Don’t Skip This Step: Tips for Booking Travel Insurance

When it comes to travel insurance, should you risk traveling without it or leave it to credit card to cover you in case of emergency? For us, booking travel insurance is a necessity and the thought of not having it is petrifying. Here's why ...

There is often debate among travelers over whether or not to invest in good travel insurance when going abroad: Some say they’ll “risk it,” others say their credit cards will cover them in case of emergency, and some just don’t know what travel insurance can do for them (no offense).

For us, booking travel insurance is a necessity and the thought of not having it is petrifying. As a team of digital nomads ourselves, it’s not uncommon to find us on three different continents within the span of a month.

We’ve heard horror stories of those who didn’t get travel insurance, and we’ve heard first-hand accounts from people who have had their lives saved (literally) because they had it.

Travel insurance isn’t just for covered medical emergencies – in fact, it can reimburse things like eligible food and accommodations due to covered airline delays to ski rentals in the event of lost or delayed or luggage. Benefits vary by plan, so before you board your plane, be sure to read through the Certificate of Insurance to confirm which benefits apply.

Here’s an overview of what travel insurance can cover:

Medical Emergencies and Evacuation

Booking Travel Insurance - helicopter rescue

As Americans, we know how expensive the US is for health care. One overnight stay in a hospital can cost upwards of $10,000! While other countries may have much more affordable options, what would happen if you suddenly experienced a serious, covered medical emergency, such as, severe food poisoning? The right travel insurance plan can help provide emergency medical assistance so that you can travel safe and worry-free.

That certainly wouldn’t be cheap out of pocket, and we doubt your U.S. insurance would cover it. Or, what if you had a bad fall and needed to have emergency dental treatment? Or, a pre-existing condition flared up again and you needed to urgently return home and see your primary care physician? Travel insurance can help.

Trip Cancellation

Booking Travel Insurance - plane

Imagine you have a trip planned to one of the most beautiful places in the world when suddenly you have a death in the family, or another unforeseen circumstance. Travel insurance may be able to reimburse you for non-refundable bookings and deposits.

Similarly, what would happen if you suddenly became ill mid-trip and needed to return home? In addition to covered medical expenses, travel insurance can also reimburse non-refundable payments for your hotel, planned tours and more.

Trip Delays

Booking Travel Insurance - trip delays

There’s a been a lot of discussion over the past year about passenger rights, and whether or not an airline is required to pay passengers for delays.

With travel insurance, delays and missed connections may be covered. If you’re delayed for more than 6 hours for a covered reason, travel insurance can reimburse you for eligible meals and even accommodations. What happens if you miss your connection and end up missing a cruise due to an accident or inclement weather? “Missed Connection” coverage can help with that!

Luggage Issues (Including Your Skis and Surfboard)

Booking Travel Insurance - luggage

If you’re a frequent traveler, it’s safe to say your bag has either gotten lost or delayed at least once. It’s not fun and can be expensive – especially if you’re going somewhere exotic and subsequently need to buy a completely new wardrobe! While it’s still a pain with travel insurance, at least your plan can reimburse eligible purchases for lost, stolen or even damaged baggage.

What’s amazing, is this can apply to sporting equipment, too, which, if you’ve brought your own, is quite expensive to replace. If your equipment is lost or damaged by the airline, travel insurance may reimburse you. It may also reimburse equipment rental costs should your gear be delayed for more than 12 hours (policies vary, so make sure to read yours carefully if you are investing in travel insurance specifically for a sporty trip).

Property Damage and Car Insurance

booking Travel Insurance - paris

What happens if someone breaks into your hotel room and steals your jewelry and laptop? Travel insurance can help take care of it. Now imagine you’re in Paris attempting to navigate a traffic circle for the first time and accidentally swipe another car. No worries!

Travel insurance can apply to your rental car protection, and depending on the plan purchased can provide primary coverage for damage to your rental vehicle, along with access to 24-hour emergency assistance.

Not all travel insurance policies are the same, so make sure to read through the fine print and choose one that works best for you. 

Click on the next story below to find out what, exactly, travel insurance is and what it can do for you!

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