Is travelers insurance necessary for every trip you take? When is it a good idea to purchase travelers insurance? Where are the gaps in your current policy when traveling abroad?
We’re answering the most common travelers insurance questions to ensure you fully prepared and knowledgable before you take your next trip.
What is travel insurance?
It’s emergency care when things unexpectedly go wrong. Depending on the policy you buy, it can be there for when your luggage is lost by the airline, get sick overseas or need to cancel or cut your trip short because of an emergency. It’s designed to be there for accidents (both health and non-health related) and unexpected events you never thought could happen to you.
Won’t my regular insurance cover me abroad?
Not completely. Depending on your current plan, there may be gaps in coverage while abroad. For Medicare, there is no coverage abroad.
How does the insurance actually work?
If it’s a major medical emergency needing overnight hospitalization, then you (or someone else) would contact the emergency assistance team and they can help make arrangements and approve costs. For all other situations, including day admission to hospital, you need to claim reimbursement from your insurer. You pay out of pocket and then submit documentation to the insurance company after for reimbursement. Be sure to keep all documentation, file any necessary police reports, and save all receipts!
Are pre-existing conditions covered?
This is dependent on your plan, so be sure to read the fine print when choosing a plan. Many plans offer a waiver that removes the pre-existing condition exclusion.
To be covered, you should: buy your plan soon after your first trip payment, insure for the full trip cost, and be medically cleared for travel at the time of purchase.
What does travel insurance cost?
Plans typically cost 4-10% of your total pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost.
Basic plans can be very budget-minded at less than 4%, and premium vacation plans can be over 12%. Travel medical plan prices are determined by the length of the trip, age of travelers, pre-existing conditions, and various add-on options. Vacation packages, specifically for trip cancellations, emergency evacuations and loss of baggage, are also dependent on the total cost of the trip.
Travel medical plans can be as low as dollars per day.
When is it too late to buy travel insurance?
Travel insurance can be purchased up until the day of departure in most cases. However, it is best to buy plans earlier rather than later if you would like to maximize the period of cancellation coverage and be eligible for pre-existing condition coverage and hurricane coverage.
Are you in the process of planning a trip? Discover destination health profiles, local clinics in the area and compare plan coverages and costs with our trusted partner provider, GeoBlue Travel Medical Insurance.