Guide To Traveler's Insurance.
And Why You Need it...
What is traveler's insurance? Do I really need it? Or is it just money down the drain that I'd rather spend on the rest of my trip... In most cases, particularly for international travel, getting traveler's insurance is an absolute must.
Traveler’s insurance provides protection for different risks associated with the trip, mainly personal health and financial. Plans and coverages vary greatly by the provider. The first reason to get traveler’s insurance is that most health insurances do not cover international travel. If you get hurt in a remote area and have to go to the hospital, you could be responsible for some major medical bills. Make sure to get a plan that has substantial medical coverage.
The second reason to purchase traveler’s insurance is to protect you financially. There are certain unforeseen events that can occur preventing you from going on the trip such as a family members death or personal injury where you will be paid back for the monetary value of the trip. Many insurance plans protect you financially by reimbursing you for missed flight connections and lost/stolen belongings. Most plans can be upgraded to include rental car coverage. You most likely do not need this, as the rental car company requires you to purchase their own insurance policy.
Just like all insurance, the greater the protection, the greater the premium, or price of insurance. Factors such as duration of the trip, estimated monetary value of the trip, and how far in advance the trip is made prior to being insured will change the premium. InsureMyTrip is a great resource to compare costs and coverages across different providers. They offer lots of resources to help you decide which coverage is best for you and understand the terms. Check with your credit card company as well to see what coverage they provide for international travel.
For my recent trip to Patagonia, traveler's insurance was about $100 for each of us. Premiums can be north or south of this depending on your level of coverage, but for three weeks in Patagonia $100 provided a high level of protection.
Even though there are a million other things you would rather spend your trip budget on, make room for traveler's insurance. No one expects to get hurt on the trail. And that's where insurance companies make money. But in the unlikely situation that you need it, you'll be glad you have it.
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