Why You Need Travel Insurance, and How It Works

If you’re reading this, it means that someone in your life – a parent, a professor, a school administrator – has told you that you need to think about getting travel insurance for your upcoming academic adventure. You’re probably wrapped up in the other preparations you need to make, and you may be thinking, “Why should I worry about this when I could be checking off one of the million other things I have to do?” The fact is, getting travel insurance could be one of the most important things you do to prepare for studying abroad. Here are the top five reasons students need travel insurance.

  1. You might get sick. Ordinarily, we might choose to just ignore the illness and go about our day. But when you’re in a foreign country, what happens if you get more than the average cold? A bad case of bronchitis, food poisoning or an injury like a broken leg could send you to the hospital. You or your parents might end up with an expensive bill to pay. If your school doesn’t cover your medical costs while you’re traveling outside of your home state, then you’ll probably need a travel insurance policy with medical coverage to cover you for any significant care you receive. Even more importantly, what if you were ill enough or injured to the point that you might need to be evacuated to a different hospital for better medical care? Travel insurance with emergency medical evacuation benefits would not only help with those arrangements, but save you and your family from bills that would probably cost more than your entire college tuition.
  1. You might get HOMEsick. Oh, sure, you’re excited for the upcoming trip, and you probably can’t imagine that once you’re there, you’d want to leave. But no matter how excited you are, spending a long time away isn’t for everyone. Some people do get to their host countries and have a change of heart. Without travel insurance, you’d have to either stay – no matter how miserable you might be – or risk coming home and losing all the money you and your family paid for your tuition and study abroad expenses. Travel insurance plans from InsureMyTrip for Education are specially designed to offer “Interruption for Any Reason” Coverage (IFAR, which may not be available for every traveler). That means you could decide to come home at any time, and your travel insurance company would pay back up to 75% of your unused costs, with up to $5,000 in reimbursement for tuition.
  1. You might become concerned for your safety. You’ve probably seen reports online about civil unrest, political uprisings, riots and protests in countries around the world. Chances are, you won’t encounter one of those – but if you did, having the right travel insurance policy could help you stay safe. The insurance plans that you or your school can purchase from InsureMyTrip for Education will help to cover the costs of cutting your study abroad experience short if it starts to seem as though you’re no longer in a safe environment.
  1. You might lose some of your belongings, or have something stolen. Chances are, you’ll be taking some important items with you on your trip – maybe a phone, computer or tablet, and of course all the clothing and personal items you want to have while you’re away. Whether your luggage gets lost during travel or something gets lost or stolen during your stay, it’s nice to know that you could get some financial assistance in replacing it. Travel insurance can help you pay for replacement items, up to a certain dollar amount. Just be forewarned that there’s something called a “per-article limit,” which tells you the maximum amount of money the insurance company would reimburse you for any one thing. Very expensive items like laptops are probably going to be worth much more than the per-article limit, so you might need to find out about getting additional insurance on those.
  1. You might be required to have travel insurance. Whether you’re convinced you need it or not, your school or destination (like Cuba) may have a requirement that everyone needs to get insurance. Make sure you talk to the trip coordinator at your school to find out what the specifics are; often, there will be a group policy that the school arranges for, and you just have to sign up to be a part of it. Other times, your school may let you choose your travel insurance policy, but they might have a certain company that they recommend.

Written by on 4/14/15.
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