I recently researched a piece for Bankrate.com about what type of travel policy you would consider for various trips. This is an abridged version. Remember, before you buy any policy, check to see if you’re already covered through your credit card or through your homeowners or renters insurance policy.Photo by Jekkone, Flickr Creative Commons
Visiting family: Comprehensive travel insurance policies can cover common problems, such as lost baggage, trip cancellations or interruptions, travel delays from weather or illness, and medical care on the road. While the costs vary, for most packages you’ll pay between 4 percent and 8 percent of the total trip cost, according to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association (UStiA). Rates are based on the length and cost of the trip, the age of the purchaser and where you’re going. More expensive trips cost more to insure and you’ll pay more if you’re older.Photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video, Flickr Creative Commons
Resort during hurricane season: While most comprehensive travel insurance policies do cover weather problems and delays, the hurricane has to become more than a threat – you aren’t covered if the storm doesn’t hit. Your best solution might be a policy that allows you to cancel for any reason. These policies can cost up to 50 percent more than a regular policy, but they do give you more latitude over your plans and cover up to 75 percent of your costs. Act fast, though: usually you only buy these plans within two weeks after making your initial trip deposit.
Another reason to buy your insurance early: You get a waiver of the pre-existing medical condition clause that’s a part of most travel policies. If you delay and then become subject to this clause, your insurer will be able to look into your medical history and refuse to cover any claims related to a medical issue you had before the trip.Photo by simon_music, Flickr Creative Commons
International travel: Besides helping with rebooking and refunds during unplanned weather delays or natural acts, travel insurance can protect you from the transportation delays and cancellations you might experience from national labor strikes. Some policies cover evacuation due to political unrest, and travel insurance also can help if you lose your passport.
Many people don’t realize that most U.S. health insurance plans do not cover you outside the country. If you’re looking for medical travel insurance, study comprehensive travel insurance plans to make sure they include medical treatment. Those who are going to more remote locations may want to take the extra step of getting an air-medical transport membership from a company such as MedjetAssist. If a member is hospitalized more than 150 miles from home – virtually anywhere in the world – MedjetAssist reviews his or her condition with the attending medical staff, and will arrange for a medically equipped and staffed aircraft to fly them free of charge to the hospital of their choice.
Cruises: If you’ve booked plane tickets to the port through the cruise line or a travel agent and have what’s known as a “cruise fare,” the airline must get you to the next port of call if your flight arrives too late. But if you bought your tickets yourself, a travel insurance policy that covers flight delays could save your trip.
Assistance programs that some travel insurers provide can come in handy if your ship suffers a mechanical failure or if extreme weather forces you to be dropped off in a different location than expected. While the ships usually offer some compensation for these problems, people who have travel insurance can usually call a hotline to get rebooked — and reimbursed — sooner.Photo by Zach Dischner, Flickr Creative Commons
Extreme sports: Activities perceived as dangerous or risky, such as sky diving, cave exploring or rock climbing, aren’t covered in most policies. So if extreme sports are on your itinerary, you’ll need to buy rider that covers possible injuries. The right kind of travel insurance also can help protect expensive gear.
This post was brought to you by World First Insurance.