How to Determine if You Need Travel Insurance
If you are planning an extended trip, you may consider various forms of travel insurance. If you are traveling overseas, you should check your domestic health insurance policy and see if it covers out-of-country medical expenses. If it does not, you should buy some form of travel health insurance. You should also check with your credit cards and any other insurance policies that you have to see if they will cover things like rental car insurance, flight cancellations, or lost luggage. Finally, if you do end up getting some kind of travel insurance, you should shop around and be sure to read a policy’s fine print in order to get the coverage that is right for you.
Exploring Health Insurance Needs
Contact your health insurance provider.If you are traveling overseas, you should contact your health insurance provider about your policy. Medicare and many major carriers will not cover medical expenses outside of the United States. Because of this, you should try to figure out if your plan has you covered. If you are traveling domestically, you will be covered by your current health insurance policy.
- Determine what your insurance company covers. Ask questions like “How much of my medical expenses do you cover?” and “What things will be covered during my trip?”
- Be sure to ask about medical evacuations. If you are traveling somewhere that has a poor health care system or if you are engaging in dangerous activities, you should make sure you have medical evacuation coverage.
Evaluate your health.When you are thinking about getting medical insurance for your trip, consider your general health. Are you someone who gets ill easily or often? Do you have a chronic medical condition? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you should have some form of medical coverage.
- If you have a preexisting condition, plan to do a lot of traveling, or have not had a physical in a long time, you should visit your doctor for a basic physical before you leave.
- If you are traveling to a place where there is an increased risk of getting ill, you should get medical coverage.
Consider how long you will be gone.The longer you are away, the more likely you are to have some kind of medical problem. Travel, jet lag, and exposure to new food can all impact your immune system and digestive health. If you will be gone for an extended period, you should get some form of medical coverage while you are overseas.
- Before you leave, find medical facilities in the location that you are planning to travel to that are in your medical network and carry that information with you. This may save you a lot of money if you are in an accident and need emergency attention.
Take your planned activities into account.If you are planning to take an overseas trip where there is the potential for a medical emergency, you should probably get travelers health insurance. Travel medical insurance is a good idea if you will be engaging in any remotely dangerous activities like snorkeling, riding motorcycles, parasailing, or rock climbing. If you are going to engage in an activity where you might get hurt, be sure to get traveler’s health insurance.
- This is particularly important if you are going somewhere remote or that has poor healthcare facilities.
- If you are doing anything remotely dangerous, you should buy a policy that covers emergency evacuations. If you get seriously injured and do not have medical evacuation coverage, you may be out ,000 to ,000 dollars.
Investigating Other Forms of Travel Insurance
Get insurance for large ticket items.It is a good idea to get insurance for major purchases like expensive flights, cruises, and tour packages. If for some reason you have to cancel, you do not want to be out the hundreds or even thousands of dollars that you paid for these things. Getting insurance for these major expenses may also provide some much-needed peace of mind.
- If you are traveling with expensive or invaluable items, you may also want to get some kind of coverage.
Check your credit cards’ perks.Different credit cards have a number of different insurance-related perks. For instance, some credit cards will provide auto insurance for a rental car. Others provide travel protection and cover the expenses of lost luggage. Before you make your travel arrangements, contact your credit card provider and determine what perks, if any, your card offers.
- Some credit cards may even provide coverage if you have to cancel a flight.
- Ask questions like “Will my luggage be protected against loss or damage?” and “If I get into a car accident, how much will you cover?”
Look for overlapping coverage.Some of your existing insurance policies may cover any expenses that pop up during your trip. For instance, your homeowners or renters insurance may cover loss or damage to your luggage. If you have car insurance, you are likely covered if you rent a car. Check your existing policies or talk with your insurance agent to see what things are covered.
- If you already have a life insurance, you should not need an accidental death policy.
- With lost luggage, the airline will also cover your loss up to a certain point.
- If your existing coverage does not protect your luggage, only take possessions that you can live with losing. If you have to travel with valuables and you are not covered, you should get some insurance.
- Ask your insurance agent questions like “Does my auto insurance cover rental cars overseas?” and “Does my renter's insurance cover my luggage?”
Getting the Right Insurance
Buy your own insurance.Instead of buying a policy from your travel agent or booking site, find a policy through an online broker. A travel agent may be selling you a policy that pays the highest sales commission rather than offering the customer the best coverage. This will help you get cheap insurance. If you already have health insurance, contact your current provider to see if they offer extra coverage that you can purchase for your trip.
Shop around.When you are looking for insurance, make sure that you look at multiple carriers. Check out an online broker like InsureMyTrip and compare different rates. Talk with a sales rep and get the details of any policies that you are interested in.
- This is particularly important for any travel health insurance policies. Failing to get the right policy could cost you thousands of dollars.
Read the fine print.If you are purchasing a policy, you want to make sure that it will cover any issues you encounter. For instance, if you have a preexisting condition, make sure your travel health insurance will cover any complications associated with it. You do not want to buy insurance only to find out later that it does not meet your needs. Read the fine print and get a policy that works for you.
- Before you buy, ask for a copy of the policy and be sure to go over it.
- Talk to an insurance agent and make sure that all of your needs are met.
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