Travel insurance is the best way to safeguard your loved ones from travel risks.
Travel insurance, also known as trip insurance, travel health insurance or travel medical insurance, is an essential and crucial component of your trips and vacations. Travel insurance allows you to have partial or full travel protection. It is the best way to safeguard yourself and your loved ones from travel risks, such as trip cancellations, delays, and lost or stolen luggage. However, the most significant benefit of travel insurance is its protection against unforeseen emergency medical costs abroad. Thus, having this insurance coverage can help you cover medical expenses and financial losses that may happen while you travel. Consequently, it is the best protection for those who travel either domestically or abroad.
Despite its importance, many people know little about it; Therefore, a common question is:
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a type of insurance that provides special assistance and financial protection for travelers during their trips, covering unexpected, travel-related costs and losses.
What are the types of travel insurance, and what does travel insurance cover?
There are six main categories of travel insurance, with varying degrees of coverage:
- Trip Insurance – Full Package Plan
- Major Medical Insurance
- Travel Medical Insurance – Travel Health Insurance
- Accident Insurance
- Emergency Medical Evacuation – Air Ambulance Insurance
- Trip Cancellation Insurance – Flight Insurance
Trip Insurance (Full Package Plan)
When buying trip insurance one of the most common and valuable option is to select a full package plan. But, what exactly are you covered for? There are five basic types of coverage provided with a Full Package Insurance, also known as Vacation Insurance:
- Cancelled Trips
- Trip Interruption
- Medical Emergencies Abroad
- Emergency Transportation
- Baggage Loss/Delay
Travel Medical Insurance (Travel Health Insurance) and Major Medical Insurance
Both of these insurance types offer medical protection if you get sick or injured while traveling. The only difference between these is the duration of coverage:
- Travel Medical Insurance only offers short-term medical coverage. The duration can be between five days and a year.
- Major Health Insurance is ideal if you plan to travel longer. This insurance can last anywhere from six months to a year, or even longer.
Nonetheless, both help you cover medical expenses, find doctors, hospitals and healthcare facilities close to your location, and provide assistance and foreign language services.
Tip: Whether you purchase health insurance separately or are already covered, it is ideal to find out if you are indeed covered abroad (outside of Canada or the US), and if you will need prior approval from your insurance company before receiving medical care.
The purpose of Accident Insurance is to cover the risks of injuries caused by sudden, external, and unintentional accidents which may cause temporary or permanent, injuries, illnesses, disability, or death. The main difference between Accident Insurance and Travel Medical insurance, is that accident insurance only covers conditions caused by accidents, but does not cover pre-existing conditions or illnesses, while travel health insurance usually covers both.
Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance (Air ambulance insurance)
Air Ambulance Insurance provides coverage for emergency medical evacuations and transportation to medical facilities where you will be treated. If you do not have this insurance, your out-of-pocket expenses can easily reach $30,000.00 USD. It is recommended to purchase this insurance if you will be traveling outside Canada or the US, or to remote areas with difficult access to hospital or medical facilities.
Tip: Before purchasing Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance, check to see if your health plan or trip insurance cover emergency medical evacuation services, such as air ambulance and ground ambulance transportation. Many health or trip insurance plans have this benefits included in their coverage.
Trip Cancellation Insurance (Flight Insurance)
As the name implies, this insurance provides coverage in case you or your companions need to cancel, interrupt, or delay your trip (or if any of these issues happen unexpectedly). Companies may have different policies that define what is an approved reason for use of the insurance, but the following reasons are commonly covered:
- Sudden war conflicts within the country where you travel.
- Delay in the processing of your visa or passport.
- Illness or serious injuries.
- Weather-related problems (storms, hurricanes, snowfall, etc.)
Likewise, there may be additional coverage in extreme situations:
- Acts of terrorism.
- If your passenger trip carrier, cruise line, or airline closes and cancels its services.
- An accident on the way to the airport.
Tip: It is important that you don’t purchase your Trip Cancellation Insurance from the same provider where you bought your trip. This way, if your travel provider were to cancel services or close it’s business, you would still be protected if something goes wrong during your trip.
Do You Really Need Travel Insurance Coverage?
Before you decide to buy trip insurance or choose some type of insurance, there are several questions to ask yourself:
- Will you travel abroad?
- Are you planning to participate in extreme sports?
- Can you pay the cost of the trip back home if an emergency arises and you need to return early?
- If you or someone traveling with you gets sick or has an accident, can you pay for the medical care you require?
- In an extreme medical incident, can you pay for emergency air ambulance evacuation?
If you are not prepared, these potential problems could turn your dream vacation into a nightmare.
Tip: Become familiar with the existing policies and agreements of your credit card companies. In some cases, these companies already cover problems, such as lost luggage or car rental responsibility.
In conclusion, your choice of travel medical insurance will determine the type of coverage you will receive when you need it. When you have a kind of insurance to cover your trip, you can be sure that your vacation will be everything you had planned and more.
Travel Insurance Cost
We know that sometimes it’s tempting to take the easy way and opt to buy the cheapest coverage. However, this is something we don’t recommend doing. Why? Well, first you may not be getting your money’s worth. Second, it is important that you have a high coverage limit on your medical expenses. You never know what is going to happen while you’re away. Below are some of the possible prices of your cheap travel insurance options:
Cheapest Travel Insurance for Canadians
If you’re a Canadian resident who is planning to take an international trip to Mexico for ten days long and you’re seeking a cheap travel insurance in case of an unexpected illness or injury while travelling, your quote will look something like this:
|Allianz Medical Plan||$31.26|
|CAA Emergency Medical||$46.20|
|Insuremytrip.com Manulife Global Medical||$48.00|
|AIG Travel Guard Silver Plan||$93.00|
Cheapest Travel Insurance for North Americans
If you’re a U.S. resident who is planning to take an international trip to Mexico for ten days long and you’re seeking a cheap travel insurance in case of an unexpected illness or injury while travelling, your quote will look something like this:
|Insuremytrip.com IMG Patriot International||$16.83|
|GeoBlue Voyager Choice||$35.97|
|Allianz OneTrip Basic||$78.00|
|AIG Travel Guard Silver Plan||$86.00|
Buy Travel Insurance
The minute you book your trip, it’s the minute you need to start contemplating the idea to buy travel insurance. Here are some golden rules to follow when your about to choose the perfect travel insurance policy:
Understand your Policy
There are two main types of travel insurance: single-trip, which only covers one getaway, or annual multi-trip, which covers you for every trip you make over the course of a year. A single-trip policy is recommended to those who know they will only be taking one holiday over a 12-month period. Annual policies can be the best option if you know you’ll be traveling several times in a year. We urge you to ask all types of questions before purchasing.
Know your Health
At heart, travel insurance it’s a nicer way to call travel health insurance. Make a note of any conditions you have and medications you are on before applying for travel insurance. That way, you can make sure the policy you buy covers your particular situation.
Plan your Trip
Think about what you’re going to be doing on your trip. If you are planning any high-risk activities, make sure your travel insurance policy covers them.
Make Sure you’re not Already Covered
Often times, regular health plans and credit card insurance can cover for things like lost baggage, trip cancellation and medical care. Therefore, we recommend that before you buy any travel insurance coverage, you make a call to your local insurance provider and ask the type of coverage you’d have while traveling out-of-country.
Travel Insurance Companies
Allianz Travel Insurance
Founded in 1890 in Germany, the Allianz Group serves 85.4 million customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz insurance is the leader in the German market and has a strong international presence. Allianz is known for having one of the best travel insurance plans with 24/7 support from their travel professionals around the world.
CAA Travel Insurance
For over 110 years, travel insurance CAA has been helping Canadians stay safe, mobile, and protected. They are a canadian travel insurance company that offers from single trips plans to multi-trip annual plans, emergency medical to non-medical coverage options or special add-ons. Their goal is to take care of the details for you and make insurance easy, so you can get busy exploring the world.
With more than 25 years of industry experience, Travel Guard is one of the leading travel insurance plan providers for both U.S. and Canadian citizens. Their travel protection plans include pre-trip and annual plans; airfare insurance, trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, medical expenses, lost baggage and more.
AAA Travel Insurance
AAA offers a variety of ways to satisfy all your travel needs. Whether you’re traveling around the world or just on a road trip an AAA trip insurance is what you need. Some of the benefits AAA travel insurance offers are: unexpected events coverage, 24-hour hotline assistance and convenient online service.
Whether you’re from Canada or the U.S. travel insurance manulife covers your unexpected medical expenses and more. With more than 130 years of experience Manulife is a canadian travel insurance company that offers various plans according to your needs. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling around, studying away from home or visiting Canada they got you covered.
Blue Cross Travel Insurance
When you’re away from home, it’s reassuring to know that the Blue Cross travel insurance is there to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. More than 20 years as a leader in international healthcare, 1.2 million medical providers worldwide and 190 countries and territories around the world, makes Blue Cross one of the top rated travel insurance.
Insuremytrip.com is an online travel insurance website where you can quote, compare and buy different travel insurance plans for a safe trip. They search through thousands of plans to find the right travel insurance for you. Founded in 2000, and over the course of more than a decade it became the world’s first major travel insurance comparison website. 98% of international travelers can confirm it.