International Medical Coverage
There are four primary types of travel insurance:
- Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Baggage (or Personal Property) Insurance
- Emergency Medical Coverage
- Accidental Death Coverage
Trip Cancellation Insurance
A special family vacation can easily cost thousands of dollars. We all heard new reports of cruise operators shutting the doors and leaving passengers stranded and scheduled passengers with worthless tickets. What about last minute cancellations because of illness or death in the family? That’s where trip cancellation insurance comes in.
Trip cancellation insurance should be purchased from an insurance company, not from the travel company itself. Coverage purchased from a cruise line does you little good if the cruise line is in financial trouble. A quality policy will cover:
- Trip cancellation
- Trip interruption
- Travel delay
- Baggage loss
- Baggage delay
- Emergency Medical Expenses
The cost should be in the range of 5% to 7% of the price of the vacation. Therefore, a $5,000 vacation should be insurable for somewhere between $250 and $350.
Baggage (or Personal Property) Insurance
There are numerous options for baggage insurance, but its also easy to let the need for coverage slip through the cracks. Options include:
Coverage provided by the trip operator
Coverage available under your homeowners policy for off-premises theft
Coverage provided as part of a comprehensive travel insurance policy
Coverage specifically purchased for personal belongings on a scheduled trip
For individuals who often travel with expensive equipment or jewelry, it makes sense to explore a floater or other endorsement to your homeowners policy. The cost of a floater for a year could be less than the cost of special trip insurance for a week.
Emergency Medical Coverage
Especially when traveling outside the country, it’s important to know that you will be covered for medical costs in the event of sickness or injury. Before traveling, it’s a good idea to review the terms of your health insurance coverage to determine its adequacy. Would it cover your transportation to a country with first-rate medical care? You may need a supplement to your health insurance specifically for travel outside the border. For vacation travel, a trip cancellation policy may include this coverage.
Accidental Death Coverage
Accidental death policies are widely available to travelers and are often thrown in at no extra charge if you use certain credit cards to pay for your travel. For persons who have adequate life insurance coverage purchased as part of a solid life insurance plan, this type of insurance is not high on the list of essential policy types.
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