Travel Insurance 101: Everything You Need to Know to Travel with Peace of Mind
Travelling and seeing the world is an experience like no other, but even the most well-planned itinerary has space for unexpected expenses and emergency situations. Fortunately, travel insurance is available to protect you in the event should anything happen to throw a wrench in your travel plans. Planning a holiday can be quite costly once all the expenses are added together. Travel insurance can help you recover those costs should anything jeopardise your plans.
Like buying any other kind of insurance, navigating buying the right travel insurance policy for your own travels can be just as confusing. There are different types of travel insurance that cover different aspects of travelling, as well as the several benefits it offers. This handy guide will explore several of these types of travel insurance, as well as explain how you can benefit from them. Your holiday is one of the biggest things you look forward to, so why not keep it safe with a little something extra to make sure you can reap the benefits of travel no matter what?
What Exactly is Travel Insurance?
At its simplest, travel insurance is an insurance policy that covers anything that could go wrong during travel abroad or within your own country. It includes trip cancellations, medical expenses, lost luggage, flight accidents and other losses that may occur during your journey. Just like car or home insurance policies, you can also buy travel insurance that lasts for one trip only or a whole year depending on how often you travel. Policies are also available that cover a single traveller or that extend to include all members of the family.
What are the Different Types of Travel Insurance?
There are several types of travel insurance that you can buy, and each offers a different kind of protection that you may need on your trip. The following list is just the tip of the iceberg but are usually the most common types of travel insurance used.
- Trip cancellation- Covers the event that your trip is cancelled due to illness, death, work, natural disaster or other circumstance
- Interrupted trips- Covers the remainder of your trip should similar circumstances force you to end your trip early
- Coverage of medical expenses- Covers emergency medical care during travel outside your home should your medical insurance policy not cover medical services abroad
- Lost or delayed bags and delayed flights- Covers lost or stolen luggage and pays for hotel rooms, replacement clothing and personal items during flight delays
- 24/7 Travel assistance phone services- A number to call in emergencies that helps you during any of the above emergencies
- Emergency evacuations- Covers the costs of a medical evacuation such as airlifting, ambulance and transporting you to the hospital of your choice
So what Exactly does it Cover?
In some cases you can think of travel insurance as an extension of your medical insurance policies. If you’re travelling abroad or to an area where you have a higher chance of getting sick it will help cover additional medical expenses that may add up if you need to see a doctor. Trip cancellation helps you recover the costs of your trip should natural disasters, illness or other incidents before departure cause you to cancel. For lost or delayed bags it provides coverage to purchase personal items such as clothing and toiletries.
What are the Benefits of Travel Insurance?
The benefits of travel insurance far outweigh the costs, especially when you consider the amount of protection it offers you in the long run. One of the main benefits of travel insurance is reimbursement for your travel costs whether you make your trip or not. You’ve probably spent a lot of money well ahead of your departure date, and insurance helps you recover it. Secondly, you’re protected against incurring any unexpected costs should you be hurt or your luggage disappear. No matter what happens with travel insurance you’re covered from all angles.
How do you Buy Travel Insurance?
If you’re interested in buying travel insurance before a major trip or to cover a series of trips, it’s recommended to buy it as soon as possible. You can wait until the day before, but it’s best to be safe. Do some research and familiarize yourself with the various policies and coverage plans available. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself or an agent tough questions. Online shopping makes it easier to compare prices, however you can always shop through a travel agency if you prefer a face-to-face conversation rather than a computer screen.
What about Travelling with Electronics, Jewellery or Sports Gear?
Depending on your travels you may have some expensive equipment in tow. Not everything is going to be able to be with you during the trip, increasing the likelihood that it could go missing. This is a trip that you might want to consider covering with travel insurance in case your prized snowboard doesn’t make it back home when you do.
Part of travelling involves opening yourself up to the world at large. That doesn’t have to include doing it without some degree of protection. Travel insurance is the best way to make sure you don’t spend more money on your holiday than is necessary. It is already a major investment. Don’t let it turn into your next source of debt. By equipping yourself with the right amount of travel insurance coverage before you depart you can ensure that your trip will be a relaxing time without the worry about anything going wrong. However, should you encounter a delayed flight, lost baggage or an unexpected medical need, rest well knowing you’re prepared to face any situation with travel insurance on your side!