Travel insurance is tricky. Do you buy it before leaving home? Who do you buy from? What kind of international travel insurance is available? You will probably spend days, if not weeks, researching and considering your options-at least you should be. Travel insurance is no laughing matter. You need to know what kind of coverage you want, what the terms and conditions are, and how these things will impact your family as you travel.
Let’s consider some of the pros to buying international travel insurance.
- If someone in your family gets sick, you’ll be covered.
- If there is a natural disaster, and you need to get the f-out of the country, you’ll be reimbursed.
- If a laptop, camera, or other personal item is stolen, you can file a claim, receive some or all of the cost back, and buy new ones. Peace of mind
Naturally, as with all things in life, there are cons to consider as well (this is where hours of research come in).
- Most insurance companies will deny your claim, if you don’t call them before, you receive medical, or dental care.
- Most (AMEX is an exception here) require you to pay the costs up front, and they will reimburse you. Note that if you don’t call them first for approval, your claim is void, and you will not be reimbursed.
- Some insurance companies can be a pain-in-the-arse to deal with, and have immensely annoying customer service agents.
Travel insurance can be tricky. When you’re doing research, make time to read the fine print. You don’t want to jump in with both feet, without reading the details, then find out that you’re hooped, when you really need help.
When you’re buying travel insurance, it’s important to have coverage for the following:
- Medical – This should cover doctor visits, hospital stays, ambulance services, and drugs.
- Dental – This should cover emergency dental needs. Read this clause carefully so you know what is classified as an emergency.
- Trip Cancellation – This should cover the cost of your airline tickets, and any other costs you’ve paid of front, or penalties you may incur, should your trip be cancelled.
- Lost/Damaged/Stolen Baggage & Personal Effects – Airlines loose baggage from time to time, but they rarely pay for it. This kind of coverage also covers things like stolen cameras, laptops etc.
- Evacuation – some policies will cover your travel costs, if you need to be evacuated. This may seem like something you’ll never need, until you find yourself in the middle of a political upheaval, or natural disaster, then you’ll be glad you have evacuation coverage.
Read the fine print, shop around, and compare coverage and prices. If you feel lucky, and don’t want to deal with the B.S. that can sometimes happen with insurance companies, make sure you have a slush fund account for emergencies only. Do some research into the costs for the above items, for the countries you’ll be visiting. Bare in mind, if you’re traveling in the U.S.A, I highly recommend buying the insurance. You don’t want a $200,000 medical bill!