What Is The Best Travel Insurance To Buy?

What Is The Best Travel Insurance To Buy - Contract

The prevailing COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the position that any traveller needs to buy travel insurance to ensure that he has the necessary and appropriate protection against unforeseen events, including health emergencies, travel cancellations and vehicle accidents and many more. The question is: What is the best travel insurance to buy?

The choice for an appropriate travel insurance can vary from person-to-person depending on a whole host of factors. However, some key elements need to be considered in such a choice as part of your preparations to ensure you have an enjoyable trip. Here are the more important ones.

Appropriate Medical & Dental Emergency Coverage

You need to be aware of what medical or dental emergencies your travel insurance policy covers. In some countries, some insurance policies may not protect all medical events. Know and understand as many details as you can of the insurance policy.

You want to make sure that any medical emergency is covered. You do not wish to find during a medical event that your situation is not included in the coverage. Even something as simple as a cut can entail a trip to the doctor, and the last thing you want is to neglect it and make it worse.

Besides, if you are ill, wounded, or in any other situation which holds you in your holiday destination and prevents you from flying home, your travel insurance may reimburse you for any emergency accommodation until you can leave.

What Is The Best Travel Insurance To Buy - Emergency Vehicles

Every travel insurance policy is different, and what’s covered depends on how much you’re willing to pay. Typical medical services that you can expect to be covered include:

  • Emergency hospital and medical costs
  • Ambulance and air ambulance costs (and any medical escort that may be required)
  • Outpatient services
  • Physician and laboratory costs
  • Prescription drugs
  • Direct payment to the hospitals and doctors caring for you
  • Assistance with bringing a family member to your bedside
  • Air ambulance or commercial repatriation home
  • Return of your vehicle if you are ill and need to come home
  • Repatriation in case of death

In addition to medical emergencies, you also need to review the policy provisions regarding dental emergencies. If you fly, you are as apt as you are home to lose a tooth in an evil spill. Only imagine how, as little as a chipped tooth, it will be unpleasant if you need to wait until bet back home for treatment.

You may also want to check the coverage of preexisting medical conditions. According to the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers, a preexisting condition is “something that happened (or started to happen) before you were insured.”

Some policies may cover claims relating to preexisting conditions that are “stable and controlled” but read the definitions carefully. If you don’t declare a condition, the entire policy could be invalidated!

Coverage in Distant Areas

As part of your travel planning and preparations, you also need to think whether the medical facilities in the country or region you are visiting are accessible to you when you venture out to a remote part of such a country? If you are in an accident or experience a sudden illness while in a remote part of the country, you may have to take airlifts to a hospital in the central city. And the cost of an ambulance medivac may go up to thousands.

What Is The Best Travel Insurance To Buy - Emergency Helicopter

In the case of Canadian citizens or permanent residents, you need to check what your provincial insurance cover in cases of out-of-province or out-of-country trips concerning medical expenses.

Foreign hospitals can be extremely expensive and may demand payment before treating you and that they may require that you have appropriate insurance coverage. Provincial and territorial governments recommend buying extra travel insurance to cover any uninsured health care services that may crop up during your trip.  For example, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long Term Care, for example, has certain guidelines for out of country medical services.

Trip Cancellations, Interruption, Schedule Changes

Flight cancellations or reschedule can wreak havoc on travel plans that are best made. Pandemic (such as the prevailing COVID-19 situation), climate, technical issues and strikes can result in you missing your connecting flight or failing to even get off the ground first.

Another scenario can be that you, your travel partner, or a family member cannot travel because of sickness, death, layoff, or a list of other acceptable reasons. Or your tour company or the airline you plan to use for the trip goes out of business or can’t perform as promised.

Not being left out of the bank is an incentive to buy travel insurance to cover these costs, but before you even start, you won’t be over budget

Replacement of Lost or Stolen Luggage

Sadly, it’s not unusual to lose your baggage and objects or have them robbed, when away from home. Maybe you’re gazing at the nearby sights and come back to find a lost backpack or suitcase.

What is the cost of replacing all? Even if you’re flying small, the price may be high. For example, you might have to pay to renew your passport and other travel documents or buy a new set of clothes inside your lost luggage. For these costs, travel insurance will repay you.

What Is The Best Travel Insurance To Buy - Lost Luggage

Adventurous Activities

Many insurance policies do not provide coverage for what they would define as “risky” activities. Examples can include skiing or snowboarding “out of bounds,” skydiving, scuba diving, white-water rafting, mountaineering, or participation in any rodeo activity.

Look at your planned activities. If they include certain “high-risk” events on your trip, we recommend that you ask and get specifics before you lock in on insurance coverage. You may need to shell out extra, but it may be worth it for peace of mind

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

The coverage amount is dependent on a myriad of factors; one of them would be the degree of your risk aversion. However, securing a policy with a minimum of $1M maximum payable is generally a safe bet.

Notwithstanding, do not look purely at the numbers when choosing and deciding on a travel insurance coverage. We recommend that you read the fine prints of the policy. Every insurer has a list of situations, otherwise known as “exclusions,” for which the policy will not provide coverage.

Final Thoughts

Buying travel insurance may be overwhelming at first look since it will involve additional expense to add to what may be a tight travel budget. However, in our view, the need for prudence outweighs this.

The prevailing COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the whole travel industry and amplified the importance of travel insurance. Different variables can influence the choice of appropriate travel insurance. But the bottom line is that travel insurance is a need rather than a want. You have to choose the right one for you.

If you have experiences and insights or any questions related to this topic, please share us your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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(10) Comments

  1. Smoochi

    I would first like to mention that this is a helpful post and i am very sure that the content of your superb article will be of much help to a lot of people, just as it has greatly helped me. very good article on the best travel insurance to buy. i am certain that it has become an important thing for

    1. JRandZen

      Thank you for your comments and we are glad that you found our article very helpful. We are curious to know which item greatly resonated with you.  Would you be comfortable sharing your experience with our other readers?

  2. Riley

    I love to travel, I mean, I’m a very big traveller and I was already planning a visit to another European country before this pandemic broke. The thought of probably being held up in another man’s land made me decided that I need a travel insurance just in case anything happens. Your tips are very good. There health should be covered and lost luggages too. Those are very important points. Glad to read this. Thanks!

    1. JRandZen

      Thank you for your comments.  We always think of emergency health care and lost luggage as things that one needs to have insurance coverage during travels.  Indeed, this pandemic has brought travel to a halt.  But looking to the time when things are back to normal,  we definitely consider it a good time to start necessary due diligence on what insurance to get when it is time to get one.

      Europe is definitely one of our favourites as well.  Which particular European country were you eyeing?

  3. Angela

    Yes! I definitely agree with you on this one. Adding the offer of a travel insurance may seem like wasted money but definitely, it is needed especially at a time like this where the whole world is suffering from a pandemic. Also, knowing that there is a bit more of insurance thats protecting one’s life and properties while on a sojourn generally is a great feeling and thank you for sharing here.

    1. JRandZen

      Getting travel insurance was likewise not part of our mindset earlier, particularly during our younger days.  However, we soon realized the importance of one.  And surely, the current COVID-19 pandemic has once again highlighted the criticality of having travel insurance coverage.  

      Thank you for your insights.

  4. Paul

    Good article about what type of travel insurance to buy. I actually don’t think many people even think about travel insurance? They are too busy and excited to go on vacation that they do not even think about the risks. I had traveled to Aruba back in 2001 when I graduated from High School, I didn’t buy any travel insurance. While in Aruba, I had gotten a real bad tooth ace which of course turned into a massive infection! Now only moments away from an abscess, I remember on the phone with my father asking him what to do and by the grace of god, he was able to pay for me to have a local hospital prescribe me antibiotics so I cold finish my trip not in agony and the possibility of getting a massive infection and have it go septic! So great topic and great timing to speak about it with the current pandemic. If someone is stuck in the US lets say, and they are from Spain, and they had no insurance,m what would they do? Have you ever been in that type of situation before? 

    1. JRandZen

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you for sharing candidly your experience and your insights on the need for travel insurance.

      Yes, like so many of us, travel insurance was not really on our mindset earlier, particularly during our younger days, but we have come to the realization over time.

      We did have an experience similar to yours several years back.  During our first trip to the US as a family when we were still residing in Asia, our daughter had an infection and we had to bring her to a walk-in clinic.  It would have cost us a lot if we did not have insurance.

  5. David nelson

    For me, Allianz Global Assistance is the largest travel insurance company. It’s owned by Allianz SE, the world’s largest diversified insurance company. Thanks to the scale of its parent company, Allianz can offer better insurance at a lower rate I have been using them for some time i must tell you they are really good

    1. JRandZen

      Thank you for sharing your insight and experience on Allianz Global Assistance. That would be useful information for anyone checking on travel insurance requirements.

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