Life is a fun journey, although, unfortunately, we need to prepare for the unexpected, especially when it comes to paying for it. We know we need health insurance, car insurance, home insurance, and life insurance. The list never seems to end!
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But what about when it comes to traveling? You never know what circumstances may cause you to have to delay or cancel a trip. And there may be instances where you get injured while you are on the go.
Do I need insurance when I travel?
Whether you get trip insurance is up to you. Having insurance for traveling abroad or general trip insurance is a good idea. Some trips require international travel insurance, so it is best to be informed before you purchase.
What is trip insurance?
International or domestic travel? It doesn’t matter. Simply put, insurance for travel is assurance. Some companies offer short-term travel medical insurance, trip insurance, and other types of policies. A non-refundable fee is paid before your trip as a guarantee. If something happens during your trip the insurance provider will reimburse you for lost expenses. These can include things like flights and hotels, and medical bills.
If you have to use the insurance, be sure to save paperwork and bills for medical travel insurance and other claims. You will need to show proof.
Do I need medical insurance for travel abroad?
Many professionals do recommend insurance for traveling abroad, especially to countries without top-quality infrastructure or healthcare facilities or those facing political instability. Medical travel insurance covers health crises you could face overseas. This could include instances such as a broken bone or another type of severe illness requiring medical attention.
Even if you have regular health insurance, it may not include full coverage in other countries. International medical insurance acts as an additional guarantee.
Like any insurance policy, the best travel medical insurance will cover medical emergencies that happen while traveling. Having trip insurance in place will help determine where to go to get medical assistance while also not being out of pocket for long, if at all. Finding the best travel medical insurance is important to have peace of mind.
Is international travel insurance required?
No, law does not typically require trip insurance, especially for individual travelers. Some countries are exceptions, such as Poland, the Czech Republic, and Cuba.
However, some tour operators may compel their clients to carry it, especially when visiting countries with no public health service (like the USA). Other travel suppliers may highly suggest insurance, especially when engaging in strenuous or potentially dangerous activities on your trip. Take their recommendations seriously.
How do I find travel insurance companies?
Compare travel insurance plans and read travel insurance reviews before you buy them. Policies are often available as add-ons to trip packages or flights booked through airlines or OTAs. They can be purchased separately as well.
Do your research, read reviews, compare prices and benefits. Be sure you’re choosing the best option for each specific trip. Also, check your existing credit cards to see if any of them already have trip insurance included. Many airline and travel branded credit cards do.
Medical insurance for travel abroad may be advisable for your future travel plans, especially if they include visiting other countries. Although it is not always fun to think about things like travel insurance, international trips are one situation where many experts suggest at least considering your options.
Plans are typically relatively inexpensive, especially compared to the total cost of a trip. It might be worth it simply for the peace of mind and knowing that if something does happen, you will be protected.
Personally, I recommend RoamRight, which has their quick and easy coverage calculator for determining the cost of which plan is right for you.
Speaking from personal experience…
I was traveling in Nicaragua during a time of unrest. We flew into Managua, but as we were on our way to the airport to leave, the roads were blocked by protestors. There was no way around, so we had to make the quick decision to head to Costa Rica and fly out.
Changing flights from a different airport in a different country was a bit scary. Trip insurance – which I didn’t want to get but was so glad I did – relieved our minds so much! Speaking from personal experience, I would say that for a small cost, it really is worth it for peace of mind. Better to have it and not use it rather than need it and not have it.
Header photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh.