You shouldn’t worry about something going wrong, because, spoiler: it totally will. When you have travel insurance with the right kind of coverage for your trip, you won’t have to worry about the little things.
If you fantasize about your “once in a lifetime trip to X,” getting travel insurance isn’t usually on your list of things to do. That’s okay.
The allure of adventure and the mystique of travel lie in throwing caution to the wind, bare teeth to the indifferent universe, and flinging yourself into the chaotic maw of serendipity and happenstance, right?
I’m sorry, but that’s not true. I hate traveling like that. I want you to put down your copy of Hunter S. Thompson. We will explain what travel insurance covers (and doesn’t), how to buy it, and tips for choosing travel insurance.
Do You Need Travel Insurance?
While travel insurance isn’t required for most trips, it’s a good idea to have, particularly for overseas travel where your regular health, vehicle, and homeowner’s insurance may not protect you. Travel insurance is a low-cost safety net that protects you in the event of an emergency.
While coverage varies, buying the least minimal travel insurance is worthwhile in the event of a major or minor emergency.
One exception: if you’re seeking for a work or holiday visa, or if you’re studying abroad, travel insurance is required.
Being robbed and trapped in a strange place isn’t cool; it’s ridiculous. When you travel, things go wrong. Things happen. While it’s crucial to have your wits about you and tackle problems as they arise on the road, travel insurance is one of your strongest arrows in your adventure quiver.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
The coverage provided by travel insurance varies, however it usually falls into three categories:
- Medical: If you have a medical emergency, such as a broken leg, this will cover you.
- Property: If your property is stolen or destroyed, this can assist you.
- Travel: This will assist you in the event of a trip-related snafu, such as a last-minute trip cancellation or misplaced luggage.
Even while we tend to focus on the medical aspect of travel insurance, which might be the most expensive emergency bill if something goes wrong while travelling, you’re far more likely to utilise it (or “make a claim”) for lost or stolen things or trip delays.
People misplace their belongings. Schedules are subject to change. Keep this in mind before investing in a platinum medical insurance policy that excludes your DSLR.
Basic vs. Premium Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is usually divided into two categories: basic and premium. The distinction between a basic and premium travel insurance plan is usually always greater monetary limits.
Companies add a lot of bells and whistles—like 24-hour help lines—but the difference between a basic and premium travel insurance plan is almost always higher monetary limits. Damage to your equipment, travel disruption compensation, and medical coverage limitations, for example, might be $100,000 vs. $1,000,000.
Coverage for Basic Travel Insurance
Basic coverage varies, but most basic travel insurance policies cover at least:
- $1,000 Baggage
- $2,000 Trip cancellation
- $1,000 Trip interruption
- $50,000 Medical care
- $50,000 Medical evacuation
Basic plans usually don’t cover:
- Insurance for rental cars
- Connections missed
- Baggage that has been delayed
- Having a for medical sting condition
- The dental field
Basic coverage is nearly often the way to go if you’re a hostel traveller with a rail pass (i.e. no rental car).
Coverage for Premium Travel Insurance
Premium coverage, whether it’s referred to as “Luxe,” “Preferred,” or “Platinum,” provides the same level of protection as basic insurance, but with higher limits in practically every area. Look for figures in the following ranges if you want “excellent” premium coverage:
- $3,000 Baggage
- $10,000 Trip cancellation
- $10,000 Trip interruption
- $1,000 Missed connection
- $100,000 Medical care
- $500,000 Medical evacuation
- $50,000 Dental
- $35,000 Rental car collision waiver
Even the most comprehensive insurance does not cover certain countries, sports, or activities. Is climbing possible in Thailand? Almost certainly covered (but expensive). Skydiving Perhaps not. Scuba? World Nomads occasionally offers a premium adventure package that includes a lot of things, but they’re the exception rather than the usual.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?
For a short journey (less than two weeks), travel insurance costs roughly $6-20 per day, while for longer travels (1 month or more), it costs as low as $2 per day. Costs, however, might vary depending on your travel insurance carrier and the expense of your trip. Not bad for a policy that covers things like accidents, cancellations, and theft.
Shopping around for travel insurance (which is time-consuming but worthwhile) and tailoring coverage for your vacation are the keys to success.
The Best Travel Insurance to Choose From
Travel insurance might vary greatly depending on the provider, but we’ve investigated and compiled a list of the finest options.
Because cost is such an essential consideration for travellers, I ran the figures for a 30-year-old woman planning a two-week vacation for roughly $3,000. From lowest to most costly, below is a list of travel insurance options:
1. GeoBlue: Best for Medical Coverage
- Single Trip Voyager Basic: $19.80
- Single Trip Voyager Full: $34
The cheapest option, Voyager basic medical coverage, is $19 and covers medical bills up to $50,000 with a $500 deductible. This sort of “break glass in case of emergency” gear is wonderful for covering your butt, but you’re unlikely to spend more than $500 on it (unless something goes really wrong).
This is essentially a $20 piece of paper that states that if you require a helicopter to airlift you to the hospital, you will only be charged $500. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than nothing.
You can acquire complete medical coverage up to one million dollars with no deductible for an additional $1 per day. Select the upgrade option. If you plan ahead, the cost of a pizza may save you hundreds of dollars.
2. Generali: Best for Basic Coverage
- Standard: $82.50
- Preferred: $95.70
- Premium: $115.09
Pre-existing conditions, rental autos, and accidental death and dismemberment are not covered by Generali’s basic plan. So don’t perish. Apart from that, it provides quite complete coverage.
On the good side, all plans provide dental treatment (up to $50,000) as part of the medical coverage, which is important if you chip your tooth on a Red Bull can. They also have a new “identity theft” resolution, which is likely meaningless but feels wonderful.
3. Travellers with pre-existing conditions and older travellers should consider Allianz.
- Basic: $91
- Classic: $109
- Trip+: $140
One of the top travel insurance companies is Allianz. Every one of their plans now includes excellent emergency medical coverage. The standard coverage is now $50,000, with coverage ranging from $50,000 to $1,000,000. Every plan includes coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The only difference between their current policies is lost baggage, not medical. Baggage loss/damage is minimal ($500, $1,000, and $2,000, respectively). If you’re travelling with pricey devices, such as a laptop, the Basic package might not be enough. In addition, Basic coverage does not cover missed connections, and travel delay coverage is limited ($300). Without hesitation, I’d upgrade this plan to premium.
4. World Nomads: Best for Adventure Travelers
- Standard: $93.71
- Explorer: $138.59
Both plans provide the same medical coverage ($100,000), yet neither plan covers pre-existing diseases. The key differences are trip cancellation, rental vehicles, and property coverage.
The standard trip cancellation fee is $2,500, whereas the Explorer trip cancellation fee is $10,000. Standard covers $1,000 in gear, while Explorer covers up to $3,000 in gear. It’s recommended upgrading to the Explorer plan if you have pricey photography equipment or a laptop. Finally, the Explorer plan includes rental car insurance, whereas the Standard plan does not.
The finest travel insurance for adventure sports coverage is World Nomads. Explorer includes more than 100 activities, including:
Skydiving, base jumping, and even shark cage diving are all popular activities. So that’s nice. Climbing and canoeing are two examples of standard activities. Dental is included in both plans, but only for $750, which is better than nothing.
World Nomads does not insure travellers beyond the age of 70, but Allianz does!
5. HTH Travel: Best for Just-in-Case-You-Need-to-Cancel
- Economy: $110
- Classic: $126
- Preferred: $150
A 30-year-old traveller with a $3,000 trip cost should anticipate to pay around $20 per day, which is rather fair considering all you receive with this insurance.
Total medical coverage ($75,000, $250,000, $500,000) and lost luggage reimbursement ($750, $1,000, $2,000) are the most significant changes between the three tiers. Get the Preferred Travel Insurance if you’re going with a lot of pricey photographic gear (and who isn’t these days?).
The increase from $750 to $2,000 for lost or damaged things is significantly more important than the increase from $75,000 to $500,000 in medical insurance. You’re more likely to break your camera than your leg, and $75,000 in medical insurance is already a lot of money.
If you want to be more specific, there are a couple more tiny changes between the tiers. For an additional $75, you may add “cancel any time trip” cancellation to Preferred coverage, although each plan already includes a trip cancellation sliding scale ($5,000 to $50,000). Economy does not offer “missed connection” refund, and only Preferred offers vehicle rental insurance, so you’ll have to decide which option is best for you.
Advantage: Each option provides more than 100% compensation (125 percent, 150 percent, and 200 percent, respectively) for “travel interruption,” which is fantastic. That is to say, HTH recognises that losing out on an activity is about more than simply money—about it’s placing a price on missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Can You Get Travel Insurance With a Credit Card?
Yes. You may already have travel insurance through your credit card. About 15% of credit cards come with built-in travel insurance (also known as trip interruption insurance), so check with your credit card issuer. A selection of credit cards with the finest travel insurance coverage is provided below:
1. Chase Sapphire
Customers get trip cancellation and interruption insurance for “extreme weather,” making it one of the top credit card travel insurance options. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start. For “prepaid, non-refundable travel costs, such as flights, excursions, and hotels,” you can obtain up to $10,000 back on every trip.
If your flight is delayed for more than 12 hours or needs an overnight stay at a hotel, Chase will reimburse up to $500 per person for food and housing. That’s fantastic.
2. Citi Credit Cards
For severe illness or weather-related reasons, Citi offers trip cancellation and interruption insurance, and non-refundable charges, such as change fees, may be covered. If you bought the trip using the Citi card, you can even get up to $5,000 back for “non-refundable travel charges.”
One option is to get travel insurance via American Express, which works in the same way as other travel insurance companies. For our example 30-year-old on a two-week trip, basic coverage starts at $59 per person.
The plan isn’t great (baggage coverage is only $250), but it does include decent medical and dental coverage, as well as trip cancellation insurance (if you purchased your trip with your card) for bad weather, natural disasters, and if you or a family member becomes unexpectedly and seriously ill or injured.
Bonus: Labor issues affecting travel services are covered, so if you’re going to France, acquire this coverage. But, seriously.
How to Choose Your Travel Insurance
Here’s how to determine which travel insurance is perfect for your trip after examining the finest travel insurance companies and settling on a couple that are within your budget:
Determine the amount of medical coverage you require.
If you just care about medical coverage—hospital bills, medical evacuation, zero deductibles, and so on—go with Allianz, which has a well-reviewed insurance package with at least $250,000 in coverage.
Check your home health insurance policy as well. Some will cover you when travelling outside of the country, and if yours does, medical coverage may not be necessary with your travel insurance.
Look for high baggage loss/theft coverage if you have expensive gear.
Find a plan with no per-article limits and high Baggage Loss/Theft coverage ($3,000-$5,000) if you’re concerned about your belongings.
Most “Basic” insurance packages have a claim maximum of $1,000, which isn’t nearly enough for all of my nice goods. However, it is all up to you. Skip the spinning rims and stick with basic covering if you’re a t-shirt and paperback traveller. Medical coverage is often similar ($50,000-$100,000).
What is a Per Article Limit?
Keep an eye out for a sneaky insurance term: Per Article Limit. If your insurance has a low per-article limit—say, $100—you may only claim $100 for each lost or stolen item, even if your gear is protected up to $5,000 (a very high maximum). Limits per article are a complete waste of time. They should be avoided.
Trip Cancellation, Interruption, or Missed Connection Clauses might help you protect your itinerary.
Make sure you have an ironclad trip cancellation and trip interruption clause if you’ve pre-booked your entire trip and some of the connections are tight, or if you’ve been reading a lot about monsoon season and you’re starting to worry out. Considering a cruise? Make sure you’re insured for the full cost of your cruise if you miss a connection.
I’m not sure
A trip cancellation provision can protect you if you have to cancel your vacation before leaving home due to illness, the death of a loved one, or natural calamities (your Fiji hotel is devastated by a hurricane). Some people get their insurance months in advance since they have a strong cancellation policy of $10,000.
This is what happens when your vacation meets a roadblock. It’s the most common sort of annoyance. The general guideline is to budget for at least a week’s worth of travel that you’ve already paid for. Basic subscriptions cost between $2,000 and $3,000, with luxury packages costing significantly more. It all depends on your level of opulence.
This is a hard one, so read the tiny print carefully. Cruises are sometimes the sole option for compensation, with some air travel thrown in for good measure. A missed connection claim is usually only valid if the reason you missed your flight/cruise was due to severe weather. As a result, if you sleep too much, you’re more likely to become ill. S.O.L.
As time goes on, expand your coverage.
Extending your coverage is simple, and they’ll nearly drool if you tell you want to increase your coverage in the middle of your vacation. Downgrading is the one thing you can’t do.
If you’re concerned about cost, or if you haven’t finalised your budget and the notion of spending a lot of money up front makes you nervous, buy basic coverage for the first part of your journey and see how it goes.