Insurance Tips for Travelers
If you’re planning a long-awaited vacation or an extended business trip, carrying adequate insurance coverage can keep an unexpected event like an accident or illness from turning your trip into a nightmare.
In some cases, your existing insurance may provide coverage, but not always. Careful planning will ensure you are adequately covered in case of emergency.
Check Your Policies
Your health insurance may not cover you when you travel, especially when you travel overseas. Before leaving home, be sure to check your policy or contact your insurance agent or HR representative at work to learn your policy’s limitations.
You may want to consider purchasing travel health and accident insurance if your current policy falls short. If your current policy indicates it will cover emergencies, get clarification as to how your insurer defines the term.
Avoid Duplicate Coverage
Be careful not to buy insurance that you don’t need. This often happens with auto insurance offered by rental car companies. If you already have comprehensive and collision coverage on your personal auto policy, you probably won’t need to purchase the rental company’s collision damage waiver.
If you do need to purchase coverage, check for low-cost alternatives. For example, many credit card companies will provide insurance coverage for rental vehicles if you use their card to pay for the rental.
Medical Evacuation Coverage
If you’re going on a cruise or traveling to a remote location, it can be important to have evacuation coverage. Even if your existing health coverage pays for ambulance service, coverage may only extend to land transportation, and your limits may be capped at a low level.
Medical evacuation coverage can pay for things like transportation by air to an adequate medical facility and may include limits as high as $50,000.
Consider Trip-Cancellation Insurance
If you’re booking an expensive nonrefundable trip well in advance, consider purchasing trip-cancellation insurance. If you or a close relative becomes ill and you’re unable to travel, trip-cancellation insurance will cover any nonrefundable expenses such as hotels or airfare.
You can also purchase trip-interruption insurance, which will compensate you if a sudden illness forces you to cut your trip short and return home ahead of schedule.