Tips for Buying International Travel Insurance

international travel insurance

You've purchased your airline tickets, booked the perfect hotel and just finished packing your bags for what is sure to be a memorable vacation. But very few of us think about what would happen if you were to get hurt or sick during the trip. That's why international travel insurance is key in some cases. Here are some ways to make sure you're covered when you're in a foreign land.

The Cost: When shopping around for the international travel insurance plan that best fits your needs, the lowest priced policy isn't always the best one. Compare and contrast a few offerings and see if they include the most benefits at the best rate. Also always check both the price of the policy and how much the deductible will set you back if you need to make a claim.

Cancellation Coverage: One of the main things everyone should be checking for when deciding on an international travel insurance plan is to see if they cover any losses due to a trip being cut short or canceled. While most offer cancellation coverage, some provide more reasons than others on what counts as a valid reason for nixing a trip. Since last-minute cancellations often times involve something you were not planning for, it is always wise to make sure the policy covers plenty of different reasons for canceling.

Medical Coverage: Most international travel insurance plans provide medical coverage as optional when you sign up. However many offer minimal coverage in the event of an emergency taking place while you're on the road. Travel experts will advise that everyone visiting either a foreign land known for violence or a remote destination should opt in for medical coverage. Note that you do not have to purchase medical coverage from the same company that you purchased cancellation coverage. Ask a representative if there is a special price if you purchase both from them. Also ask if your medical coverage includes emergency room visits and hospital stays. Finally, find out if your policy will cover you if a pre-existing condition is the cause of your medical emergency.

Terrorism Coverage: If you are planning to travel to a destination known for terrorism, like the Middle East, then you may want to look into terrorism coverage with your travel insurance policy. So how does this new feature work? If a travel advisory is announced by the U.S. State Department, recommending American citizens steer clear of a particular nation, some international travel insurance policies will cover fees due to your trip being canceled or cut short due to the warning. Meanwhile some other plans will cover the city in place of the entire country and reimburse you if your trip is affected in any way due to a terrorist act occurring while you are there or within a month of your arrival date.

Extras: When comparing policies for international travel insurance, find out what extras are offered with the plan. Some insurance policies will cover a stolen wallet or lost luggage, while others might assist if you find yourself in a legal issue abroad. Remember not all insurance plans are the same, so do your homework and choose wisely.

Photo by ashleyt on Flickr
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