Why Trip Insurance?
Trip insurance can be confusing and expensive. The basic premium you pay will be determined in part by your age, the presence of preexisting health problems, the length of the trip, and the total trip cost. The premium generally ranges between 4% and 8% of the trip's cost.
By far, the most common reason for trip cancellation or interruption is injury or illness of the insured, a travel companion, or a family member before or during the trip. There are insurance policies for both circumstances.
You can not count on your customary health insurance policy to pay for medical costs outside the country. Medicare won't cover you and it's unlikely that any private insurance company will do so either.
01. There are Two Types of Trip Insurance
Trip cancellation coverage reimburses you for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses if you cancel your trip before you depart. Always the most expensive portion of a travel insurance package.
Trip interruption coverage kicks in while you are on your trip. It's the less expensive portion of the package so your travel company may throw it one in for "free."
02. Typically included in a Trip Interruption Policy
Evacuation - The cost of getting to medical help can be huge.
Think >$100K to get out of Antarctica.
Loss of Belongings
Transportation Delay Protection
Life and Body Protection
Assistance Services - 24/7 hotline to help you handle disasters such as lost passport/visa, missed flights, lost luggage.
03. What Company to Use?
Think Big- Before you buy your insurance through that small family-owned tour company you're booking with, consider the possibility that the company could fold prior to or during your upcoming trip. If the tour company does go under, your trip cancellation insurance will probably sink with it.
Know Your Options - Some well-established tour companies may bundle your trip interruption coverage into the price of your trip. Others may bundle some medical evacuation and medical needs coverage too. Still others might offer you both interruption and cancellation coverage at competitive prices to independent insurance carriers. But there's no free lunch when it comes to cancellation insurance. It's the most expensive piece of any trip insurance policy and will not be offered as a bundled benefit. Visit the website of your tour company to see what insurance coverage they may provide/offer.
Do Some Research - Visit the website, Insure My Trip.com. It's a great place to start for choosing the type of plan you need for your upcoming trip and to compare plan pricing between specific insurance companies with offers from your travel company. There is also a section that reviews insurance companies themselves. We always start here to get a feeling for the best price with a reliable company.