Figuring out whether to pack that extra book or pair of shoes might seem like a tough decision, but there’s one thing that you should never choose to travel abroad without: insurance. This includes adequate health and accident insurance, plus insurance to take care of you if you have any travel mishaps.
The number of insurances providers is as high as the number of cities that you’ll wish you could visit on your trip, and so is the number of available coverage options. Before getting overwhelmed with facts and figures, talk to the companies that you’re already insured with about whether your coverage extends to you while you are abroad. Then compare quotes from other companies to make sure that you get the protection that you need at a reasonable price.
What to Consider
Medical and health insurance is the first and most important place to begin. Although you may have many plan options to choose from, there are a couple of types of coverage that you need to make sure that you have. These include the following:
- Medical and Dental Emergency:
If you become ill or sustain an injury while you are abroad, your insurance provider will reimburse you for expenses that you might have to pay for doctor visits, medications, or medical supplies. Call your provider to see what’s covered before you have any tests or procedures done or fill prescription medication.
With this type of coverage, your insurance company will pay to have your remains returned to your family in the case of death. If you neglect to insure yourself in this area, the costs of repatriation can reach $100,000 or more.
These are the selections that should absolutely be included when you are setting up your coverage. Beyond that, you have a wide array of coverage options that you can add to your plan to provide you with even more security. We’ve listed some things to consider, but evaluate the plans that you research to find out which type of coverage will suit you best.
If during your trip your baggage is delayed or lost, your insurance company will reimburse you for at least part of the value of your belongings, depending on the plan that you purchase. You may also be compensated for inconveniences that are caused by the problems with your luggage. Investigate the particulars of your plan; some companies only offer baggage insurance for while you are on the way to your destination or returning home, but not throughout your time abroad. Consider which options are best for you and make sure you know the details of your coverage.
- Trip Cancellation, Delay, or Interruption:
Sometimes, extenuating circumstances can throw a wrench in your trip plans, and you may need to cancel your trip or return home before you anticipated. This type of coverage assists you in case you need to do either of these things. Trip delay coverage may compensate you if your trip is delayed due to travel problems.
Typically, this type of coverage applies while you are flying to your destination or returning home at the end of your trip. The provisions of this plan are often specifically for death or dismemberment during your travels.
A lot of companies offer additional services to make life easier for you while you are travelling. This can include helping you find last-minute reservations at hotels, restaurants, and rental car agencies, as well as around-the-clock telephone operators offering weather updates, health and safety advice, and language translation. Think about what extra services you might need, and then check with your provider to see what you can add to your plan.
Research and Compare
There are countless companies in the insurance market. The list of resources that we’ve compiled is nowhere near comprehensive, and we do not endorse a specific one more than the others. Shop around to see which company can provide the best protection for your specific needs.
- World Wide Risk Management, Inc.
- HCC Medical Insurance Services
- International Student Insurance
- iNext International Insurance
Surprisingly, another place to look for insurance plans is through the company with which you book your flight. One of the benefits of using a travel company like Priceline, Orbitz, Webjet, or Expedia is that they often offer protection and insurance plans from partner insurance companies. These are options that appear while you are in the process of booking your travel arrangements. You may want to still consider looking at other sources for a policy because these plans may not necessarily offer the best prices. However, these websites could give you a place to start and they are quick and easy if you are looking for convenience.
When you are preparing to buy the insurance that you’ve selected, make sure you understand the exceptions and stipulations of your coverage to protect yourself from deception. Another thing to note is that some companies offer the greatest benefits if you purchase your plan within a certain number of days or hours after buying plane tickets, so check into that before you book your trip. When you’re getting ready to leave, include a copy of your insurance policy in your luggage, and give a copy to a friend or family member to keep while you travel. If you do have issues while you are travelling, hang on to any forms or receipts that you receive and follow your insurance company’s protocol for reimbursement as soon as you can in order to receive compensation.