What is Travel Insurance?
Travel or traveler’s insurance is also known as a Medical Protection Plan or International Medical Insurance. It covers medical needs when you travel outside your home country.
Health insurance plans sold in the United States have limited networks and seldom include doctors out of state. There is usually some provision for emergency treatment in a health care policy, but it seldom applies outside the country. Medicare does not cover expenses outside the country either.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Travel insurance, like any other form of insurance, provides a set amount of assistance and financial aid in the event of stated problems for a fixed premium or cost. Insurance may cover illness or accident while traveling, assistance hotlines, trip interruption, trip cancellation, and even baggage loss.
Travel insurance plans provide emergency medical treatment abroad including evacuation from remote areas to treatment centers with more robust care. Ambulance services are usually covered, as is the care you may need during transport to a facility. Some emergency dental treatments due to an accident may also be covered. If you die or are killed, your body is usually transported to a funeral home. This is called repatriation coverage. Many travel plans include some term life insurance benefits as well as accidental dismemberment allowances. Some include trip cancellation insurance. Trip cancellation will reimburse you for pre-paid deposits and payments up to the amount insured. Trip interruption covers interruptions after your trip has begun for a reason covered by your policy. Trip delay will cover delays beyond a specified time and reimbursement up to the plan limits.
Exclusions and Cautions
- If you make a claim, you will need to provide documentation for every assertion and copies of all paperwork. Please read your policy carefully.
- If you have a preexisting condition, please be extra careful about reading your policy and get a doctor’s letter that you are medically able to travel before buying your tickets.
- Mental health issues are usually excluded from coverage.
- If weather might be a factor in trip cancellation, by your travel insurance before the storm you are concerned about is named. Otherwise, you may be denied trip cancellation reimbursement.
- Travel insurance always comes with limits. Know what you are buying.
Who Needs Travel Insurance?
If you travel overseas, you will probably need traveler’s medical insurance. Most US health insurance plans do not extend outside the country. Business travelers, vacationers, and Americans traveling to multiple countries should all consider carrying this insurance. So should those studying in other countries.
How Do I get Travel Insurance?
You can compare quotes online or see a reputable insurance agent. Cruise lines and guided tours often offer policies to those booking trips through them. Frequent travelers might want annual plans while others may find a short-term plan saves them money.