Sunday, 6 October 2019

Understanding Travel Insurance - Travel Insurance Full-Review

Understanding Travel Insurance

This article provides all the information you need to know about travel insurance. I have seen a lot of people still get confused when it comes to travel insurance, I hope this article will provide the information you are looking for and help you understand, how travel insurance work.

Here is what we are going to cover

  1. Why Travel Insurance
  2. Types Of Travel Insurance
  3. Detailed Coverage Options
  4. Other Criteria to Consider
  5. Coverage You Already Have

Let's Get Started


1. Why Travel Insurance

I have seen a constant stream of posts online asking whether or not a traveler should get insurance. The short answer is "Yes" If your trips are delayed, your luggage is lost or god forbid, you have an accident or get horribly sick.

Travel insurance could save you critical time and money. With any luck, you won't have to use a penny of it, but the peace of mind that it brings makes it 100% worth the expense. In some cases, your existing credit card company or medical insurance may already cover you, but I will discuss this more in detail later.


2. Types Of Travel Insurance

There are two main types of travel insurance.


  1. Travel Insurance
  2. Medical Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Will typically cover things like trip cancellation, interruptions, delays, baggage, rental cars, emergency medical and dental expenses. And evacuation in the event of an emergency, it does not typically cover standard medical needs like prescriptions and checkups. 


Medical Travel Insurance

Will typically cover standard medical and dental expenses comprehensively, and more similarily to a domestic medical plan. It may also cover prescriptions, maternity and other day-to-day medical needs not covered by standard travel insurance

However, it does not typically cover trip issues like cancellations, interruptions, delays or other non-medical issues. 


2. Types of Travel Insurance

All types of travel insurance also typically have three subtypes, based on the duration of your trips. 

  • 3 SubTypes
  1. Single Trip
  2. Multi-Trip
  3. Long-Term

Your options for insurance will vary based on what you want and need.


3. Detailed Coverage Options

Let's review possible coverage you may want then we can review different plan options 


  • Medical: 
  1. Medical Expenses
  2. Evacuation and Repatriation
  3. Pre-existing conditions
  4. Primary Vs. Secondary Insurance
  5. Dental Coverage
  6. Adventure Sports
  7. Accident & Liability
  8. Family Coverage
  9. Prescriptions
  10. Maternity
  11. Accidental death/dismem.
  12. Pet Care

Lets me break it down


Medical Expenses

Which could be emergency expenses such as a trip to the emergency room or may actually be doctor visits and prescriptions.


Evacuation and Repatriation

This is if for some reason you need to be evacuated to the nearest hospital or all the way to your home country. 

Repatriation simply means getting you back into your country of origin.


Pre-existing conditions

Many insurance options will not cover pre-existing conditions, but some do have an option available. There is typically a condition that applies, but you can call the insurance company to find out what those are.


Primary Vs. Secondary Insurance

Some plans are primary which means they will be the first to pay when something happens. Other function is secondary insurance, and may or may not require you to have primary insurance. But will payout after the primary insurance, if you have it.


Dental Coverage

It could mean an emergency only if you fall and break a tooth or it may include actual dental healthcare such as visiting a dentist for a cavity. 


Adventure Sports

This may interest a lot of you, you want to know whether or not adventure sport is covered. In some cases, if you are doing an extreme sport when you are injured, it will not be covered by your travel insurance. So, be sure to check.


Accident & Liability

This means that if you are in an accident or you caused an accident. The insurance will cover the claims from other parties as well as your own accident expenses.


Family Coverage

Most of what I am looking at are for folks traveling alone. But if you are traveling with a family, you will need to know whether or not you and all your party are covered, or whether you have to get separate plans for each person in the family.


Prescriptions

Pretty self-explanatory


Maternity

Also hopefully self-explanatory, but for pregnancy and delivery


Accidental death/dismem.

Hopefully, this one is obvious


Pet Care

If you have an extended stay in a hospital and you had pets back home that need to be taken care of, some insurances will cover for a certain duration of pet care.

Those are most of the typical coverage options for medical insurance. Let's talk about travel insurance.

3. Detailed Coverage Option


  • Travel:
  1. Trip Interruption
  2. Trip Cancellation
  3. Cancel For Any Reason
  4. Trip Delay
  5. Baggage Delays and Loss
  6. Missed Connection
  7. Weather
  8. Terrorism
  9. Identity-Theft
  10. Business Equipment
  11. Security Evacuation
  12. Legal Expenses
  13. Cruise Specific Insurance

Let's break it down


Trip Interruption

If something happens during your trip that interrupts it, and you cannot continue on, each plan will have it's own included incidents in that case.


Trip Cancellation

If your trip is canceled, this typically has to happen before you actually leave for the trip, and again there are certain reasons that are covered, for certain reasons that are not.


Cancel For Any Reason

This is often an add-on that you can pay extra for, which allows you to cancel the trip for absolutely any reason that happens, and it will be covered.


Trip Delay

If your airline delays your trip or you have some other covered reason. This will cover expenses related to paying for food or overnights in a hotel, if when your trip is delayed.


Baggage Delays and Loss

This is usually listed as two separate items in insurance, one covers the loss of your luggage. The other covers are baggage delay. In case you need to buy an extra set of clothing or something while you are waiting for your luggage to arrive.


Missed Connection

This should be explanatory, but if you miss a connection for any covered reason such as the airline delays a plane or something like that, then they will reimburse you and help you typically find a new flight.


Weather and Terrorism

Most of the insurance companies that have interruption or cancellation, typically have line items for weather and terrorism. There are conditions applying to these as to when the terrorist act occurred, and what kind of weather events it's, you will want to check on this.


Identity-Theft

This is almost an add-on option, but for some of the most expensive plans may be included, and will help you recover your identity in the event that someone steals your credit card or tries to pose as you when purchasing things.


Rental Car

Again this is usually an add-on, but for some of the most expensive plans, you will receive coverage in the event of an accident with your rental car. This is great because then you don't have to get insurance through the rental car company.


Business Equipment

Some insurance plans are specifically for business travels and will cover their equipment in the event something happens to it.


Security Evacuation

This is also usually a part of a business travel insurance plan and covers evacuating someone out of the country in the event that their security is at risk.


Legal Expenses

Hopefully self-explanatory, but in the event that a court has to be involved in something that occurs, you may have your legal expense covered.


Cruise Specific Insurance

Some insurance offer cruise specific insurance, you will have to select this if you are going on a cruise, and it is separate from regular travel insurance, so, make sure you know about it.


Crew/Educator/Missionary

These plans are separate from other types of insurance plans. If you are part of the crew of a ship or you are a teacher going abroad or you are a missionary, you will want to make sure that you understand which plans exist for your works.


4. Other Criteria to Consider

  • Country of Citizenship:
  1. Home Country vs. International Coverage
  2. Trip Max Duration
  3. Schengen Visa and Other Country Requirements
  4. Exclusions
  5. Public vs. Private Hospitals
  6. Renewable Policy
  7. Age Restrictions
  8. Concierge Services Insurance
  9. Customer Service, Claim Time

In addition to all of these typical options, you will also want to consider other criteria that are relevant to your situation, for example, your country of citizenship.

Let's break it down

Country of Citizenship

Many of the insurance plans that I will go over in this article are for the United State. However, there are also quite a few that cover additional countries, so, depending on where you are located you will want to search for travel insurance companies that are for citizens of your country.


Home Country vs. International Coverage

Specifically medical plans at least for Us citizens, only cover you abroad if there are medical travel plans. Most of the other travel insurance companies, however, cover you as long as you are more than 100 miles from home, so, just make sure you understand where you are covered in the world.


Trip Max Duration

Depending on whether you are traveling for one day, 365 days, 3 months, 5 years, the plans are available to you depending on the length of your trip will vary greatly. If you are traveling for one day certain plans will not be available, and if you are traveling for 365 days or more, you will be definitely limited to which plans you can get.

Also as I mentioned before there are multi-trip plans but these typically also have trips length limitations, so, if you are planning to take multiple trips during the year, you can pay for an entire year of coverage, but you typically can only stay for say 30 to 90 days on each trip and you have to return home between trips.


Schengen Visa and Other Country Requirements

The Schengen countries are located in Europe and you only stay in them for a maximum of 90 days without a visa, so, if you are planning to apply for a Schengen visa, you need to have certain requirements net and veer insurance.

Other countries may have other requirements on insurance, so, make sure you check before you travel.


Exclusions

One of the exclusions that I look at is the alcohol exclusion, as I have seen it mentions before online. Most insurance companies exclude alcohol-induced illness, meaning, if you drink too much and get alcohol poisoning, you are ensuring your travel insurance is not going to cover it.

Other exclusions often apply, so, be sure you look through the list before you buy the insurance.


Public vs. Private Hospitals

Most insurances will let you go to any hospital and cover it. But that is not always the case, some of them will only cover if you are in a public hospital. 


Renewable Policy

If you are traveling long-term, you will want to know if you can review the policy each year or month depending on how you want it to work.


Age Restrictions

Many policies have age restrictions, so, if you are above a certain age, your policy is going to cost more or may not be available from certain insurance companies.


Concierge Services Insurance

Insurance companies sometimes offer concierge services. They will help you find English-speaking doctors, they will help you find new flights if you have a delay or a cancellation, so, check out what kind of services they will offer if that is something you are looking for.


Customer Service and Claim Time

I highly recommend at least calling and understanding how long their customer service wait time is, in case you have an incident while you are overseas. Claim times you likely won't encounter unless you actually have an incident, but you may want to research online to see what other people have said about the claim times of certain insurance companies


5. Coverage You Already Have

  1. Credit Card Companies
  2. Health Insurance Provider

Let's take a look at the coverage you may already have and don't realize.


Credit Card Companies

I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card which comes with basic travel insurance for trips up to 60 days. Call the companies and see what they offer before you go buying something you don't need.


Health Insurance Provider

Depending on your citizenship and the company and plan you have, you may be covered for certain trips and durations. Most likely if you are in the United State and traveling abroad, your existing health insurance will not cover you.


Conclusion

  1. Understanding what you already have for coverage
  2. List out what options you need
  3. Visit different company websites for quotes and fill in the requested information



Now that you understand the basics of available, it should make it easier to find the plan that is right for you.

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