Do You Need Travel Insurance?

Do you need travel insurance?

It may be a good idea to have this type of coverage while traveling.

Many travelers consider it unnecessary to purchase travel insurance before they leave on an international trip. All too often, these individuals assume that their credit cards and domestic health insurance policies will provide the coverage they need for trip cancellations, accidents and illnesses. Unfortunately, this assumption can be incorrect. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Medical coverage and evacuation

Whether you have an individual or group health insurance policy in the United States, chances are that coverage while you are overseas is nonexistent. While some policies may cover certain emergency medical treatments, most of the international care you receive might not be reimbursed under your policy.

In addition, not having travel insurance means you may not have access to emergency medical transportation from a remote area or medical repatriation so that you can go home and deal with local physicians and facilities. Injuries sustained during political or civil unrest may also be excluded.

Travel insurance policies can provide coverage for the above events as well as accidental death and life insurance benefits.

Additional benefits

Your credit card may offer you some reprieve from the expenses associated with lost or delayed luggage and may provide protection against injuries received while en route to your destination, assuming that the ticket for transportation was purchased with the card that offers these benefits. But if a natural emergency, event of civil unrest or other unexpected disaster occurs and you must cancel your trip or go home early, you may find yourself without any coverage for additional expenses if you rely entirely on your credit card.

Travel insurance policies can be designed exclusively to protect you from events that interrupt your ability to travel and shorten your trip and to protect you from the financial liability caused by events such as adventure sport injuries and acts of terrorism.

Visa requirements

It’s a good idea to remember the reason for your travel. The type of visa you get could affect whether you need to have travel insurance. For instance, to get the Schengen visa that allows access to 25 countries in Europe, travelers must have health insurance that includes benefits for medical evacuation and repatriation. Many student visas also have similar requirements.

Before you travel, take some time to determine what your existing insurance policies and credit cards cover and what they don’t.



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