coverage.
Medical Evacuation Coverage
Having medical coverage but not having way to get to the hospital is as good as not having medical coverage at all. That is why it is so important to have medical evacuation coverage. Medical evacuation coverage includes getting to the hospital, moving between hospitals if you need special treatment, or getting flown back home if necessary. Medical evacuations will typically cost between $50,000-200,000 so it is important to find a plan that will cover more than $100,000 in evacuation.
You do not want to be stuck paying for a trip you will not be able to go on if you miss a flight or become unexpectedly sick. Most travel insurances will allow you to cancel for many different reasons and still reimburse you up to 100% of your non-refundable trip. Some travel insurances even allow to cancel for any reason and still provide a partial refund. Every trip is different and costs a different amount so be sure to get a policy that will cover at least the cost of your trip for any trip cancellation or interruption. You must take into consideration the worst case scenarios when trying to choose the right traveler’s insurance policy.
Lost/Damaged Items Coverage
Imagine getting to a new country and realizing the airline lost your luggage for your three month stay. Instead of having to spend hundreds of dollars on new clothing and essential items, insurance will reimburse you for what you lost or damaged. Insurance will also cover lost or damaged electronics, jewelry, and other valuable items. Depending on the item, insurance will typically reimburse you between $500 and $2,000 for it.
Strong Customer Service
If you end up needing to use your travel insurance, you want to be able to talk to an actual human being, not a robot, about it. That is why 24/7 customer service is so critical. If you are bleeding out at 4:00 A.M., you want to have a person on the other side of the phone call telling you what you need to do and where you need to go.
The best thing you can do is write down all your needs and choose the right traveler’s insurance policy that covers all of them in addition to the ones listed above. For example, if you know you are going to be participating in high-risk activities like skiing and hiking then you need an insurance policy that will cover those. Or, if you know you will be traveling to multiple different countries then you should purchase a policy that provides coverage in all of those areas. Additionally, be sure to take your pre-existing medical conditions and location you are traveling to (some places have limited medical coverage and higher risk of illnesses like typhoid fever, malaria, and yellow fever) into account.
Now that you know what a good traveler’s insurance should cover, here are some of our favorites.
World Nomads provides coverage for emergency medical & dental expenses, emergency medical evacuation, trip cancellation or interruption, and lost or damaged item. In addition to all of these critical components, it also covers over 50 activities including scuba diving, mountain biking, surfing, and even skydiving.
The standard plan for a week long trip costs $80 on average and provides…
- $100,000 for emergency medical expenses ($500 advancement) and $500 for emergency dental treatment
- $300,000 for emergency evacuation and repatriation and $25,000 for non-emergency evacuation
- $2,500 for trip cancellation, $2,500 for trip interruption, and $500 for trip delay
- $750 for baggage delay
- $5,000 for accidental death and dismemberment
- 24-hour assistance
PassportCard is great because you do not need any cash at all. PassportCard will provide you with a card right when you arrive at the airport. This card can be loaded with money to pay for doctor visits or to even take out cash from ANY ATM if you need it. All you need to do is call up the company and they will provide instant assistance. More importantly, there is also no deductible when you have a Passport Card!
The typical plan for one week costs around $30 and provides…
- $2,500,000 for all medical expenses
- $250,000 for loading and extracting
- Air-evacuation from incident
- 24-hour assistance
- The ability to add on coverage for pre-existing diseases, personal baggage or item loss, trip cancellation, extreme sports, and personal item damage.
Assist Card prides itself on being able to offer assistance whenever you need it. Even so, the very best part about Assist Card is that you do not need to fill out any claims forms or have any cash on hand when you need medical assistance.
The classic plan for a young adult traveling for a week on a $1,500 trip costs $52 and provides…
- 100% of trip cost for cancellation for a covered reason, 150% of trip cost for interruption, and 75% of trip cost for cancellation for any reason
- $200 for airline ticket changes and $750 for a missed connection or trip delay
- $300 maximum for baggage delay
- $1,000 maximum for lost, damaged, or stolen baggage and personal items
- $10,000 for accidental death and dismemberment
- $50,000 for medical expenses and $750 for dental expenses (no deductible!!!)
- $250,000 for medical evacuation and repatriation
What are you waiting for? Go choose the right traveler’s insurance policy for your upcoming trip!
Now that you bought your insurance, you want to book your flight? Check out these tips on how to book super cheap flights.