A Guide to Buying and Using Travel Insurance - Ratinah

Travel Insurance - Learn from my mistakes! Find out why travel insurance is needed; where you can get appropriate, but affordable coverage; what to consider; and what to do with it.

A Guide to Buying and Using Travel Insurance - Ratinah

Is Travel Insurance Really Necessary?

Travel is quite expensive is not it? The cost of plane tickets, cruises, hotels, ground transportation, food and activities and entertainment is quite high. I don't know about you, but I work hard for my money, and when I travel I want to keep as much of my money in MY pocket as possible. Is travel insurance a necessity or a luxury? Why not cut a few corners here and there. Why buy something if it's not really needed?

My personal answer is, of course, that I am not self-sufficient and cannot withstand the potential financial loss if I need medical care while I am traveling. Not being self-sufficient also meant I was looking for adequate but cheap travel insurance. I suspect you are in a similar position, so you also need cheap travel insurance. If you are still not sure about that, consider the following.

Did you know that if you get sick or injured while traveling overseas, your medical plan may not cover all the costs you will incur? If the cost of treatment is higher than the maximum cost of your medical plan, you will be responsible for the difference, unless you have purchased travel insurance. In fact, you may not be hospitalized in some states without proof that you have health or health insurance.

This applies to everyone, regardless of age or length of time abroad. Suppose you fell ill just a few hours after arriving at your destination. Or suppose you are taking a day trip to another country, and you are injured in a traffic accident. Or suppose one of your children is part of a group that goes on a class trip overseas, gets food poisoning and requires hospitalization. In all cases, without adequate travel health insurance, you will be liable for costs above and beyond the limits of your existing medical plan.

Therefore, before going abroad, you need to make sure that you are adequately covered by travel health insurance that will not break your budget. You should check to see if suitable coverage is available to you through a medical plan, employee benefits, or even through a credit card. If the coverage is sufficient for your needs, then you can enjoy your trip without incurring additional costs from travel insurance. However, if you are unsure of your coverage, or if your coverage is inadequate or non-existent, then your next step is to research and purchase the travel insurance coverage you need.

How Much Can You Expect to Get Paid?

When I bought my first plane ticket to China a few years ago, it cost about $2000 round trip, and my travel insurance cost over $500 because I didn't look for cheap travel insurance online.

A few years later, a little older and wiser, and my travel insurance for another trip to China was much cheaper—about $300 for roughly the same coverage. Difference? Before buying my travel insurance for my second trip, I shopped online and got the protection I needed, at the right price. If I had purchased my travel insurance for this last trip from my travel agent, it would have cost me about $600 for the trip, and my airfare was only $1,500! Not a smart way to go.

So how much will it cost? Not as much money as you would spend if you got sick or injured overseas and you don't have travel insurance coverage! That's the obvious answer to the question.

In fact, how much travel insurance costs will depend on your age and the type of coverage you choose. The basic policy fee is only $5.50 USD per $1000 coverage. On the other hand, you can expect a full coverage policy to be charged from 7 to 10% of your travel costs, depending on your age. The older you are, the more you will pay. No matter how much the policy costs, after all, it is definitely a lot cheaper than the cost of a medical evacuation!

The good news is that you can easily, conveniently and quickly research and find excellent but cheap travel insurance online and reduce costs while making an informed purchase. This is much better than taking what you offer at a travel agency because you can choose from hundreds of travel insurance companies and policies and save a lot of money in the process. One place you can start your search is at Travel Insurance Central http://www.travel-insurance-central.com.

What You Should Consider When Buying Travel Insurance

To assist you in your research, here are some suggestions to help you make an informed purchase.

1. Consider the worst case scenario

If you can financially withstand the worst case scenario then maybe you don't need travel insurance or maybe you don't need a comprehensive policy.

2. Ensure that the policy you are considering provides adequate medical/dental coverage, including medical evacuation cover

Just in case you need medical care in a place where the best care is available below the standard you are used to in your country. This can happen if you fall ill in a developing country or even on a cruise ship.

3. Check your existing insurance policy for possible coverage

There is no point in paying more for what you already have in your landlord or tenant policy, such as theft and loss coverage.

4. If you travel a lot, you should consider an annual or year-round travel insurance policy

It is sometimes called a multi-trip travel insurance policy. Whatever the name, this policy is relatively inexpensive when compared to a one-time travel insurance policy.

5. Know what you are buying, so read carefully

Make sure you understand what the company considers a valid reason for cancellation or interruption. If the list is too strict, you may want to consider another policy.

6. Don't limit yourself to buying only from your travel agent

He may only have one company product available, and that is there for your convenience, but that convenience can be very expensive!

7. Ask lots of questions about coverage

Play "what if" games. Ask for clear terminology. Make sure you and the travel insurance company speak the same language.

8. Don't buy insurance through your transportation provider

If the airline goes bankrupt, how adequate is your insurance coverage?

After You Purchase Travel Insurance

Remember that your travel insurance policy covers you between certain dates, so don't start your trip early or extend your trip without first changing the date of coverage on your travel insurance policy. Of course, this may cost you extra, but it's cheaper than finding yourself without protection when you need it most.

Also, it almost goes without saying that you should take your travel insurance policy with you when you go overseas. You can't consult a policy if it's sitting on your desk at home. You should also carry your travel insurance company's toll-free helpline number and other contact information with you wherever you go. It is useless if you are sick or injured and the necessary policy information is in your hotel room. It's also a good idea to bring your regular medical coverage card and info with you.

I hope these tips will help you with the best travel insurance for you. Then take your trip with the peace of mind knowing that you are covered by the right travel insurance policy at the right price. Happy adventure!

That's A Guide to Buying and Using Travel Insurance - Ratinah

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