WHY DO YOU NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Travel insurance is as essential to your trip success as your passport.
You need to travel insurance because:
Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime Health care costs can vary around the world In an emergency, you’re going to want to make sure you have access to the best health care in the area Premiums tend to be affordable so the coverage will pay off should travel misfortunes rear their ugly head
To be honest, buying it—or not buying it—is a gamble.
If your current health insurance provides coverage for emergencies outside of your home country or is willing to reimburse non-refundable portions of your already-booked trip, then it might not make sense for you.
For all others, we highly recommend getting travel insurance before going abroad.
HEALTH INSURANCE VS. TRAVEL INSURANCE
On the surface, it might seem like health insurance and travel insurance are one the same—but you’re mistaken, and it’s important that you understand the differences between health and travel insurance.
Health insurance exists as an added layer of protection if accidents or unexpected events happen, which can add up to exorbitant fees. These typically cover in-network medical care, medical treatment in emergencies, medicinal needs, and regular, other medical-related costs.
Travel insurance, on the flipside, will typically never be “in-network” and thus, generally not eligible for refunds or coverage. Similarly, it exists as protection—it doesn’t normally cover elective health procedures (like getting botox)—but is applicable when you are out of your in-network areas.
It’s perfect to cover bouts of malaria or unexpected motorbike accidents, or other common travel ailments or mishaps.
HOW DOES TRAVEL INSURANCE WORK?
Most of the time, you are responsible for covering the cost of your medical expenses up front and will later claim reimbursement.
This is why we recommend travelers carry a credit card specifically for emergency situations—you don’t want to be stuck trying to figure out how to cover a $9000 medical bill that you have to pay out of pocket right now.
It is absolutely essential that you are mindful of all documentation of your medical treatments, as these are the only resources you have to successfully get repaid from travel insurance providers. Save receipts, submit medical records, and file police reports (if needed). You essentially have to “prove” your expenses to be eligible for reimbursement.
Note: Reimbursement can take quite a bit of time to coordinate, so don’t rely on having the funds back any time soon.
WHAT DOES TRAVEL INSURANCE COVER?
We’re glad you asked! Travel insurance providers generally cover the following six costs:
Medical expenses, such as emergency treatment or surgery Repatriation, AKA getting you back home (if needed) Any fees incurred from cancellations/interruptions/shortening of trips due to medical emergencies (like hotels you paid for but won’t use) Missed flights or delays! Yes, travel insurance has the backs of the perpetually late if you missed your flight due to circumstances beyond your control Land abroad but your suitcase doesn’t? You can use travel insurance for baggage coverage Personal liability coverage—helpful if you’ve caused damage to someone or others’ property without intent/on accident.