Travel insurance is important for any trip, and helps protect you in case of sudden cancelations, illness, and so on. If you’ve never purchased a travel insurance policy before, the options can be daunting. One of the easiest ways to determine what type of policy to purchase is by identifying your needs. When going through your different options for travel insurance, be sure to consider the following:
How long you’ll be gone
Travel insurance policies typically cover trips that will last up to 90, 120, or even 180 days, so it’s important to know how long you’ll be gone before you make your decision about travel insurance. If you’re planning an extended vacation that is beyond 180 days, you can look into a long-term policy that offers protection for up to 18 months.
Who you’re going with
It’s one thing if you’re traveling solo, but if you’re traveling with others, you may want a policy that will protect everyone. There are policies that are created specifically for families, children, and couples that reside at the same address.
How often you travel
Are you an avid traveler, or is this your first vacation in years? You may be able to save money by purchasing annual insurance if you travel abroad somewhat frequently (more than twice a year). This can also be a good choice for spontaneous travelers, as it can offer protection for last-minute trips. But if you know you’re only traveling internationally once in a single year, stick to a standard policy.
Where you’ll be going
Travel insurance policies are often set by area (Europe, worldwide, etc.), so keep this mind when shopping around for policies. You may be looking at a specific travel insurance policy that covers a part of the world you’re not visiting. Some insurance policies also won’t pay out if you visit a country or area after a travel alert or warning has been issued; be sure to speak with your insurer for details.
What you’ll be doing
It’s one thing if you’re just relaxing at your resort, but if you’ll be partaking in activities that pose some level of risk, you may want a policy that can offer the protection you need in case you’re injured. For example, if you are planning a ski trip and just buy a standard travel insurance policy, it probably won’t pay out if you get injured skiing. Instead, you’ll want to look into a policy that specifically caters to injuries sustained from winter sports.
A current health condition might not be covered under travel insurance, but some policies can pay out if you develop an illness or condition that leaves you unable to travel. Additionally, even if you are in good health, you may want to look into a policy that will pay out if you need emergency medical or dental care while you’re on your trip.
There may be certain elements to a travel insurance policy that you just have to have, but may not be included automatically with every travel insurance policy. For example, if you’re worried that an emergency may arise and you’ll be forced to cancel your trip, you may want to look into a policy that offers this level of protection. If you’ve always been unlucky when it comes to your checked luggage, opt for a policy that pays out (up to a certain amount) for delayed or lost baggage. If you’re over 65 and have a health condition, you may need a special travel insurance policy. These are just a few examples of things to consider, so once you’ve covered the basics, you’ll also want to make a list of your must-haves when it comes to travel insurance.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, legal, or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.