Most people are well aware of home, health, and car insurance, but fewer are familiar with travel insurance. Nowadays, with travel being more accessible than ever, people should learn about travel insurance and the pros and cons of travel insurance.
Travel insurance covers a wide range of scenarios and uncertainties to provide you protection against financial loss.
Don’t know much about travel insurance? Want to know what it covers and how it works? No worries! We have got you covered – but not in the same way that an insurance company would have you covered.
This post will explain travel insurance in detail, how it works, the pros and cons of travel insurance, and more.
What is Travel Insurance?
Travel Insurance is a form of insurance that covers a range of risks that could occur while traveling. It includes lost luggage, flight cancellations, medical expenses, or other losses.
Moreover, travel insurance provides coverage to individuals traveling domestically or abroad.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Most travel insurance plans cover trip interruptions, medical emergencies, damaged or stolen luggage, and others. Depending on the travel insurance you buy, it also covers rental car damage and trip cancellation for any reason. Moreover, here are some risks or losses that come under travel insurance:
- Personal accident cover
- Dental treatment relief
- Baggage delay
- Emergency evacuation
- Medical expense reimbursement
- Loss of passport
- Lost checked baggage
- Trip cancellation
- Home burglary
- Trip curtailment
- Missed departure/missed connection
- Airline booking/bounced hotel
These are some risks that are covered under many travel insurance policies. There might be others (or fewer) depending on the particular needs of the traveler and the provider.
See Related: Why You Should Travel
What Does Travel Insurance Not Cover?
A travel insurance plan doesn’t cover everything you might experience or do on your trip. Some exclusions or uncovered things include:
- Taking part in extreme activities that involve the risk of death
- Playing professional sports
- Learning to fly a plane
- Medical travel
- Dental treatment
- Pregnancy and others
The exclusions may vary from one plan to another, so always read the policy before you buy.
How Much is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is not one-size-fits-all, and the conditions and cost of a plan vary widely. It is a good idea to try and understand the pricing guidelines of your insurance plan before directly buying it.
Usually, one should expect a travel insurance plan will cost anywhere between 4% to 10% of their total, non-refundable trip expenses. For instance, if you buy a trip with a cost of $5,000, the travel insurance policy available will likely range between $250 to $500, based on variables.
In addition, the insurance provider uses the following information, except for the cost of the trip, to calculate your plan’s cost:
- Number of travelers
- Age of travelers
- Type of coverage
- Travel length
- Point of departure
How Does Travel Insurance Work?
The process of filing a claim for your travel insurance is pretty similar to filing a home or vehicle insurance claim. If you have a water leak in your home or get in a road accident, you file a claim.
Similarly, if something unfortunate happens during the trip and you want to use your insurance, you will have to file a claim to get reimbursement. For instance, if you get injured or sick five days into a 20-day travel plan and can’t continue, your travel insurance can return the costs for the remaining trip.
Other conditions where your travel insurance may provide you coverage include:
- You are required to return to work
- Severe weather that causes damage at your travel destination or cancels your flight.
Travel insurance policies come in handy in situations like these. However, always keep in mind that your insurance coverage may vary by your plan and provider.
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How to Get Travel Insurance
Getting travel insurance is as simple as this five-step procedure. Let’s go through the process step-by-step.
1. Answer Questions About Your Needs
As mentioned earlier, the cost you pay for your travel insurance depends on factors, such as your age, the type of coverage, the total number of travelers, and so on.
You will also be asked for some other details of the trip, such as travel destination, arrival & departure dates, and initial trip deposit date.
You must answer all these questions wisely and truthfully to get your claim whenever needed.
2. Get A Quote
Once you submit this information, you get a quote for your travel insurance. This could just be a preliminary quote, as the final cost is presented when you answer additional questions.
3. Pick A Plan
Depending on where you’re researching on the web, such as with a travel expert site (like ViaTravelers), at an insurance company’s site, or an aggregator’s site, your quote may show a single plan or a dozen plans to choose from.
Some factors you may want to consider while buying a plan include; whether buying travel insurance is totally necessary, your health, your destination, your planned activities, the price of the plan, speed of claim payments, and the level or amount of emergency assistance you are covered for.
Checking out customer reviews is always the best way to get an idea of which insurance companies help their customers best…or visiting ViaTravelers.
See Related: Best Pet Travel Insurance Options to Buy Today
4. Check Your Coverage & Read Your Plan
You may select one or two insurance plans after considering the above factors and re-examining your quote. Once you finalize, make sure to read your policy. Here are some things you should review:
- Covered reasons for trip interruptions or cancellation
- Luggage limits
- Pre-existing medical conditions
5. Buy the Insurance Coverage
If everything looks good to you, it’s time to purchase the coverage. Make sure to browse options, such as evacuation limits and increased medical coverage before buying.
Read your travel insurance documents when you get them. Make sure your details match those in the plan you have purchased, and everything you want is on that coverage.
If the plan doesn’t include your desired coverages, you should contact the insurance company to figure out getting them added or removed. Most of the larger companies will have 24/7 online customer support.
See Related: Best Family Travel Insurance
How to File a Claim for Travel Insurance?
If something happens before or during the trip, you should reach out to the travel insurance company immediately to seek advice. You also require detailed records to file a claim.
For example, if you can’t make the trip due to some emergency at your workplace and you’re needed back, you need a proper letter from your employer.
If you have to cancel your travel plan because of illness, you need hospital receipts or bills and a doctor’s note. You need to submit these documents to your insurance provider while filing a claim if you want to avoid any delays in receiving payment.
Do I Need Travel Insurance?
One issue that often comes along with traveling is the risk of unforeseen mishaps. A last-minute cancellation, lost luggage, sudden medical costs, or a flight accident may occur at any time. Therefore, it’s essential to keep yourself covered, and travel insurance is the best way to do so.
If you still have any doubts, check out the pros and cons of buying travel insurance for your trip mentioned in the following sections. Hopefully, these pros and cons of travel insurance will help you decide whether to invest in it or not.
See Related: Health Insurance for Visitors to the USA
Pros and Cons of Travel Insurance
In this section, you will come across some pros and cons of travel insurance. You should know about them before coming to any decision.
Pros of Travel Insurance
1. Gives You Peace of Mind
The primary reason for buying travel insurance is that it gives you peace of mind. The fear of what wrong can happen during your trip restricts you from enjoying your vacations. Having travel insurance ensures peace of mind even if something dreadful happens.
Whether you’re traveling for business purposes or holidays with your family, you should be able to keep your mind focused without being worried about unexpected events.
2. Provides Compensation for Lost Things
It’s likely that you will bring some expensive accessories while on the trip, such as your wallet, camera, phone, and others. If these items are lost or stolen, your travel insurance plan can cover some or all of those expenses.
With travel insurance coverage, you can bring your favorite things as the coverage will take care of everything if they go walkabout.
3. Provides Coverage for Medical Expenses
Anyone can get sick or meet with an accident at any time. But, the chances of getting ill are high while traveling due to the sudden change in weather, food, water, and time zone.
As healthcare can be quite expensive, you should have an effective plan to cope with medical emergencies when traveling abroad.
This is where travel insurance again comes to your rescue. It provides full coverage for all medical expenses during the trip arising out of any accident or sickness.
4. Saves You Money in the Long Run
It might be frustrating to pay the premium cost of travel insurance at the beginning of your journey, but you should think of it more as an investment. It works as a positive component for both your health and peace of mind.
If you book a trip worth thousands of dollars and the entire amount is non-refundable, what would you do if you can’t make the trip due to a sudden earthquake or civil war?
In such a case, you will end up losing all your money. But, having travel insurance means you save money in the long run, as it will help you recover some or all those costs.
Even if you don’t end up saving all of your money, a ruined vacation and getting something back is far better than a ruined vacation and getting NOTHING back. Overall, a travel insurance plan can make your travel experience far less stressful.
Cons of Travel Insurance
1. It Can Be Expensive
One major drawback of buying travel insurance is the cost. As multiple things come under a travel insurance plan, it can be a little expensive. But, as you may never have to use it, people often find it a waste of time and money.
However, as discussed, for most people, having that peace of mind is enough to offset the cost. Also, without an insurance plan, you may have to spend a hefty amount on unexpected costs, like having illness and injuries treated.
2. Might Not Provide Coverage for Pre-Existing Diseases
Most travel insurance plans only provide coverage for unpredictable medical expenses during the trip. and don’t cover you for your pre-existing medical problems. Those that do typically come with a steep increase in a plan’s price.
3. Travel Insurance Claim May Get Rejected
There’s always a chance of the rejection of a travel insurance claim. You may have purchased the best insurance plan for your trip after proper research. Still, the claim you raise with your insurance provider may get rejected even for a small mistake or technicality.
Paying the premium cost, only to face the rejection of your claim and a financial loss is going to sting. To help avoid such a scenario, you must go through the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy extremely carefully.
4. Comes with Certain Loopholes
All travel insurance policies come with some loopholes. Some expenses get rejected even though not excluded. For instance, if you twist your ankle while climbing up a hill, your insurer will not cover costs for your treatment.
That’s because “falling from a height”, even if it is just a bad step that results in a sprain is considered an adventurous or sports activity, and most insurers don’t provide coverage for such activities. Yep, walking can be considered extreme.
Pros & Cons Summary
Only you can decide if travel insurance is right for you or not. While it might not cover everything and may have infuriating loopholes, travel insurance can cover you for a wide array of potential upsets that could see you saving real money; hopefully, you take these pros and cons into account when considering a plan for your next trip.
No matter your travel destination, make sure to contact the right insurance provider to get the best travel insurance policy that meets all your needs.
See Related: Travel with a Drone
Should I Get Travel Insurance?
There’s a saying – “If you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford a trip.” Looking at the pros and cons of travel insurance, you cannot deny that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
In the end, the decision to invest in travel insurance is entirely up to you, but we’re only ever going to encourage you to protect yourself!
If you’re ready to bear the drawbacks of travel insurance policies, then you should consider buying one for yourself and whomever you’re traveling with.
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Is Travel Insurance Worth It?
We all know that many unpredictable things can happen on a trip. You might have to go through the nightmares of being seriously injured or ill overseas, your luggage might be destroyed in a hotel fire, a seal could go rogue at the zoo and maul you – okay, these are extreme, but stranger things have happened to ruin vacations.
Therefore, almost every travel professional suggests investing in travel insurance, no matter your trip size and destination. If something goes wrong, there’s a high chance you can get some or all of your money back.
Remember, all travel insurance plans come with specific conditions, exclusions, and benefits. Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial to take some time to read the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy carefully.
These conditions or exclusions may vary depending on your region and destination. If you find any confusion with your insurance policy, feel free to contact your insurance provider.
Hopefully, the outlines of travel insurance and its pros and cons in this post will help you make informed decisions and enjoy your upcoming holidays in an insured, worry-free manner.
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