Travel is already expensive enough, isn’t it? The cost of air fare, cruises, hotels, ground transportation, food activities and entertainment are already high enough. Working hard for your money and saving it up to be able to travel is a planned-out goal. Even whilst traveling, keeping as much money in your pocket as possible is important. Is travel insurance a necessity or a luxury? Why not cut a few corners here and there. Why buy something if it’s not really needed?
Most people are in the same position and want or need cheap travel insurance, consider the following scenarios:
Considering Travel Health Insurance
Did you know that if you get sick or are injured while traveling abroad, your medical plan may not cover all the expenses you will incur? If the costs of treatment are higher than the maximums of your medical plan, you will be responsible for the difference, unless you have already purchased travel insurance. In fact, you may not even be admitted into hospitals in some countries without proof that you have health or medical insurance.
That is true for everyone, regardless of age or length of time abroad. Suppose you fall ill just a few hours after arriving at your destination. Or suppose you make a daytrip to another country, and you are injured in a traffic accident. Or suppose one of your children is part of a group making a class visit abroad, gets food poisoning, and requires hospitalization. In all cases, without adequate travel health insurance, you will be responsible for the costs above and beyond the limitations of your existing medical plan.
Therefore, before going abroad, you need to make sure that you are adequately covered by travel medical insurance that won’t break your budget. You should check to see if appropriate coverage is already available to you through your medical plan, employee benefits, or even through a credit card. If the coverage is sufficient for your needs, then you can enjoy your trip without incurring the extra expense of travel insurance. However, if you are not sure of your coverage, or if your coverage is inadequate or non-existent, then your next step should be to research and purchase the travel insurance coverage you need.
How Much Can You Expect to Pay?
When first buying plane tickets with a travel insurance mind set, the cheaper options often times gets overlooked or you do not shop around enough. People realize this by the time they get to their second trip and realize how less their expenses are. The difference? Before buying travel insurance for the second trip, shopping around online and getting the appropriate coverage needed at the right price occurs in a smoother way.
In fact, how much travel insurance costs will depend on your age, and the type of coverage you choose. Basic policies cost as little as $5.50 USD per $1,000 of coverage. On the other hand, you can expect a full coverage policy to cost you from 7-10% of the cost of your trip, depending on your age. The older you are, the more you will pay. No matter what the cost of the policy, however, it’s sure to be much less than the cost of medical evacuation!
The good news is that you can easily, conveniently, and quickly research and locate excellent but cheap online travel insurance and reduce the costs while making an informed purchase. This is much better than taking what you are offered at the travel agency because you can choose from hundreds of travel insurance companies and polices and save yourself a lot of money in the process.
What You Should Consider When Buying Travel Insurance
To assist you in your research, here are some suggestions to help you make an informed purchase:
- Consider the worst-case scenario. If you can financially withstand the worst-case scenario, then maybe you don’t need travel insurance or maybe you don’t need a comprehensive policy.
- Make sure the policy you are considering provides adequate medical/dental coverage, including medical evacuation coverage just in case you need medical care in a place where the best treatment available is below the standards you are accustomed to in your country. This can happen if you fall ill in a developing country or even on a cruise ship.
- Check your existing insurance policies for possible coverage. There is no sense in paying more for what you already have in your homeowner or tenant policy, such as theft and loss coverage.
- If you are a frequent traveler, you should consider annual or year-round travel insurance policies. Sometimes they are called multi-trip travel insurance policies. Whatever the name, these policies can be relatively cheap when compared to single-trip travel insurance policies.
- Know what you are buying, so read the fine print. Make sure that you understand what the company considers to be a legitimate reason for cancellation or interruption. If the list is too restrictive, maybe you should consider another policy.
- Don’t restrict yourself to buying only from your travel agent. You will probably only have one company’s product(s) available, and it’s there for your convenience, but that convenience can be quite costly!
- Ask lots of questions about the coverage. Play the “what if” game. Ask for clear explanations of terminology. Make sure that you and the travel insurance company are speaking the same language.
- Don’t buy the insurance through your transportation provider. If the airline goes bankrupt, how adequate will your insurance coverage be?
Once You’ve Bought Your Travel Insurance
Remember that your travel insurance policy covers you between certain specific dates, so don’t start your trip early or extend your trip without first changing the dates of coverage on your travel insurance policy. Of course, this might cost you extra, but that’s cheaper than finding yourself without coverage when you need it the most.
Also, it almost goes without saying that you should bring your travel insurance policy with you when you go abroad. You can’t consult the policy if it’s sitting on your desk at home. You should also carry your travel insurance company’s toll-free assistance phone number and other contact information with you wherever you go. It does you no good if you get ill or hurt and the necessary policy information is sitting in your hotel room. It’s also a good idea to bring your regular medical coverage cards and info with you.