The best travel insurance is different for each traveler and even for each trip. Here are the most important issues to consider when choosing travel insurance.
Although we talk about the global village, and travel is far easier today than it ever was before, the risks of travel haven't gone down. Travel insurance is still a necessity for every traveler, but your choice of policy is going to vary depending what coverage you need, your age, and what type of travel you’ll be enjoying. You might not even need travel insurance if you have good enough coverage from your credit card or another membership organization. If you choose to buy separate travel insurance, consider these most important issues when seeking the most suitable option for you.
When it comes to travel insurance, the price shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your decision-making. The cost of your travel insurance is going to vary far more than just about any other item you buy because it depends so heavily on your particular state of health, destination, and the activities you plan to carry out. When it comes to travel insurance, it’s also really not worth cutting corners to save money. If you need that insurance, you’re going to need it all the way, not some half-reimbursement for some of your costs.
What it Covers
When you’re shopping for travel insurance, the most important issue to consider is what is covered by the policy. You might not always need a policy that has the maximum coverage for every scenario. For example, Allianz has a series of very useful policies, which include $50,000 of medical insurance coverage. The conditions for coverage in case of trip delay due to the weather are more restrictive than some other options, but if you’re not traveling at a time when bad weather usually occurs, you might decide to go with it.
If you’re traveling overseas, planning a big or expensive trip, and/or just want to know that you’re covered in case of every eventuality, you’ll want to search for a policy which is as comprehensive as possible.
Travelex will pay out 100% of the cost of your trip in case of cancellation, and if it's interrupted, it will cover up to 150% of the cost. If you need medical or dental services, you can draw on up to $50,000 of coverage, and up to $500,000 for physician-required medical evacuation. Travelex really stands out for the conditions it will accept for insurance payouts. There’s no minimum for weather, mechanical delays, or a terrorist attack at your destination, and various work issues are accepted for trip cancellation, and the pre-existing conditions waiver is very reasonable.
TravelGuard will cover trip delays due to weather without any minimum delay requirement, mechanical trip delay, or cancellations that cause a loss of at least half of the total length of the trip, and trip delay for any reason that lasts for 5 hours or more. Medical insurance of $50,000 and a reasonable pre-existing conditions waiver are included, too.
If you’re planning a trip that includes adventure activities like skiing, whitewater rafting, trekking, or mountain biking, you’ll want a policy that covers you for injuries in these situations, as well as plenty of medical insurance. Seven Corners has policies that include $250,000 of medical insurance and covers extreme sports, although the travel delay and trip interruption policies are more restricted than those offered by Travelex and TravelGuard. WorldNomads covers over 200 extreme sports that include bungee jumping and scuba diving, alongside $100,000 in medical insurance.
You might also be concerned about insurance for your luggage. Although most policies include some kind of assistance for lost or stolen baggage, it’s mostly capped at a total single amount of around $1,000. If you’re traveling with particularly expensive items like cameras or laptops, it’s best to get separate standalone coverage for damage, theft, or loss. Usually, your credit card or regular insurance policy will be a better address than travel insurance, but WorldNomads offers coverage of $3,000 for lost or stolen items.
Range of Policies
It’s useful to be able to choose from a range of different insurance policies when you buy travel insurance. Sometimes you’ll need single-trip insurance, but other times you might be planning a number of short trips in the next few months, which would make it more economical to buy multi-trip or yearlong insurance. HTH is one insurance company that offers both short-term and long-term medical travel insurance. Students, expats, and long-term travelers can buy policies for a number of months or years that cover comprehensive health issues as well as trip cancellation, lost luggage, and medical evacuation. Nationwide provides cruise travel insurance and yearlong travel insurance as well as single-trip plans, and Allianz has annual, single trip, multi-trip, and car rental only insurance policies available.
For the biggest range of insurance policies, it's a good idea to check out a travel insurance comparison site like Squaremouth, InsureMyTrip, or TravelInsurance.com. These sites bring together a range of plans from numerous insurance providers so that you can compare prices, coverage, and conditions for multiple insurance providers at once.
Age Conditions for Coverage
If you’re traveling with children, it can save you a lot of money when they are included in your insurance policy for free. Like most travel insurance companies, Allianz includes children up to the age of 17, although it’s more flexible than many because it allows them to be included for free on a grandparent’s policy as well as with their parents. Travelex beats most insurance companies by including children up to the age of 21 on their parents’ policies without charge.
At the opposite end of the age range, many insurance companies only offer their standard policies up to a certain age. Once you are over 65 or 70, you'll usually need to buy a different insurance policy. WorldNomads is one of many companies that stop offering coverage after you reach 70 years old. InsureMyTrip has the best selection of policies for travelers over 65.
Buy Travel Insurance for Your Next Trip Today!
Whether you need extra coverage for bungee jumping or feel nervous without plenty of medical insurance, there’s a travel insurance policy out there to suit your needs. Now that you know what things you need to consider, you can get yourself insured for your next trip as soon as you’d like.