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Insurance For International Travel

Updated on May 4, 2014
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International Travel is Important for Travel

International travel insurance is expensive but not nearly as expensive as the medical costs charged to your credit card or withdrawn from your bank account (in advance most of the time) when traveling abroad... and that's if they take credit cards or you can even get the money from your bank account. There are two main types of international travel insurance. One is international medical insurance against the possibility of a health crisis. The other is international travel insurance against a trip cancellation, delay or interruption. Let's begin by reviewing the characteristics of the first kind of insurance: international medical insurance.

Medical Coverage - For What? Is It Necessary?

In the case of international medical insurance, this can cost the traveler several hundred dollars but can cover all their medical needs and, in some cases, includes medical evacuation (medivac) to their home country. It sometimes includes dental fees. There are sometimes options to insure a payout to your family, in the event of your death.

Before investing in this type of insurance, decide if it is even necessary. For example, if a visitor is taking a short trip abroad, it's possible that a tourist's current domestic insurance may cover medical emergencies in certain countries or that there is an option to purchase coverage for a fee that would be less than going to another company for the same kind of coverage. However, if the coverage doesn't suffice for one's needs or if there is coverage at all, a look prior to leaving town into the possibility of weather the host country you are visiting would cover the cost for a health emergency would be a prudent move. When none of the above situations exist, then it's time to consider coverage with a carrier that will protect the health and wellness of a traveler when they are far from home.

For example, in China, without international travel, healthcare may be denied before even it has begun. Though a communist state that provides medical services to all, the government means all it's citizens - not you, the tourist. The tourist will be expected to provide international insurance or provide a certain amount of funds prior to embarking upon medical treatment.

International medical insurance is a necessity in some countries but not all. You will need to contact your domestic medical company and research the country you wish to visit before making a decision to invest in this type of insurance and what options you are interested in adding to the policy.

A Video For Canadian Travelers

Travel Insurance - What It Includes

This type of insurance includes coverage against non-refundable expenses related to the trip. Under this category falls hotel, tour costs, airfare, airline tickets, cruise expenses, flight accidents, lost luggage, car rentals, and stolen property. So, if a mugger makes off with your wallet, this falls under travel insurance. The costs of this type of insurance varies and is based on three types of criteria:

  • where the trip will take place - location matters!
  • how many people will be insured - one or multiple people
  • how long the travel will take

Like auto insurance, sometimes travel insurance plans have a deductible, also known as an excess. A traveler with this kind of insurance will be responsible for paying the excess or deductible and the insurance will generally cover all expenses that fall under qualifying categories after the excess has been paid by the traveler.

Who Might Already Provide Travel Insurance?

It might be that the travel insurance needed is already being provided by a service or lender you have. Before purchasing a policy, check with:

  • credit card companies
  • mortgage insurance
  • domestic health insurance
  • the human resources department (for work related travel)

Read The Fine Print Before You Pay!

Research the Options and Then Pay For It

Unless you are financially free and have a few million set aside, travel insurance is worth the expense. It may be seem unnecessary - right until the time you are hurt or infected with a little known disease - but it is a safeguard against an undefined force threatening the most important thing one can have... their health.

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