Plenty of us, especially those of us who are healthy, may not give travel insurance a second thought, believing that it is unnecessary or a waste of money. However, if you find yourself in the middle of an emergency situation while traveling abroad, you will be so relieved if you chose to purchase a travel insurance policy before you left.
Life can surprise us at any moment, and for that reason it is a smart bet to include this travel must-have on every journey away from your home country. If you are dealing with a canceled flight, a stolen camera, a lost suitcase or even the death of a family member and you need to get home early, travel insurance can cover you.
The right policy will keep you from spending out of pocket on situations that may otherwise be costly, such as a pricey hospital stay, and knowing you are covered should a problem arise can allow you to breathe a little easier while traveling. While you certainly hope you never need to use it, travel insurance is one thing you won’t regret paying for if you need it!
What Should Be Covered
With a huge number of companies and plans to choose from, buying a travel insurance policy can be perplexing to say the least. However, the plan you go with should definitely include the following coverage:
- High coverage limits (minimum coverage of $100,000 USD) for medical expenses due to injury or sudden illness
- Emergency evacuation and care which includes transportation from the hospital to your country of residence (minimum coverage of $300,000 USD)
- Coverage in the majority of countries around the globe
- Some electronics coverage (with the option to pay more for a higher limit)
- Twenty-four hour emergency assistance (nothing is worse than being told to call back when you are in the midst of an emergency!)
- Coverage on lost, stolen or damaged goods such as luggage, jewelry, documents, cameras, etc.
- Coverage if you must cancel flights, hotel bookings and other transportation bookings because of sudden illness, a death in the family or other emergencies
- Coverage if you must go home early due to an emergency or strife you experienced while abroad
- Personal accident coverage
- Financial protection should the insurance company file bankruptcy during your travels
Understand What Isn’t Covered
It’s also important to know what your plan does not cover. Companies typically include just a small limit on electronics with basic policies, so look into supplemental insurance that has a higher coverage amount or regular (non-travel) insurance companies that offer policies on electronics. Generally speaking, accidents that happen during extreme activities such as paragliding, hang gliding and bungee jumping are not covered without a higher price tag. Typically, policies will not cover alcohol or drug-related incidents, injury to others that you have caused on the road (third-party liability), or treating your possessions or luggage carelessly. In other words, if the insurance company views your behavior as reckless, you probably won’t be covered. Keep in mind that the medical aspect of travel insurance covers emergency care and accidents and does not cover pre-existing conditions or general check-ups.
As you prepare to travel abroad, make sure you invest in travel insurance for peace of mind!