Going to an exotic trip or being forced to fly somewhere for business? Or just going somewhere across the country?
If yes, then you might sure be toying with the idea of getting your trip insured.
But is travel insurance worth it? Is it really worth the cost?
Here is everything you should know about travel insurance before you decide whether or not to buy one.
Travel insurance is a sum of medical insurance, cancellation coverage, and other minor elements. The major constituent which makes travel insurance an expensive affair is the cancellation coverage. If you can afford to bear the cancellation charge, you can snag a travel insurance (including your basic medical expenses coverage) at a very reasonable price.
When is Travel Insurance Actually Worth It?
Travel insurance is a blessing to many, and it can be for you, too.
It can save you from losing money which you would have otherwise lost owing to inexplicable actions of flight companies, hotels, etc. It is a wise decision to buy travel insurance when you cannot afford to lose the non-refundable and pre-paid expenses.
Buying a travel insurance is likely to give you coverage for lost baggage and interrupted trips, lost passport or any medical emergency during the trip.
1. When You Have Spent a Lot on This Trip
When you have invested a heavy amount on your trip, getting the trip insured is the best advice I could give you.
You’d never know when you’d have to cancel the trip – if someone in the family gets sick, a passport gets lost or your travel destination is attacked by terrorists.
Life is unpredictable. You don’t want to take that risk if there is a lot of money at stake.
This is why getting a travel insurance is a good idea if the amount invested is a huge part of your income.
These days, the airline companies are introducing new charges on cancellation or on changing flights. The sad part is that fees and charges are not getting any less; they are only increasing by the day. Nowadays, if you are changing your flight, you are likely to pay as much fee for it as you would have paid for booking a new flight.
2. When Your Health Insurance Doesn’t Have Your Back In A Foreign Land
You might have a health insurance in your own city or country which might come to your rescue only till you are in your national geographies and not beyond. But what if you go out to a foreign destination and need emergent medical care?
Most medical insurances are limited to the country you live in and hence, having a travel medical insurance is worth every penny when you are traveling to foreign countries. Travel insurance usually covers medical evacuation and medical care, the need for which arises due to accidents or injuries.
The water is different in every new place you go and you can easily get sick from that. It is better to have precaution in any country you have never been before.
3. If You Are Fearful of You Losing or Getting Your Belongings Stolen
Another reason why travel insurance is worth it is for the safety of your luggage and belongings.
But is it really true?
Almost all insurance companies expect you to take ‘reasonable care’ of your own belongings, whether it is the most expensive gown bought in your lifetime or a camera worth thousands of dollars.
Watch out for the insurance policies as many exclude claims for cash, expensive gadgets, etc.
As long as you have not been reckless in safeguarding your stuff, you stand a good chance to be reimbursed. But if not, you are likely to not get a claim.
Yes, there is a chance that you can get your items stolen but if you are a smart traveler, you can get away with not getting it.
If you are going to a poor or really touristy place though, it is better to get your things insured since the chance of getting things stolen is significantly higher.
4. If You Will Be in Need of 24/7 Assistance
Wherever you go on your vacation, you should always have someone by your side. And that person can be your travel insurer if you want. If anything happens, you can always call them and ask for help.
Traveling with the comfort that there is someone who will listen to your share of the story is another reason why travel insurance is a popular insurance product across the world.
After all, it is a human ear and support we are all looking for. Isn’t it?
Travel Insurance Policies in the USA:
A premium plan named Liason Travel Elite is getting a lot of attention and the reason is simple. It provides travel medical insurance outside your home country for a period as long as five days or up to twelve months.
It is renewable for 3 years and offers 24-hour medical service across various health partners in your travel destination. With this plan, you are eligible for a $2500 benefit and $50,000 for coma. In case of loss of baggage, you’d be eligible for claiming $25 on each article and $1000 per occurrence.
Allianz Global Assistance
Owned by the world’s most diversified travel insurance plan, Allianz Global Assistance promises to help you every time, anywhere. Allianz is one is the best travel insurance company for long trips.
Their most affordable plan is One Trip Basic Plan. This plan covers canceled trips (if cancellations are made for reasons covered). For travel delays, it provides up to $300 coverage, up to $200 for baggage delays and $500 for lost or damaged delays. Additionally, this Allianz Travel Insurance Plan also includes up to $10,000 of medical coverage.
Another one is the OneTrip Prime Plan. This plan is their most popular plan, as it has free coverage for kids aged under 17 who are traveling with their parents or grandparents. It has you covered 100% on trip cancellation and 150% on trip interruption. Alongside, it offers up to $25000 immediate medical coverage for reasons covered.
Allianz is known for fastest approval of claims and proactive redressal of customer grievances. It also gives you a 10 day or more period to request a refund in case you are not satisfied, provided that you haven’t already started with the trip or initiated your claim.
If you are going for a family reunion, MetLife probably has the best travel insurance for you all. It has four different travels insurance plans including:
- MetLife Family Plan — The Family Plan offers up to a good $50,000 medical coverage, along with a $300 and $1000 coverage for loss of passport and luggage respectively.
- Pearl Plan — This plan offers up to $50,000 medical expenses and hospitalization benefit, up to $300 loss of passport and offers compensation for the baggage of $1000.
- Schengen Plan — The Schengen plan is a plan for you if you are traveling to Europe. It offers up to €30,000 coverage for medical and hospitalization expenses apart from up to €4300 for delivery of medicines.
- Hajj or Umrah Plan — This plan covers medical expenses of up to $25,000, medical evacuation of up to $15,000 and a coverage of up to $750 for lost luggage.
Whether you are a student or a travel freak, IMG Global has a host of travel insurance plans for you to choose from.
Its patriot medical insurance plans offer medical insurance plans for solo trips, family vacations, and group outings. Not only does it offer deductible options from $0 to $2500, the insurance also covers your expenses of up to $20,00,000 and offers claims up to $5000 for interrupted trips.
The plan specifications which is important to note is that the applicant must be 14 years or above and cannot be pregnant, hospitalized, HIV diagnosed, or disabled on the effective date of the plan.
Only if you are a US citizen, this company will be of any help to you for getting a travel insurance. GeoBlue is the trade name for WorldWide Insurance Services. It lets you choose your own medical expense limit starting from $50,000 to $1,000,000, depending on which is the deductible amount starting from $0 to $500.
If you are an adventurous water baby, please note that GeoBlue has a coverage limit of $10,000 against any mishap during scuba diving or downhill skiing. Impressively, the GeoBlue helps you to locate medication access, find a doctor nearby and get immediate assistance.
One feature which sets GeoBlue apart is the cashless appointment feature. This frees travelers from the hassle of carrying cash. Additionally, it offers resources for translating medical terms and phrases.
Heading For A Trip Overseas
Let’s say you are traveling to Switzerland with your family after you bought a cheap round trip at just $300, which is an amount you don’t mind losing. Now, there could be two situations: You buy the travel insurance or you don’t buy it. For a meaningful travel insurance, you will be paying anywhere from $80 to $300. Now, are you ready to get a $300 trip insured at $80?
If you are going for a short travel trip, I’d rather not suggest you take a travel insurance and waste your hard earned money. You’d rather spend that amount on buying loads of favorite Lindt chocolates. They shall make you happy even after you return from the trip. But the insurance, it gets exhausted as soon as you return (safely) from the trip.
Travel Insurance: Getting a Claim
Filing a claim is another aspect of travel insurance. If one is running short on funds, it may become difficult for paying medical expenses as claims are not sanctioned immediately. Receiving a claim normally takes up to 1-2 months.
If the need for claim arises, you should immediately contact your travel insurance agent. These days, companies are also initiating the claim sanction process on an online filing. So, check with your insurance company before leaving for the vacation, whether they are available online.
For claiming a travel insurance, or insurance for that matter, you would require to prove three things. First, that you paid for the booking, Second, the booking got canceled and you didn’t use it and third is that you didn’t get reimbursed for the cancellation.
The key to getting a satisfactory claim is to leave no room for rejection. If there was a delay in updating the company about the mishap, keep a valid reason ready. Moreover, keep your facts intact with yourself, don’t miss out on keeping a copy of your invoices with yourself, even if its a $2 bill. This will help you present your case in the court even if the travel insurance rejects your claim.
Is Travel Insurance Worth It? – Different People. Different Answers.
The insurance companies are a business-minded bunch of people. If you are paying a fee to them, don’t get fooled. Make sure you read the policy document thoroughly so you are not dumbfounded later. A travel insurance company may offer multiple term policies and each one of them is different; they offer different benefits and different exclusions. Read the insurance policies with an open eye. This is your potential savior in a foreign land.
Travel Insurance Plans usually come at a 4-10% fraction of your total trip cost. The cost may vary depending on the number of people traveling, their age and existing medical problems.
Needless to say, getting old people insured is more pricey.
Choose The Plan What Suits You Best
Compare quotes from different travel insurance companies and choose what suits you best. Once you have selected, make sure to keep the assistance card handy with you. This should help you get quick assistance like applying for a new passport in the foreign land, etc.
Travel Insurance lets you live in the moment, ditch your worries and makes the most of your vacation. Selecting the right plan offered by the right travel insurance company is the key to having a happy adventure. Travel insurance plans equip you to protect yourself against whatever life might throw at you, while you are traveling.