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Budget Travel Tips:
Buying Quality Discount Travel Insurance

Is Choosing the Cheapest Travel Insurance Policy a Good Idea?

There are many different types of travel insurance that you can buy ahead of your domestic or international trip, but most are very cheap considering the amount of benefits they provide. Even if your regular insurance covers your health needs domestically and abroad, travel insurance policies can be more comprehensive and will supplement your regular coverage. They cover a variety of conditions and situations which may arise. Here are key plan features that you should consider and ask for when choosing the right plan for you and your family.

Understanding Travel Insurance
An Overview of Key Benefits and Features:

Underwriter and Ratings All travel insurers are underwritten by an insurance company. The insurance companies are rated by the A.M. Best Company, which ranks the stability and financial strength of the underwriters. Rankings of A to B+ mean that the underwriter is considered secure. If your trip is long or you just want to be safe in the knowledge that the underwriting company will be around throughout your trip, choose one that has a secure ranking.

Plan Cost and Plan Deductible
The cost of any travel insurance plan is always a function of the quality and breadth of coverage, as well as the plan deductible. When comparing plans, always make sure to thoroughly review all the features to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. A higher deductible usually means that the plan will cost less.

Emergency Medical/Dental
This benefit covers most kinds of medical and dental treatments required due to illness or injury. The coverage that is generally included tends to very by plan from bare bones coverage to complete 100% re-imbursement for all related expenses. Read the fine print carefully to understand exactly what is covered by the policy you�re considering.

Medical Evacuation and Repatriation
If you�ve either fallen ill or been injured in a place that can�t adequately treat you, many plans will pay for your evacuation to the nearest quality facility or back to your home country.

Emergency Medical Reunion
In the event of an emergency evacuation, some plans will pay for an individual like a relative or friend to join the insured person wherever they are hospitalized so that they can be accompanied home.

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Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)
Travel Insurance policies will pay a principle sum or a percentage of that sum in the event of death, loss of limbs or paralysis of the insured. It�s a grim topic, but it�s a major part of most travel insurance policies. Some policies will have this coverage apply to accidents at the destinations only and may have separate optional Air Flight Accident AD&D coverage.

Pre-Existing Condition
A pre-existing condition may or may not be a special issue to be addressed by the policy. Many will not make an issue of a condition like asthma, but more serious ones may require special policies. Check with the provider if you aren�t sure about it.

Trip Cancellation
Trip Cancellation covers you if you need to cancel your trip before it begins, but after you�ve booked flight, hotels and tours. Acceptable reasons can be because you get sick or injured, a strike occurs or weather conditions that prevent the trip from taking place, terrorism at your destination or other unforeseen events. This can be especially useful if you book a tour or all inclusive type of vacation that requires large deposits ahead of your trip. You�ll rest easier knowing you�re covered if anything falls through.

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Trip Interruption
Trip Interruption pays for your return trip home and may cover any other costs or bookings you may have made for the remainder of your trip. Usually, acceptable reasons for trip interruption are the death of a relative or damage to a residence as a result of fire or natural disaster. If you have a relative that is ill or think that anything else that would require you to cut your trip short, this would be an important feature of your travel insurance package.

Terrorism at Destination
If there is a terrorist attack in the place you are visiting, this feature will usually cover costs of getting out and back home. In today�s unpredictable world, many travelers choose to have this coverage included even if they�re not traveling to a destination that is at risk for attacks.

Bankruptcy/Financial Default
If the airline, hotel or a tour company you�ve booked for your trip has closed due to bankruptcy or financial default, this benefit will cover your losses from those bookings.

Travel Delay/Missed Connection
If you miss a connecting flight because of the delay in any of your flights or other forms of travel, this benefit will cover any costs for re-bookings for new travel to replace the missed segments. It may also cover missed bookings at your destination that were forfeited because of a delay in your travel.

Baggage and Personal Effects Loss
This benefit allows you to replace any baggage or personal items lost in route. Usually, there is a limit to the benefit, so check the plan particulars. If you plan on having multiple transfers on your trip, this could be an important benefit to look for in your plan.

Baggage Delay
This advanced travel insurance feature is sometimes included on more expensive plans. In the event that your baggage is delayed in reaching you, the plan will pay you to buy new clothes, toiletries or other essentials you�ll need while you�re awaiting your baggage to arrive.

Hazardous Sports
If you�re planning on sky-diving, bungee jumping, or even just skiing or backcountry hiking, make sure that your policy covers these activities, known as hazardous sports. Many regular policies exclude these from the typical coverage

24 Hotline/Additional Services
Some insurance companies provide a 24 hour toll free number that can be called collect from abroad. This is very useful in emergencies when you need to contact the company so that they can send you benefit payments or make other arrangements. Look for this and other services that will help you out

Rental Car Damage
Having car rental damage protection may save you from having to pay for the insurance supplied by the car rental company, and it�s usually cheaper too. Make sure to check the with the rental company you�ll be using and as with all benefits, check the travel insurance plan particulars.

Other considerations
Coverage will generally not apply in your home country, but some plans will allow you to be in your home country for a couple of days if you are in transit to another foreign destination. If you have other coverage, the travel insurance may only kick in as secondary coverage. Good policies will allow you to get your money back if you cancel before you leave for your trip.

Remember...
This is meant to serve as a general guide. Please check all the details and particulars of the travel insurance plans you are considering to make sure you understand what your benefits will be with that policy.


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