Whenever you are planning to take a vacation abroad, one of the first things that you should sort out is your travel insurance. This can be a daunting prospect, especially for first time travelers, but as long as you know what you’re doing and what to look for you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the right travel insurance for you.
Why It’s Important
The question most commonly asked by those seeking travel insurance is “do I need to buy it?” The short answer to this question is ‘no’, you do not need to purchase insurance in order to travel. Given that the costs of a trip have likely already started to noticeably pile up by the time you get to the point of looking at travel insurance plans, it is understandable that many people decide to forego travel insurance in order to keep their costs down.
However, even though it might be unlikely that you will face any serious illness or injury while travelling, should this occur then you could find yourself facing a hefty medical bill. Travel insurance can’t protect you from injury, but it can protect you from the financial consequences of requiring unexpected medical help.
Even better, with travel insurance you will be able to recover some of the money that you will have spent on non-refundable items such as vehicle rental and transport tickets. It can also entitle you to compensation should your items be lost or stolen.
What Travel Insurance Usually Covers
While every travel insurance plan will be different, there are certain things that you can all but count on to be included. Obviously medical emergencies will be covered as these events are by their very nature unpredictable. No one wants to plan for such an eventuality, and yet we all should.
If you end up becoming sick or injured in such a way that you need to be transferred between medical institutions, or even between countries, then travel insurance will cover the costs of evacuating you. Without insurance, a journey back to the United States can set you back as much as $50,000.
Many of the most significant costs involved in a trip are non-refundable. Travel tickets for airlines and trains for example are often non-refundable, as are accommodation costs and the cost of any tours you have been on. Travel insurance will often ensure that you are able to recover at least a portion of these costs should you find yourself needing to unexpectedly cut your trip short.
An unfortunate risk when travelling to many parts of the world is the risk of having your possessions stolen. It is also easy for weary travelers to misplace their luggage and possessions
Things to Consider
Be sure to read very carefully through the terms and conditions of any travel insurance plan that you are considering. There are different policies to suit different levels of risk and types of holiday. If you are planning an extreme sports holiday then you will want more comprehensive coverage than on a hiking holiday, for example.
Even the best trips abroad are often as stressful as they are memorable and no amount of planning will keep you safe from every eventuality, however travel insurance will give you some protection and peace of mind.