Is travel insurance really necessary?
Traveling is expensive enough, right? The cost of airfare, cruises, hotels, ground transportation, food, and activities and entertainment is already high enough. I don’t know about you, but I work hard for my money, and when I travel, I want to keep as much of my money in my pocket as possible. Is travel insurance a necessity or a luxury? Why not cut some corners here and there? Why buy something if it really isn’t necessary?
My personal answer is, of course, that I am not independently wealthy and cannot bear the potential financial losses I would incur if I require medical attention while traveling. Not being wealthy independently also means that I am in the market for adequate but cheap travel insurance. I suspect you are in the same position, so you also need cheap travel insurance. If you’re still not sure about that, consider the following.
Did you know that if you get sick or injured while traveling abroad, your health plan may not cover all of the expenses you will incur? If the treatment costs are higher than your health plan maximums, you will be responsible for the difference, unless you have already purchased travel insurance. In fact, you may not even be admitted to hospitals in some countries without proof that you have health or medical insurance.
This is true for everyone, regardless of age or time abroad. Suppose you get sick a few hours after reaching your destination. Or suppose you take a day trip to another country and get injured in a car accident. Or suppose that one of your children is part of a group that makes a class visit abroad, gets food poisoning and requires hospitalization. In all cases, without adequate travel health insurance, you will be responsible for costs above and beyond the limitations of your existing health plan.
Therefore, before traveling abroad, you must ensure that you are adequately covered by travel medical insurance that does not break your budget. You should check if the appropriate coverage is already available to you through your health plan, employee benefits, or even through a credit card. If the coverage is sufficient for your needs, you can enjoy your trip without incurring the additional expense of travel insurance. However, if you are unsure 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 I bought my first plane ticket to China a few years ago, it cost me around $ 2000 round trip, and my travel insurance cost me more than $ 500 because I didn’t search online for cheap travel insurance.
A few years later, a little older and wiser, and my travel insurance for another trip to China cost me much less, about $ 300 for roughly the same coverage. The difference? Before buying my travel insurance for the second trip, I bought online and got the coverage I needed, at the right price. If I had bought my travel insurance for this last trip from my travel agent, it would have cost me around $ 600 for the trip, and my airline tickets are only $ 1,500! It is not exactly the smart way to go.
So how much will it cost you? Not as much money as it will cost you if you get sick or hurt abroad and don’t have any travel insurance coverage! That is the obvious answer to the question.
In fact, the cost of travel insurance will depend on your age and the type of coverage you choose. Basic policies cost as little as $ 5.50 USD for every $ 1000 of coverage. On the other hand, you can expect a full coverage policy to cost you 7-10% of the cost of your trip, depending on your age. The older you are, the more you will pay. Regardless of the cost of the policy, however, it will surely be much less than the cost of medical evacuation!
The good news is that you can easily and conveniently research and locate excellent but cheap online travel insurance and cut costs by making an informed purchase. This is much better than taking what is offered to you by the travel agency because you can choose from hundreds of travel insurance companies and policies and save a lot of money in the process. One place where you can start your search is at Travel Insurance Central, [http://www.travel-insurance-central.com]
What to consider when buying travel insurance
To aid you in your research, here are a few suggestions to help you make an informed purchase.
1. Consider the worst case scenario. If you can bear the worst case financially, then you may not need travel insurance or you may not need a comprehensive policy.
2. Make sure the policy you are considering provides adequate medical / dental coverage, including medical evacuation coverage in case you need medical attention in a place where the best available treatment is below the standards you are used to in your country. This can happen if you get sick in a developing country or even on a cruise ship.
3. Check your existing insurance policies for possible coverage. There is no point in paying more for what you already have on your landlord or tenant policy, such as theft and loss coverage.
4. If you are a frequent traveler, you should consider annual or yearly travel insurance policies. They are sometimes called multi-trip travel insurance policies. Whatever the name, these policies can be relatively cheap compared to single-trip travel insurance policies.
5. Know what you are buying, so read the fine print. Make sure you understand what the company considers a legitimate reason for the cancellation or interruption. If the list is too restrictive, perhaps you should consider another policy.
6. Don’t just buy from your travel agent only. You will probably only have a company’s products available, and it’s there for your convenience, but that convenience can be quite expensive!
7. Ask lots of questions about 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.
8. Do not buy insurance through your transportation provider. If the airline files for bankruptcy, how adequate will your insurance coverage be?
Once you have purchased your travel insurance
Remember that your travel insurance policy covers you between certain specific dates, therefore, do not start your trip early or extend it without first changing the dates of coverage of your travel insurance policy. Of course, this may cost you more, but it’s cheaper than finding yourself without coverage when you need it most.
Also, it almost goes without saying that you should carry your travel insurance policy when you go abroad. You cannot refer to the policy if you are sitting at your desk at home. You should also carry your travel insurance company’s toll-free support phone number and other contact information wherever you go. It doesn’t help you if you get sick or hurt and the necessary policy information is in your hotel room. It is also a good idea to carry your health coverage cards and information with you.
I hope these tips help you with the best travel insurance for you. Then take your trip with the peace of mind knowing that you are insured by the right travel insurance policy at the right price. Good trip!