Have you ever missed a flight before because you were running late? Or are you prone to tripping over after you’ve had a few too many drinks? If so, purchasing travelers insurance is something you should really consider. If not, it is something you should consider anyway, to ensure you are prepared for the unexpected.
What type of travelers insurance is best for you?
There are a lot of different types of travel insurance that you might want to consider before your trip.
Do you just want medical insurance to cover you if you get sick or have an accident? Or do you want more extensive cover, so you are reimbursed in case of flight cancellations, lost or stolen valuables, unexpected circumstances (such as the death of a relative) or a natural disaster cutting your trip short?
If you are looking to spend only the bare-minimum, holiday medical insurance is a ‘must’. A good policy should cover you for all medical costs, meaning if you are injured or sick whilst abroad you should be reimbursed for hospital fees, emergency transportation, airlift services and transportation back to your resident country. Most insurance policies offer a total medical cover of anything between $100,000 – $3,000,000.
How much should you spend?
Trip cancellation or delay
It is important to think about the total cost of your trip when deciding how much you to spend on an insurance policy. If you purchased cheap flights, and are couch-surfing or staying with family and friends, then you don’t have that much to lose financially if your trip is delayed or canceled due to unexpected circumstances. Meanwhile, if you are splashing out on a holiday to a Greek island it would be worth considering a more comprehensive insurance policy.
Loss or theft of possessions
When deciding which policy to purchase, you have to consider the value of single items, alongside the total value of your possessions. If you are planning on bringing a $1,000 laptop or DSLR camera with you on your trip, you should look for a travel insurance policy that offers higher reimbursement in case your items are lost or stolen. Meanwhile, if you are just planning on bringing some clothes and toiletries, you can save money by opting for a policy that offers a lower cover for valuables.
If you lose your items and make a claim for reimbursement, you will most likely be expected to pay an excess amount of money. Most travel insurance policies require that you pay between $50-$200 if you have a successful claim. This amount is deducted from the total that you are reimbursed. When deciding which travel insurance policy to go with, it is worth weighing up the value of your possessions, against the amount you would be required to pay if you make a claim. For example, if you make a claim for a stolen iPhone and the maximum amount your policy offers for a lost item is $150, however, the excess payment required is $100, you will only receive a total of $50.
What are the best travel insurance companies?
There are a lot of great travel insurance companies out there that offer tailored insurance policies. World Nomads, STA Travel and Seven Corners are great options for backpackers. Meanwhile, TravelGuard and TravelEx provide good all-around holiday cover. We recommend that you always check online reviews before making a final decision about which company you want to go with.
Comparison sites are great as you can put in your trip details (dates, locations and your age) and get live quotes from different companies. From there, you can browse the different companies’ prices and policies. Sites such as Square Mouth, Insuremytrip and Travel Insurance Centre are a good place to start.
Top travel insurance tips
Double-check that the country you are traveling to is covered in the policy guidelines. Some countries, such as Cuba, Iran, and Myanmar are often excluded. We know small print is incredibly boring to read – but when purchasing travelers insurance, it is worth taking the time to read through the details.
Make sure the dates that you select cover your entire trip. If you fly home on the 20th of the month, but the plane lands on the 21st, you need to make sure you are covered through to the 21st.
Think about your activities. For example, if you are trekking Machu Picchu, which is at an altitude of 2,430m, some policies may only cover you for activities of up to 2,000m altitude. This means that if you have an accident at the top, you aren’t covered.
Check your current insurance plan. Some existing US healthcare plans might offer some cover abroad.