What You Need to Know About Travel Insurance

While travel insurance comes in all shapes and sizes, some sort of coverage is a must. This can be acquired in more than one way.

Some travel credit cards will cover a number of things like baggage delay, flight delay, even rental car insurance. Keep in mind, you have to buy your plane ticket or rent your car with that credit card if you want to have the coverage.

Some health insurance plans will cover you internationally as well, so you may not need to worry about purchasing extra medical coverage, depending on the length of your trip.

These are both money-saving ways to get covered by insurance because they don’t cost you anything extra. Look over your credit card and health insurance policies to see what they include, then you can make a decision about what kind of coverage you need.

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travel insurance

Travel insurance isn’t just about baggage and flights…

What To Look For in Travel Insurance Coverage

The following will help you understand what you are paying for when you buy travel insurance. There are eight things I specifically look for when I buy my travel insurance:

1. Trip Cancellation (pre-departure) and Trip Interruption (post-departure)

If for any (covered) reason you have to cancel your trip before you leave, Trip Cancellation will cover your payments and deposits that you made pre-departure. If for any (covered) reason you cannot continue your trip after you’ve started, Trip Interruption will cover any non-refundable trip costs once you have begun your trip.

2. Travel Delay

If your travel is delayed by a certain number of hours (for a covered reason) you would be entitled to coverage for meals, accommodation if necessary, and any non-refundable and unused deposits paid.

3. Baggage Delay Coverage

This will vary by how many hours your luggage can be late before insurance kicks in. The insurance may also only cover certain items (toiletries, a change of clothing, etc) so make sure you are aware of what will be covered before you go on a shopping spree.

4. Lost Baggage Coverage

This covers the amount your luggage is worth if the airline actually loses it for good. Let’s hope you won’t need this one, but it’s great to have just in case.

5. Accidental Death (Common Carrier or Flight)

I know no one wants to think about this, but in the worst-case scenario, you will be covered if your plane, train, or bus crashes.

Just make sure to tell someone about your policy before you go…

6. Medical Evacuation

In case something happens to you and you can’t get proper medical treatment where you are, this will pay for you to get to somewhere with adequate medical care.

Things to think about when you’re traveling in developing countries.

7. Medical

Pay attention to the small print on your policy. Generally, medical coverage up to a certain amount is included for the first 30 days or so. If your trip will be longer than 30 days, you can purchase extra medical coverage. Many countries have great, affordable access to health care so you may not even need this coverage. However, you never know what could happen, and it’s only costing you a few dollars to be covered.

8. Extreme Sports

Lastly, there is sometimes an option to add extreme sports coverage (for an extra fee) to your policy. If you know you will be participating in extreme sports (sky-diving, white-water rafting, canyoning, zip-lining, etc), you may want this coverage for extra peace of mind.

Travel Planning Tip: Order a prepaid SIM card before you travel!

travel insurance

Having travel insurance gives me one less thing to worry about on a via ferrata climb.

Where To Buy Travel Insurance

Credit Card Insurance

I purchase all of my plane tickets, travel expenses, rental cars, etc., with my travel credit card for the automatic insurance that comes with it.

Health Insurance

Beyond travel medical insurance, I also have health insurance in the US. The idea is that this health insurance will “take over” if an injury or sickness occurs abroad and I get sent home. Getting treated overseas and potentially “sent home” is what is covered by travel insurance. They work together, which is why it’s important to have both.

Travel Insurance

For years I bought travel insurance through comparing plans at InsureMyTrip. I have used travel insurance from World NomadsAllianz Travel Insurance, and Safety Wing, depending on the trip/activity. Allianz has great basic policies that include options for annual travel insurance plans, which are convenient for constant nomadic travelers like me. World Nomads has great short-term adventure travel insurance plans.

With this trusted combination of insurance, I never have to opt-in to travel insurance or “trip protection” that flights, rental cars, etc. try to sell customers at the point of sale. No matter where you purchase travel insurance, the important thing is that you get covered.

Compare travel insurance plans with InsureMyTrip, or browse plans from Allianz Travel, including single trip and annual plans. Or check out SafetyWing, for nomads by nomads, which provides global travel medical coverage, or World Nomads.

travel insurance compare
annual travel insurance
Safety Wing Travel Medical Insurance

Travel Insurance Disclosure

The information above is provided for your convenience in good faith, but please do not direct your insurance questions to me, as I cannot legally advise you.

Travel insurance plans provide insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provide you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions, depending on the coverage. You may wish to compare the terms of your travel insurance policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies.

If you have any questions about your current or proposed coverage, call the insurer or your insurance agent broker.

Ready to Book Your Trip?

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Flights – Learn our tried and true strategies for finding the cheapest flights.

Accommodations – Using Booking.com to search for hostels and budget hotels has many benefits, including free cancelation and member upgrades.

Travel Insurance – Now more than ever, we encourage the purchase of travel insurance for every trip. Insurance protects you against cancellations, lost luggage, theft, injury, and illness. Compare plans at:

Activities – Find amazing things to do that won’t break the bank in destinations worldwide on Viator.

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13 replies on “What You Need to Know About Travel Insurance”

Hi Jackie, do you still use the Insure My Trip website you mentioned in podcast episode 28? I see you have links for world nomads and allianz above…. wondering what you currently use and recommend? Thanks!

Hi Gina! I’ve used both World Nomads and Allianz lately, I think insuremytrip could still be a good resource for comparing plans, they just don’t have all of the companies represented (of course). It’s worth doing a bit of research across all of them and deciding what’s best for your travel style and your budget.

I don’t think you can cancel or put your Marketplace account on hold without facing the fine. You might call their customer service and ask, but we all have to abide by the Obamacare rules, whether or not we have supplemental travel insurance. This means all expats do have to continue their US insurance UNLESS they are only within the US for 30 days or less in a calendar year. Otherwise you pay the fine. It’s annoying.

Hey, wow, thanks for getting back so fast! Yeah, I’ve come to terms with that since posting my comment. I’ve also discovered that I am covered for emergencies, so eh. Still going to seek secondary traveler’s 🙂

Yes, that is a good point. The two insurances technically should work together. If something happens to you overseas, use your travel insurance to get you home, and then your home insurance should take over from there (ideally). Good luck, and safe travels!!

Wow. To be honest I haven’t heard about that fine print before and I often don’t have an end date for my trips. The one time that I did file a claim for trip interruption, the end date had nothing to do with it and I don’t think it mattered for my case. Interesting point though. That would be a question for a representative of an insurance company.

I skipped “Cancel for any reason” for my upcoming trip to Europe due to a misunderstanding, however, I noticed my AAA Policy included a cancel for any medical/illness reason, covered everything else on your list and a few more. And it would have increased the cost by 1/3rd more anyway.

[…] Sometimes it’s worth it to pay attention to your intuition. It’s worth it to note all the red flags along the way. It’s worth it to learn the language of the place you are in. It’s worth it to make friends with people who will stick with you through thick and thin. But ultimately, it’s worth it to double and triple check visa and immunization requirements online, not in a guidebook. Oh, and get travel insurance. […]

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