Venturing far from home can be a highly risky financial venture. Multiple factors can cause major disasters that dampen or destroy your plans. Before buying any policy, would-be wanderlust suffers should get a firm grasp of travel insurance fundamentals.
- First, verify that any prospective insurer is state-licensed. Avoid “trip protection” plans that are not insurance products at all. You may be left holding nothing more than a bunch of missing or empty bags to show for your troubles.
- Add-on flight insurance sold at airports is a very poor, overpriced investment.
- Beware of pre-existing policy exclusions. A prior history of anxiety disorder will cause claim denial for a flight anxiety attack that lands you in an Australian hospital.
Optimize Your Options
Travel insurance policies are not created equal. As with all insurance, what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander.
- Baggage Coverage: Lavish dressers should consider a policy with well-padded lost luggage coverage.
- Health coverage: This little-known travel insurance benefit is valuable to elderly, sickly, and international travelers.
- Medical evacuation coverage : Frequent globe gallopers appreciate this great advantage. Medical facilities are substandard in many countries. In addition, Medicare and most US health insurers don’t cover medical expenses incurred on foreign soil.
- Trip cancellation: In case of inclement weather, injury, illness, natural disaster, or death in the immediate family, your travel investment is intact.
- Business Failure: For small travel operations or those in obscure locations, insolvency always looms large. If you opt for this coverage, purchase the policy at least three weeks before paying any travel agent, tour operator, or airline. Also, buy from a third-party vendor as policies offered directly by carriers such as cruise lines invariably exclude this feature.
Getting the best premium
For business trips, begin with your employer. The company should also foot the full premium bill. Personal travel may be covered through employer-sponsored life or health plans at reduced rates.
Next, check with your credit card issuer. Many high-end cards include automatic travel insurance at no extra cost. If applicable, ask for group or family discounts.