What are the Travel Insurance "Must Knows"?

Last updated on 08/17/2018

Travel Insurance is a smart investment for many people, but it can be confusing if you have never purchased a plan before or still unfamiliar with its nuances. Below you’ll find high level information about travel insurance, why it is important for every traveler, and how to stay prepared in case you do need to use the coverage.

How Does Travel Insurance Work?

Unlike home insurance or car insurance, travel insurance is purchased on a need basis for either individual trips or an annual term. The most popular type of travel insurance is a comprehensive plan which will provide a level of coverage for trip concerns, like trip cancellation or travel delay - and for emergency medical care.

What is the Purpose of Travel Insurance?

Simple: to protect a financial investment in travel and one’s self from expensive emergency medical bills. While travel insurance cannot prevent travel mishaps, it can assist travelers in paying for or being reimbursed for unexpected changes in travel plans or emergency medical care - including evacuation costs, if needed.

What to Expect When Purchasing Travel Insurance

Depending on where you purchase your travel insurance plan, your experience will be very different. When you purchase a plan from a travel agent or the travel supplier (cruise line or airline), you may not be getting the right coverage for your entire trip. Purchasing a plan from a third-party comparison site allows you to review the options, compare plans and find the right plan that meets your specialized coverage needs.

How Much Should Travel Insurance Cost?

Generally, your coverage should cost 4-10% of your trip cost. The premium of a plan will range due to the level of coverage and maximum benefits available in the plan. It’s important to understand how to calculate your trip cost correctly so you do not overpay (or underpay) for a plan.

Understanding Your Travel Insurance Policy

Like homeowners or car insurance, travel insurance policies have inclusions, exclusions and time specifications you will want to be aware of before you purchase the plan. Each travel insurance plan will vary from each other, so it is important to read the policy details (or rather, certificate) upon purchasing the plan. It is available for review before purchase on the website, however we recommend buying the plan as some benefits may vary due to the state you reside in and this certificate is delivered to you digitally soon after you purchase it. Most plans will allow you a review period, with some stipulations, where you can decide whether you need the plan after reviewing it.

What is a Review Period?

Most travel insurance companies allow up to 10 days to review a plan you have purchased. Essentially, this is grace period that allows you to read through the policy and decide if you purchased the right level of coverage. During this time you can cancel your policy, if you don’t think it’s necessary, or make adjustments to it to scale your benefits up or down.

Avoiding Travel Insurance Claims Issues

One of the biggest reasons travelers become dissatisfied with travel insurance is due to issues with filing a claim. Before you travel it’s important to know exactly what you need in case filing a claim is necessary. We recommend keeping all your receipts, having your policy number handy and keeping the correct phone numbers for your travel insurance company close by. This will help reduce frustrations during a claim process.