While traveling, insurance can prove as important as a passport or a plane ticket. If your trip suddenly turns into a nightmare, you might get stuck with a huge bill for medical, legal, or other expenses. So, no matter how tight your travel budget is getting a travel insurance plan that covers all of the necessary bases is a must. Here is a checklist to help you make the most important travel decision, besides choosing where to go, of course!
Does the policy cover all planned destinations?
It might be easy to answer this question if you are traveling to only one destination. However, if you are traveling to multiple destinations and having stopovers, it’s crucial to check if your policy covers all of them. Some countries, such as Cuba, might not be covered in standard policies due to State Department Regulation or other restrictions. Lastly, make sure to check citizenship - legal resident, non-resident alien, etc. and state requirements for policy options available to you.
Does the insurance cover all my valuables and how much?
Many travelers think that travel insurance covers all their valuables, but that’s not always the case. In most policies, laptops, cameras, jewelry, etc. are excluded if they are not on you. If you leave any of these or similar items at the hotel, they might not be covered by your insurance policy. Another thing to keep in mind is how much you are insured for by the policy and if that will be enough to cover all the belongings you are planning to take with you.
Will I get coverage for sports/activities related injuries?
If you love to challenge yourself during trips with activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving, heli-skiing, etc. you might need to find a first-class insurance policy that covers potential injuries. These activities are typically not covered because they carry an increased potential for injury or loss. The list of dangerous sports that are not covered under the policy is different for each insurer, so make sure you do your homework.
Do I need “cancel for any reason” coverage?
This option is usually available as an upgrade to comprehensive travel insurance plans. It’s a great option for travelers who might want to cancel their trip for reasons not covered in their base plan *cough* pandemic that halts travel for several months *cough*. This add-on usually allows you to get reimbursements for prepaid and non-refundable trip payments and deposits, up to the maximum limit, and under certain criteria.
What is not covered in the insurance policy?
Lastly, make sure you take the time to read and understand the Product Disclosure Statement to get a thorough understanding of your insurance coverage. Make note of events or items that are not included in your policy and if you don’t understand a clause, email or call your insurer so you can go on your vacation worry-free.
Many travelers don’t buy travel insurance because they don’t think an accident will happen to them. But the pandemic we are living through shows that accidents and health problems can arise at any moment and to the best of people. That’s why it's important to choose a good insurance plan that will have your back no matter what.
What are your tips for choosing travel insurance? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Selma is currently studying Business Administration and Global Studies at Hood College. While she was always passionate about traveling, she caught the travel bug through Semester at Sea, a study abroad program. So far, she has visited four continents and 30 countries, mostly in Europe and Asia.