– What is it? Travel insurance is emergency care, action, or reimbursement when your trip goes unexpectedly wrong. Depending on the type of insurance you purchase, you can cover everything from lost luggage and cancelled flights to medical emergencies and evacuations. Travel insurance should be treated as a way to prepare for your trip—it is not a license to be foolish.
– Why do I need it? In most cases, yes, you should get travel insurance. You never know when disaster will strike; travel insurance will give you the peace of mind you need to fully enjoy your trip. Additionally, shelling out a few dozen bucks at the beginning of your vacation may end up saving your hundreds of dollars should anything go wrong.
– How much does it cost? Your cost will vary by duration of coverage, type of insurance, and provider. If you want to know if you’re getting a good deal, divide your package cost by the number of days you are spending away. If that number is between $2.50 and $4, you are in the sweet spot for good, reliable coverage. If it is significantly higher or lower, you may be playing into a scam.
– How does it work? For most plans, you must pay out of pocket for expenses, then claim reimbursement from your insurer upon returning home. It is therefore imperative to keep all documentation, file any necessary reports, and save all receipts. Conversely, some travel insurance companies provide insurance cards. This is likely to happen if you are away on a long trip, such as when studying abroad for a semester.
If there is a major medical emergency requiring a massive cost—such as an overnight hospitalization or emergency repatriation—you must contact the emergency assistance team, who will then assist in approving your costs.