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Travel insurance is something you buy hoping that you never need it. Yet it is something you need to have in order to have protection while you’re traveling, since it gives you peace of mind and protects your bank account. The challenge for the average consumer is understanding their options and identifying the best solution for them. Here are 3 tips for buying the best travel insurance for your next trip.
Determine What You Want to Insure
The type of insurance you get determines what is covered. You can get insurance that pays for non-refundable cruise bookings, plane tickets, and hotel bookings. In this case, you need trip-cancellation insurance. A “cancel for any reason” plan is the most flexible, though they cost more than trip-cancellation insurance that only pays out for a short list of acceptable reasons.
Or you can get travel insurance that covers unexpected medical costs. In this case, it would be medical-only travel insurance. Many generic medical travel insurance policies will cover a stomach bug but won’t cover high risk activities like scuba diving, bungee jumping, or skiing. You may need to pay extra for hazardous sports coverage on top of a standard travel insurance policy to gain this protection.
Don’t assume that your health insurance will cover medical costs incurred while traveling or the cost of medical evacuation. A travel medical plan could even cover the expense of seeing an “out of network” doctor while you’re on vacation.
Understand What You Can Afford
Travel insurance has different levels of coverage. Coverage can vary, and this can necessitate signing up for different or additional types of travel insurance. And like other types of insurance, travel insurance policies charge premiums based on the deductible you’re agreeing to pay. The lower the deductible, the higher the premiums.
Another factor to cover is the extent of the coverage. For example, medical insurance for travelers may only cover medical costs incurred abroad, or it may cover related medical expenses when you return home. Conversely, you may want the option to upgrade the policy if you decide to add higher risk activities to the itinerary. Travel insurance probably covers the cost of your possessions like luggage if lost or stolen, but you may want to be able to upgrade it to include valuable items you’ve bought while abroad. Note that many travel insurance policies have a per-item value limit. You may need to pay extra to cover all the expensive electronics you want to take on the trip.
Research Options for Saving Money
Look for ways to save on travel insurance. Ask your current insurance company if they can offer you a discount on insurance for your trip, whether rental car insurance or health insurance. If you’re traveling with a group, you may be eligible for a group discount. You may be able to get cheap travel insurance through your credit card, though this is always limited to expenses you charge to the credit card.
Travel insurance can provide financial protection whether your trip is cancelled at the last minute or you have to come home early due to injury or illness. Travel insurance is always recommended, but if you’re going on a risky trip, it becomes primordial, so make sure that you explore and understand your options and coverage before you go.