A wise decision before embarking on any trip is to obtain travel insurance.
The documents and details of an insurance plan often includes exceptionally detailed legal jargon, and it can be a nightmare to interpret.
We’ve taken the liberty of explaining the major coverages to help guide travelers in selecting which options are necessary for your specific trip.
Tips for buying travel insurance
This is the most basic coverage and covers most events that would result in you not being able to take your trip.
Examples include but are not limited to: Sickness, Injury, Job Change, and Financial Distress (bankruptcy) to either yourself or any of your travel companions. A good policy may also cover Delays, Terrorism, Political Change, Supplier Cancellations and Natural Disasters.
Single Occupancy Coverage
If you have arranged for double occupancy accommodation and your partner cancels or has to change their plans, you can get the required “upgrade” covered by insurance.
Trip Delay / Missed Connection
Any delay that is out of your control can entitle you to compensation.
This coverage can provide access to local legal experts in the event you get caught in any legal misunderstandings.
Accident / Medical Expense
Any procedures or treatment performed during your trip or potentially as a direct result of an event that occurs on your trip. This segment of coverage can sometimes include a minor amount of Dental care as well.
If you are bringing your pet (this is generally restricted to a cat or dog) they can be covered for emergency medical expenses.
This coverage is necessary for trips where you may not be near medical facilities and you may need transport like a helicopter or express train to get to a proper medical facility.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)
If an event causes the loss of any body part (dismemberment), you can be compensated according to standard fee schedules. The other portion of coverage is self-explanatory.
If your baggage is lost or delayed, you can get reimbursed for necessities as well as clothing and other personal effects. Some plans will cover items that include laptops and electronic devices.
Our recommendation is to ensure that you at minimum purchase Trip Cancellation/Delay coverage since that covers any major trip changes. Some Medical plans will continue your coverage while you are traveling abroad so the Accident/Medical Coverage, Emergency Evacuation, and/or AD&D coverage may even be redundant for some travelers.
However, the medical coverage you get from a travel insurer can be of much better quality, and can put you as a traveler at a lower risk of having to pay up-front for exorbitant medical fees before being reimbursed.
Additional coverages should be subscribed at the travelers discretion.
Questions to ask oneself before deciding on coverage include:
- Is my time away flexible or do I have a strict schedule?
- Does my plane ticket guarantee I make it to my destination? (i.e. Budget carries like Ryanair do not)
- What is the airline policy on lost/delayed baggage?
- Will I be in an urban setting or will I be far away from civilization? (Evacuation potential)
- Does my home country and the country I’m visiting have a strong relationship? (Legal Assistance)
- Who will I be traveling with? Is my traveling partner a potential flake that may end up costing me money?
All in all, the rates for full coverage Travel Insurance are very reasonable given you choose the right provider. It is well worth getting full coverage if you can. You will be very grateful for the options full coverage provides should your trip not go as planned.
As a tour provider we have seen many trips be interrupted by unforeseen circumstances, and a good quality Travel Insurance plan, such as the one offered by World Nomads or SafetyWing, that covers everything is often the savior of a spoiled vacation.
Knowing what you are paying for and what your plan includes is important, and we hope the breakdown of each aspect of coverage helps you next time you are researching and purchasing Travel Insurance.