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It’s time to travel again, but before you go, let’s talk about travel insurance. There are many reasons why it is a good idea to get travel insurance before you leave the country or even your city. For starters, if something happens while you are traveling and you need medical attention that exceeds what is covered by your health care plan at home (or doesn’t exist in the region) then medical evacuation could be an option for getting treatment back home quickly.
Medical evacuations can cost tens of thousands of dollars depending on where they take place and how long they last – this type of coverage may be worth its weight in gold when it comes to protecting yourself from astronomical bills!
How to Get the Most Out of Your Travel Insurance
According to the CDC, one in five Americans is injured while on vacation. If you’re planning some adventurous activities or extreme sports on your next vacation, it’s important to find a travel insurance agency to keep you covered in the event that anything goes wrong. Even a mild vacation to an art festival one state over can turn into a financial nightmare if you trip on the sidewalk and break a bone.
On average, 56% of travelers resort to traveling without insurance as it seems fine for a short trip. What people don’t realize is how not having travel insurance and coming out of the pandemic Covid-specific travel insurance, could lead to heavy medical costs that are equivalent to the price of a new Mercedes-Benz, especially if they cross state lines or leave the country.
Travel Insurance Definition
A type of insurance that covers the travel arrangements and expenses incurred by an individual or group in case of cancellation, delays or accidents. It typically includes medical coverage for emergency evacuation back to one’s home country (often with a limit on how much is covered) as well as assistance when abroad such as repatriation of remains.
Travel Insurance Explained
If your trip has been canceled due to natural disasters, terrorism threats, civil unrests like protests, strikes, or riots then it’s likely time to start looking at travel plans again: these types of events could qualify for “cancel for any reason” policies which offer partial reimbursement if your plans change and you have to cancel a trip. There are also other types of travel insurance such as “cancel for specific reason” policies that cover cancellations due to injury, illness, or some other unforeseen event.
What Travel Insurance Covers
No one likes to think about the worst when you’re planning a holiday that’s for the journey back when you’re thinking about the stack of papers that need dealing with on Monday when you’re back in the office.
Sadly, there are hundreds of things that could go wrong when you’re on your travels around the world. And away from home is the last place you want to be when things start to go wrong. Unfamiliar surroundings can make a bad situation considerably worse, but having appropriate global travel insurance can really lighten the load.
I never thought it would happen to me is a phrase you hear a lot in my trade fortunately the types who say it to me are the types who took the smart decision to buy global travel insurance anyway. You can never be too sure, and for that reason here are 5 scenarios when your UK travel insurance company would swoop in to save the day wherever you are in the world:
You have to cancel your vacation for a death in the family
No one can accurately predict when a loved one will pass away, and with holidays booked months in advance, it’s no wonder that the unexpected often occurs and a family is forced to cancel or delay their vacation plans. If you don’t have travel insurance though, the losses will be firmly for you to soak up. With global travel insurance, the provider should reimburse you the costs involved so you can rebook at a more appropriate juncture.
Your daughter is hospitalized after a nasty fall abroad
A child playing in unfamiliar surroundings is often a recipe for trouble. If your daughter were to fall and break bones while on your holiday, a timely and expensive visit to the local hospital will be on the cards. While everyone would be happy to pay for their daughter’s recovery, it is always easier if your UK travel insurance company is on hand to foot the bill leaving you with more cash to sightsee when your daughter is able.
Your holiday apartment is broken into and your valuables are stolen
There’s no disguising the fact that affluent vacationers are an obvious target for crime, and holiday apartments often contain rich pickings for burglars. If your possessions are stolen while you’re out enjoying the sunshine then it can ruin a holiday fortunately, appropriate travel insurance can save the day by replacing or reimbursing you for the items stolen.
You injure a complete stranger by accident
Suppose you’re minding your own business by your hotel’s swimming pool, when you bump into someone, causing them to slip and break their arm. Without travel insurance, you could be held liable to pay damages including their hospital fees. With travel insurance, your personal liability cover will pay for their medical expenses.
Your business future is in jeopardy after you fall ill
Picture the scene: You’re representing the company on some urgent business abroad, and suddenly you fall terribly ill. The company’s future is at stake! Fortunately, your travel insurance company can save the day by paying for an early return home for you, with a business associate taking your place. They’ll pay the travel and accommodation expenses, to boot.
Sure, I understand that the majority of people have a wonderful time on their holidays and don’t encounter any of these problems I mean they’re not the kind of thing that happens to you every day. But they do happen I’ve seen the claims to prove it! And those are just the stories from the people who have bought global travel insurance: I can’t prove it, but I suspect the number of people who wish they had bought travel insurance for the peace of mind it offers must be a significant figure.
Travel Insurance Benefits
When you choose to travel, you take the risk of lost luggage, flight cancellations, reservation cancellations, theft, and many other situations which may cause anxiety. Planning a vacation is stressful enough without having to worry about something going horribly wrong. Purchasing travel insurance will ensure that you are compensated if anything goes wrong on your trip. When trying to determine whether or not to purchase travel insurance, keep in mind the points listed below which may make your decision much easier.
Many forms of travel insurance will cover you in the following areas:
- Medical Emergencies Travel insurance will provide you with financial help should you encounter a medical emergency while traveling. If you become ill or are injured while on vacation, your travel insurance will provide you coverage in both situations.
- Cancellations or Delays If for any reason (beyond your control) your trip is canceled or delayed your travel insurance will provide you with financial coverage. This includes coverage if your airline goes bankrupt or out of service. Your travel insurance will either compensate you for the money you lost or provide you with new means of transportation.
- Theft If anything belonging to you is stolen while you are on vacation, your travel insurance will provide you with financial assistance to replace the items which were stolen.
- Damage or Loss of Personal Property This is likely to happen while on vacation. If your luggage is lost or damaged while on vacation, your travel insurance will definitely cover at least some percentage of the property that is missing. Depending on the insurance plan, it may financially cover all the items that are missing.
- Lost Passport If you lose your passport or it is stolen while you are on vacation, travel insurance will provide you with the means to get a temporary one. Your travel insurance company will inform you on how to get in contact with your country’s embassy so that you can arrange to receive a temporary passport.
Travel Insurance Disadvantages
Travel insurance can be expensive, especially if you’re traveling to a remote location. However travel insurance companies are increasingly offering deals for people who plan their trips carefully and don’t take unnecessary risks such as bungee jumping or white water rafting in the Amazon jungle. They do this by assessing your risk before they offer you coverage at any price point.
Travel Insurance International
Until more countries open up their borders from the COVID-19 pandemic, this isn’t a huge issue, but let me talk a bit about the pre-covid travel situation. It won’t have changed that much in the “Terrible Ten” list we have.
The foreign and commonwealth office draws up an extensive list of countries that should not be traveled to quite regularly, and is from that, that our, and other global travel insurance providers, underwriters decide which countries travel insurance should be provided for. We look at the government travel advice and decide from that whether or not we can provide insurance to travelers.
Although global travel insurance does, by its nature, cover the majority of the world, the current climate ensures that there are some places where the likelihood of incident means that UK travel insurance providers are unable to offer protection. Thankfully, the list is clear of the majority of popular holiday destinations, and you’re unlikely to have your big holiday plans affected. The most likely group to have their travel plans altered by the foreign offices’ travel advice are business travelers.
The foreign offices travel advice is not to travel to the following countries, even if it means losing business the risk from the warzones listed below is just too great to make the reward worth the danger:
Here are our top 10 countries to avoid traveling to, and the reasons for the high-risk factor! The risk is far from conclusive (the foreign offices travel advice lists many more countries), but to me, these are the ones that all travelers should avoid like the plague:
Economic hardship in Liberia is currently making outbreaks of violence common, and foreigners (especially westerners) are at risk targets due to their affluence. This extra likelihood of incident ensures that no UK travel insurance provider would risk offering you cover if you choose to visit Liberia
Occasional acts of terrorism and political violence in urban areas make Nepal off-limits for those who want to get travel insurance. In September this year, three nearly simultaneous bombs went off in the capital of Kathmandu, killing 3 and injuring many innocent bystanders.
Haiti is considered off-limits to many travelers on account of the high risk of kidnappings and civil unrest that is prominent. At the time of writing, there have been 12 kidnappings of American travelers in 2007 mostly criminal in nature. In the past, these kidnappings have ended in physical and sexual assaults and shootings. The potential for spontaneous protests and demonstrations has also been known to result in unexpected violence, day or night. It’s no surprise that the government’s travel advice is not to travel here!
Due to the high levels of terrorist activity in Yemen, westerners are advised to steer clear of Yemen. If this is not possible, then all travelers are encouraged to stay vigilant and to keep a low profile to avoid attacks or kidnapping. The situation is so grave that the US Embassy often restricts American citizens from certain hotels, restaurants, and shopping areas.
The Gaza Strip and West Bank have seen immense violence in recent months between Israeli and Palestinian factions, and shootings, kidnappings, and violent demonstrations have occurred in each. The region’s continued instability makes travel to Israel widely recommended against the risk of abduction or worse makes travel insurance impossible to obtain.
5) the Democratic Republic of Congo
The democratic republic of Congo remains one of the most dangerous places to travel in Africa, where violence, neglect, and corruption have left the country distinctly damaged. Fighting erupted in the streets of Kinshasa in March this year, and the situation remains volatile despite the immediate threat of violence calming down. Travel outside of Kinshasa is difficult and dangerous with security, especially in the north and easy, being unstable. Any traveler brave enough to travel to the Congo should be extremely cautious, avoid the North Kivu district which is the backdrop to armed conflict between government troops and army rebels, avoid crowds and keep a close eye on local media.
4) Burma (Myanmar)
While the human rights situation makes Myanmar an ethically uneasy place to visit, currently there is a lot of personal risks involved as well. Throughout September, the anti-government protests sparked a violent crackdown from the authorities and made international headlines. Although the dusk-til-dawn curfew imposed in some of the towns has been lifted, it still remains an uncertain time to visit the country, and you’re unlikely to find any global travel insurance company that will insure you.
Colombia remains one of the most dangerous places to travel in the world thanks to the crime the country suffers from. The illicit drug trade in urban areas such as Cali and Buenaventura means that there is often a high risk of violence, while the more rural areas expose visitors to the country at risk from narcoterrorist groups who will often kidnap civilians to use for ransom or to gain media attention. Naturally, UK travel insurance companies are loathed to insure travelers who choose to ignore these warnings and travel to Colombia anyway.
With the war on terror in Afghanistan still fresh in the mind, it’s no surprise that the country remains a big no-go area. Western tourists are obvious kidnap and assassination targets, as many of the disbanded Taliban and Al-Qaida forces remain at large and hostile to the new regime. Additionally, the country remains unsafe due to tribal groups, explosive devices, landmines, military operations, and acts of terrorism. Unsurprisingly, the government’s travel advice is to avoid traveling here at all costs!
Given the high profile nature of western kidnappings by various insurgent groups and the regular acts of terrorism and hostility to Western troops, it is no surprise that no travel insurance companies will insure travelers to the troubled country. The instability is caused by various groups of Baath regime remnants, transnational terrorists, and criminal elements that have been known to attack convoys en route to venues, hotels, restaurants, checkpoints, and police stations.
While vacationers are unlikely to be affected by these less touristy locations, their riskiness means that business travellers will have to forgo their travel insurance if they are unable to cancel their trips.
Travel Insurance Just For Flights
Some travel insurance providers like Atlas offer coverage for just the flight portion of your trip. This means that if something goes wrong with your international flight before it even takes off, you’ll be covered and won’t have to worry about coming up with another way home.
Travel Insurance Policy
So how much will it cost you? Not as much money as it will cost you if you get sick or injured abroad and you don’t have any travel insurance coverage! That’s the obvious answer to the question.
In fact, how much travel insurance costs will depend on your age and the type of coverage you choose. Basic policies cost as little as $5.50 USD per $1000 of coverage. On the other hand, you can expect a full coverage policy to cost you from 7 to 10% of the cost of your trip, depending on your age. The older you are, the more you will pay. No matter what the cost of the policy, however, it’s sure to be much less than the cost of medical evacuation!
The good news is that you can easily, conveniently, and quickly research and locate excellent but cheap online travel insurance and reduce the costs while making 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 in the process.
Travel Insurance Quote
To assist you in your research, here are some suggestions to help you make an informed purchase when looking for a quote:
1. Consider the worst-case scenario. If you can financially withstand the worst-case scenario then maybe you don’t need travel insurance or maybe you don’t need a comprehensive policy.
2. Make sure the policy you are considering provides adequate medical/dental coverage, including medical evacuation coverage just in case you need medical care in a place where the best treatment available is below the standards you are accustomed 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. There is no sense in paying more for what you already have in your homeowner or tenant policy, such as theft and loss coverage.
4. If you are a frequent traveler, you should consider annual or year-round travel insurance policies. Sometimes they are called multi-trip travel insurance policies. Whatever the name, these policies can be relatively cheap when compared to single-trip travel insurance policies.
5. Know what you are buying, so read the fine print. Make sure that you understand what the company considers to be a legitimate reason for cancellation or interruption. If the list is too restrictive, maybe you should consider another policy.
6. Don’t restrict yourself to buying only from your travel agent. He/She will probably only have one company’s product(s) available, and it’s there for your convenience, but that convenience can be quite costly!
7. Ask lots of questions about the coverage. Play the “what if” game. Ask for clear explanations of terminology. Make sure that you and the travel insurance company are speaking the same language.
8. Don’t buy the insurance through your transportation provider. If the airline goes bankrupt, how adequate will your insurance coverage be?
Travel Insurance For Pre Existing conditions
If you have a pre existing condition, travel insurance is still a good idea. Most companies will cover medical costs for up to three months before your trip and offer coverage for any illness or injury that could happen during your time away from home.
Some people mistakenly think that their home medical insurance policy will cover all costs wherever they are in the world. They may find that that it doesn’t cover at all, or the deductions will be much higher or perhaps their medical costs are covered but not any related transport costs.
You may be on a cruise and you need some medical attention from the ship’s doctor. There is a good chance that their services are charged for as with any other doctor. You may have to be flown home on a stretcher and this will involve blocking out nine seats, can you imagine how much that would cost. You should make sure that you have travel insurance of at least $10,000 or more to cover these emergencies. Let’s imagine you are in a remote area and you break a leg and you need to be lifted out by a helicopter, this is what good travel insurance is all about.
Can Travel Insurance Be Refunded?
If you cancel your trip for any reason, most travel insurance will refund the unused portion of your policy. For more details about how much coverage is lost in a cancellation or change to an existing reservation, please contact their customer service team before purchasing.
Can Travel Insurance Be Cancelled?
If you are purchasing travel insurance, there is often a limited time period to cancel for a refund. This also varies depending on the provider and any special circumstances that might be present in your situation. Check with our customer service team before buying if this is important to know.
Can Travel Insurance Be Transferred?
Travel insurance is generally not transferable. This means that the person on your policy must travel for coverage to take effect. If you have a family member or friend who will be traveling with you, please make sure they are added to the policy as an additional insured before making any plans.
Finally, some travel insurance savings tips
-> Don’t accept the first package you’re offered. Travel insurance policies can vary by over 100% for similar coverage. By doing a little legwork, you could save a lot of money.
-> Don’t feel pressured into buying a policy from your travel agent. Although you may save a little time by buying your policy through your travel agent, it is unlikely you’ll get your policy at the best price.
-> If you are a frequent traveler consider purchasing an annual policy. If you plan to take more than one trip this year, buying an annual policy instead of a single trip policy could save you both time and money.
Before you leave, get emergency medical travel insurance quotes from competing insurers online and get the coverage you need. Compare emergency medical travel insurance today!