How much travel insurance should I get? What does it cover? These are some questions you might ask yourself when buying travel insurance. But before you spend even a dime, let’s examine why travel insurance is important at all. In addition to ensuring that you or your family members receive adequate medical treatment if something goes wrong during your trip, travel insurance provides coverage against accidental death or injury, loss or damage to personal items, theft, baggage delay, emergency evacuation, lost or delayed luggage, flight cancellation or missed connections.
Travel Insurance – Is it Necessary?
The fact is that traveling abroad can be risky and dangerous for one reason or another. You may be in an area where civil unrest is prevalent. You may be on vacation with children who have never traveled out of the country. And once you reach your destination, there are many things that could go awry. There are so many possibilities of what can happen, yet so little chance of being adequately prepared to handle these eventualities. It makes obvious sense then to take an extra precaution by purchasing a policy that offers comprehensive coverage against potential problems.
Picking an Appropriate Policy
Unfortunately, most people don’t research their options thoroughly enough to make certain that they’re choosing the right type of plan for them. A simple way to evaluate different policies is to look at the “fine print.” Most companies offer fairly detailed information about their plans online. By reading through this fine print carefully, you’ll know exactly what types of risks your particular insurance covers. If there are any gaps in coverage, you’ll need to decide whether taking care of these details is worth it. The additional premium charged for better coverage will more than likely offset the savings from doing without.
Compare Policies Online
A very useful tool in comparing policies is the Internet. Websites such as InsureMyTrip.com allow you to compare travel insurance rates from dozens if not hundreds of carriers side-by-side. Simply enter in the zip code or city where you are going and get quotes instantly. Even better, you can check out how each carrier values its clients’ individual needs. Just think: If you had been paying more premiums because you didn’t purchase adequate coverage, you could change that now.
Be Sure to Review Your Policy Regularly
Even though many travelers understand that they need to review their own policies periodically, few actually do so regularly. This means that they could miss an opportunity to renew coverage entirely. Be sure to always inspect your policy every year just prior to making changes to ensure that it remains valid. Failure to update your policy every 12 months could lead to higher rates or the inability to obtain additional benefits after your trip. For example, if you leave home without having purchased coverage, you may find that you cannot qualify for reimbursement of airfare should you become injured overseas.
Policies come with real money costs attached. Some people prefer to pay the extra money upfront and save on future expenses; others like to gamble and hope that nothing bad happens. Both approaches have their merits and both will help keep you covered when you really need it. But the reality is that you can only benefit when you are aware of the options available and choose one wisely. So if you’re planning a trip away soon, consult your current policy to see if it meets your needs.