Travel insurance is often the last thing you have on your mind when planning your next trip for just yourself, with your family, or with friends.
But is travel insurance worth it?
Travel insurance – what to look for:
Most travel insurance plans cover 2 main things: travel benefits and medical benefits. Those usually entail:
- a refund when you need to cancel your trip due to emergency
- covered expenses when a flight is delayed or canceled or when you miss your flight
- compensation of expenses if your carrier loses or delays your luggage
- Coverage of expenses for any medical or dental emergency during your trip
- Coverage of cost for medical emergency evacuation or accidental death or dismemberment
- Optional benefits include car rental insurance
Depending on the provider benefits may differ in cost and range, so make sure you read the small print.
Things to know about travel insurance:
- It only covers the days you paid for – not less, not more
So make sure you get coverage including the days you travel. Purchase your travel insurance well in advance and include the actual days of travel.
If you need to change your dates of travel, don’t forget to change your insurance time frame as well.
If your return flight is overnight, make sure you include that extra day as well.
- Be prepared to pay first yourself before you get reimbursed
In most cases, the insurance will cover your expenses, but that still means that you have to pay out of pocket first before you get reimbursed later.
You will need to save all the receipts and papers for proof of payment later.
- You probably won’t need it, but it’s better to have it
In most cases, you’ll pay more than you’ll get out of it because hopefully, you won't need the insurance. But that might be a risk well worth taking.
Things that are not covered by travel insurance:
Make sure you know what’s covered. Among other things, these are usually not insured:
- High-risk sports or activities, such as scuba diving, bungee jumping, etc.
- Losses due to a person being legally drunk
- Medical expenses due to pre-existing conditions
COVID-19 ALERT: Due to the pandemic, travel insurance companies have made some changes to the services and coverage they provide. This might sound like bad news, but it's actually (mostly) good!
Here are a few changes you can expect from most of the travel insurance plans listed below:
- Many insurance plans will include coverage for emergency medical care/treatment of Covid-19.
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption is now included with most plans. This means if your plans are interrupted due to inability to access the location where you plan to travel, you'll likely be covered.
- With some plans, you or someone you are traveling with will need to come down with the illness before being eligible for coverage.
We recommend checking the Covid-19 FAQ provided by each company before purchasing insurance in order to make sure they provide the coverage you'll need during these trying times.
Travel insurance plans
From Basic, Prime and Premier plans, travel insurance starts at $20-$40, depending on the age of the traveler, and the length + cost of the trip.
Plans are Travel Select, Travel Basic and Travel America Insurance. The basic plans start around $24 depending on the age of the traveler, and the length + cost of the trip.
Plans are Travel Guard, Deluxe, Preferred, Essential, Pack N' Go and Annual. The Travel Guard plan starts around $28 depending on the age of the traveler, and the length + cost of the trip.
What to consider before you buy travel insurance?
Check with your health insurance at home first if you are already covered
This should be your first step. You might be already covered with your health insurance, but you definitely have to check with your provider at home prior to your trip and get something in writing.
Trips to the United States are usually not covered because the health system there is usually more costly than in other countries.
However, you might be able to add short-term coverage from your existing plan for your travels abroad.
Avoid double coverage for auto, homeowners insurance
You might already be insured with your car owner insurance, your homeowner insurance, or via your credit card benefits as well.
Again, it’s strongly recommended to contact your provider or credit card company before the trip and find out what would really be covered.
Consider term life insurance rather than flight insurance
If you are flying somewhere and renting a car, remember that driving around in a foreign place can be tricky and sometimes dangerous as well.
If you are worried about any worst-case scenario, flight insurance won’t cover you in a car accident and you might feel more at ease for your loved ones if you have a term life insurance plan.
- Be sure to read our post on purchasing a SIM Card for the US.