Is a travel insurance really necessary?
Traveling is expensive enough, isn't it? The costs of airline tickets, cruises, hotels, land transport, food and activities and entertainment are already high enough. I don't know how you are, but I work hard for my money, and when I travel, I want to keep as much of my money as possible in MY pocket. Is travel insurance a necessity or a luxury? Why not cut a few corners here and there. Why buy something when it is not really necessary?
My personal answer, of course, is that I am not independently wealthy and cannot withstand the potential financial losses that I would suffer if I needed medical care while traveling. Not being independently rich also means that I am looking for adequate but cheap travel insurance. I suspect that you are in the same position, so you also need cheap travel insurance. If you are still unsure, consider the following.
Did you know that if you fall ill or get injured during your trip abroad, your medical plan may not cover all the costs you incur? If the treatment costs are higher than the limits of your medical plan, you are responsible for the difference, unless you have already purchased travel insurance. In some countries you cannot even be admitted to hospitals without proof that you have health insurance or medical insurance.
This applies to everyone, regardless of age or duration abroad. Suppose you fall ill just a few hours after arriving at your destination. Or imagine that you are taking a day trip to another country and that you are injured in a traffic accident. Or suppose that one of your children is part of a group that makes a class visit abroad, receives food poisoning and requires hospitalization. In all cases, without adequate travel insurance, you are responsible for the costs above and beyond the limitations of your existing medical plan.
That is why you must ensure that, before you go abroad, you are sufficiently covered by medical travel insurance that will not exceed your budget. You must check whether the correct coverage is already available to you through your medical plan, staff benefits or even through a credit card. If the coverage is sufficient for your needs, you can enjoy your trip without the extra costs of travel insurance. However, if you are unsure of your coverage, or if your coverage is inadequate or does not exist, then your next step is to investigate and purchase the travel insurance coverage you need.
How much can you expect to pay?
When I bought my first plane ticket to China a few years ago, it cost about $ 2000 return and my travel insurance cost me more than $ 500 because I wasn't looking for cheap travel insurance online.
A few years later, a little older and wiser, and my travel insurance for another trip to China cost me much less – around $ 300 for about the same coverage. The difference? Before I bought my travel insurance for the second trip, I shopped online and got the coverage I needed at the right price. If I had bought my travel insurance for this last trip from my travel agent, it would have cost me about $ 600 for the trip, and my plane tickets cost just $ 1500! Not exactly the smart way to go.
So how much will it cost you? Not as much money as it costs you if you get sick or injured abroad and you have no travel insurance! That is the obvious answer to the question.
How much the costs of a travel insurance depend on depends on your age and the type of coverage you choose. Basic policies cost only $ 5.50 USD per $ 1000 coverage. On the other hand, you can expect that a full coverage policy will cost you 7 to 10% of the cost of your trip, depending on your age. The older you are, the more you pay. Regardless of the cost of the policy, it is however much lower than the cost of medical evacuation!
The good news is that you can easily, easily and quickly research excellent but cheap online travel insurance policies and reduce costs while you make an informed purchase. This is much better than taking what you are offered at the travel agency, because you can choose from hundreds of travel insurance companies and policies and save yourself a lot of money. A place to start your search is at Travel Insurance Central, (http://www.travel-insurance-central.com)
What to look out for when buying travel insurance
To help you with your research, here are some suggestions to help you make an informed purchase.
1. Consider the worst-case scenario. If you can resist the worst-case scenario financially, you may not need travel insurance or you do not need an extensive policy.
2. Ensure that the policy you are considering offers adequate medical / dental coverage, including coverage for medical evacuation in case you need medical care in a place where the best available treatment is below the standards that you are used to in your country. This can happen if you fall ill in a developing country or even on a cruise ship.
3. Check your existing insurance policies for possible coverage. It makes no sense to pay more for what you already have in your homeowner or tenant policy, such as theft and loss cover.
4. If you are a frequent traveler, you should consider travel insurance for the whole year or the whole year. Sometimes they are called multi-trip travel insurance. Whatever the name, these policies can be relatively inexpensive compared to some travel insurance policies.
5. Know what you are buying so read the fine print. Make sure you understand what the company considers a legitimate reason for cancellation or interruption. If the list is too restrictive, you may need to consider a different policy.
6. Do not limit yourself to only purchasing from your travel agent. He / she will probably only have one product (s) available from a company, and it's there for your convenience, but that convenience can be quite expensive!
7. Ask a lot of questions about coverage. Play the "what if" game. Ask for a clear explanation of the terminology. Make sure that you and the travel insurance company speak the same language.
8. Do not purchase the insurance through your transport provider. If the airline goes bankrupt, how adequate is your insurance?
Once you have purchased your travel insurance
Remember that your travel insurance covers you between certain specific dates, so do not start your trip or extend your trip without first adjusting the coverage dates on your travel insurance. Of course this might cost you extra, but that's cheaper than finding yourself without coverage when you need it the most.
It is also almost self-evident that you must take your travel insurance with you when you go abroad. You cannot consult the policy if it is at your desk at home. Take the free telephone number for assistance and other contact details of your travel insurance company with you wherever you go. It doesn't hurt you if you get sick or injured and the necessary policy information is in your hotel room. It is also a good idea to bring your regular medical coverage cards and information.
I hope these tips will help you with the best travel insurance for you. Then take your journey with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you are insured by the right travel insurance for the right price. Good trip!