How to find the right travel insurance

Collage illustration of an airplane flying in the sky surrounded by dollar signs

Collage illustration of an airplane flying in the sky surrounded by dollar signs George Peters/Getty Images

when planning big tripA common question is whether or not you should buy travel insurance and, if so, how to choose the right one. There are plenty of options out there and a wide range of potential price points. Here’s how to understand what’s on offer, evaluate your options, and find the travel insurance that’s right for you.

Who Needs Travel Insurance?

Before you get into the hassle of comparing travel insurance, it helps to know if you actually need it. Consider purchasing travel insurance if:

  • you are traveling abroad If your health plan offers global coverage, you may be able to skip purchasing insurance, but “many health plans lack strong global coverage or They impose high out-of-network deductibles for out-of-network medical care.” According to Forbes. Check your plan and proceed accordingly.

  • Part of the trip is non-refundable. In case the money is not returned not going according to planYou can get some protection with travel insurance. Common non-refundable elements of travel include “prepaid tours, excursions, or other expenses (such as airfare) that are saved by accepting non-refundable.” CBS news explained.

  • You’re going somewhere far away. Where you live also influences your decision to purchase travel insurance. Forbes added that “Medical Evacuation Compensation pays for medical evacuation to appropriate facilities” if they are far from safe medical facilities.

  • Trips are planned at specific times of the year. CBS News suggested taking the weather into account when deciding whether buying insurance is reasonable.For example, if you go somewhere tropical During hurricane season, it may be wise to add some protection.

  • Having a backup just makes you feel more comfortable. Some travelers want peace of mind when they are away from home, knowing that travel insurance can help them in case the unexpected happens or they are in a pinch.

However, in some cases travelers may be fine without travel insurance. nerd wallet Said. This includes whether the ticket is already flexible or whether all parts of the booked trip are refundable or cancelable.

Some credit cards automatically offer travel insurance for purchases made with the card related to travel. “So, for example, if your card comes with trip cancellation insurance, when you book a flight ticket with that card, the insurance will apply. Same goes for checking bags or activating lost bag protection. said Francis Hondal, president of Loyalty & Company. Partnership with Mastercard told CNBC.

What does travel insurance cover?

If you decide you need travel insurance, it’s usually important to clarify what your travel insurance covers and what it doesn’t. There are comprehensive travel insurance policies that offer different benefits, and there are different types of travel insurance that cover specific elements of your trip.

That said, according to CNBC, “insurance typically covers three things: financial expenditure protection, health protection, and personal belongings protection.” When sorting through your options, look for the following scopes:

  • Trip cancellations, delays or interruptions

  • Medical Expenses and Emergency Evacuation

  • lost baggage

Other benefits may include 24-hour assistance service, ‘Any Reason Cancellation’ coverage, accidental death and dismemberment, car rental collision insurance, and more.

What is usually not covered?

It is very important that you read the fine print to fully understand how a particular policy protects you, as policies may vary in what is covered. However, in general, there are some common situations where travel insurance does not cover.

  • Protection against already named storms and weather events

  • Acting under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • Extreme sports such as scuba diving and rock climbing

  • Pregnancy (including medical expenses you may incur while traveling while pregnant)

  • Medical expenses for elective procedures

  • fear of travel

  • Lost or stolen cash

How much does travel insurance cost?

On the basis of Forbes Advisortravel insurance rate analysis shows that travel insurance is about 6% of the travel cost on average.

However, the cost of travel insurance “can vary greatly depending on how much coverage you get and how much your trip costs,” CNBC said. So if you need a lot of coverage in different areas, and if you’re planning a long and expensive trip with lots of pre-planned non-refundable expenses, you’ll typically spend more on travel insurance. will pay.

High medical bills at the destination, pre-existing medical conditions, age, etc. can drive up the price of travel insurance, Nardwallet said.

How to find the right policy

Once you have a rough idea of ​​what to expect in terms of travel insurance coverage and costs, you need to consider what you want and how much you are willing to pay.

Nerdwallet said you should start by assessing your financial risks and whether you can handle the costs yourself. Also, check any coverage you may already have, such as travel credit his card, homeowner’s insurance, or health insurance. Some areas may already be covered, thus avoiding duplication.

It’s also important to do some research instead of just following the first offer you see. Use travel insurance comparison sites to compare different offers and prices.

Take the time to read the fine print instead of just moving on based on price alone. “You may feel that the lowest-priced insurance is too restrictive and that you can pay a little more to get the coverage you need,” NerdWallet said. “Alternatively, you may find that the cheapest, most basic insurance is suitable for this purpose.”

Becca Stanek has been working as an editor and writer in the personal finance field since 2017. She previously served as Editor in Chief of Investments and Savings Content at LendingTree, Editor at SmartAsset, and Staff at The Week where she was a writer.

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