The Most Essential Insurance Coverage For Traveling
by Miles Walker
Travel insurance is an essential investment for every traveler. With so many unpredictable factors threatening vacations, business and emergency travel, the small price to pay for such a beneficial accessory is crucial. This post will explain the most essential forms of coverage to purchase before traveling.
Road trips warrant the need for travel insurance, even though they're the most commonly-overlooked type of trip when it comes to travel insurance. There are hundreds of things that could happen while driving, but there are a few very necessary types of insurance to purchase for any road trip.
Even when personal medical insurance is available, travel medical insurance is a good investment. For the small price of a premium payment, medical expenses will be covered well, assuming the company sells a solid policy. Make sure emergency care is covered, as well as lost or stolen prescriptions. Many people lose their medication while on vacation. If narcotics are lost and there is no travel insurance, it could be virtually impossible to obtain more. Most personal medical insurance policies have a high deductible for emergency care, especially out of the country. Always be sure that a travel insurance policy has generous medical coverage for both international and domestic travel. Also, the deductible must be affordable.
Rental Car Collision Insurance
Most personal insurance companies don't have a very good clause for rental car insurance. Keep in mind that the numbers for personal insurance don't reflect rentals also. For domestic travel, also remember that each state treats accidents differently. States that use the tort law system may be a nightmare for travelers who experience an at-fault accident without ample coverage. Research the state's minimums and be sure to purchase a policy that is generous enough. Don't always trust rental car companies' policies; their provisions are often far less than third-party travel insurance companies and are much more expensive. Travel insurance is always the best and most affordable option for rental cars.
Whether renting a car or driving a personally-owned vehicle, be sure to purchase travel roadside assistance. This is essential in remote areas or for mountain destinations. Many vehicles experience problems when changing altitudes or temperatures. There are always a thousand things that could go wrong in the middle of nowhere, so it is always important to spend a few dollars for a good roadside assistance plan. Most include emergency towing, which is very expensive without insurance. The cost to tow a car alone could pay for at least 50 travel policy premiums.
There are several different aspects of flying that warrant insurance. Ample medical coverage should also be included in any flight insurance policy. Most comprehensive insurance policies have ample provisions for each of these areas, but it is important to be certain before purchasing a policy.
Lost Checked Baggage
No passenger wants to think about their luggage getting lost, but it happens thousands of times throughout the world each day. Be sure any insurance policy has provisions for lost, damaged or stolen luggage. If the coverage is provided in a specific dollar amount, be certain that it is ample enough to cover whatever is in the bags. If not, consider an upgrade. Most airlines aren't reliable about compensating an ample amount for lost, damaged or stolen luggage, so this insurance is crucial.
Flight Delay & Cancellation
During inclement weather, flights are cancelled frequently for passenger and pilot safety. Not all airlines provide ample compensation. Some may split up groups of travelers or families and force them to fly on separate flights. Travelers who wish to stay together will appreciate this beneficial insurance. Weather isn't always a reason for cancelled flights; mechanical and technical problems ground hundreds of flights each week. Delay or cancellation insurance will provide enough money to buy another last-minute flight from a different airline, if necessary. This is essential for business travelers who must keep to a strict itinerary.
Other Forms Of Insurance
For both domestic and international travel, it is essential to have coverage for lost or stolen documents and belongings. This will ensure that return travel is possible, even when visas, passports, drivers licenses, credit cards or other important items are stolen or lost. When traveling internationally, be sure to choose a company that has 24-hour assistance seven days per week. The company must have a toll-free number and provide a way to offer quick compensation. Make sure the company is registered with the BBB.
Train & Bus
There aren't many companies that offer rail travel insurance. When traveling by train, whether internationally or domestically, be sure to have a good baggage insurance and travel document policy. Trains do not usually have the same security measures for baggage that airlines do. Buses are even worse, especially for baggage that is carried below the bus. Bags are often stolen or lost during transfers. Purchase emergency medical coverage and trip interruption insurance; an emergency trip to the hospital will result in missing a bus or train trip and the tickets are usually not refundable.
Special travel insurance policies exist especially for cruises. Depending on the destination chosen, some insurance options may be better than others. When traveling to tropical regions, there is more likelihood of needing medical care, so be sure the medical provisions in the cruise insurance policy are good. Medical plans should cover any care on board the ship, as well as care obtained in medical facilities in port-of-call cities where the ship stops. Make sure there is trip cancellation, disaster, water damage and fire damage provisions. These incidences happen on cruises more often than they should, so it is important to be prepared. Fire and water damage are often excluded from a simple "damaged, lost or stolen" baggage policy, so always remember that when comparing plans. As with any other form of travel, make sure the lost or stolen baggage policy is acceptable. Some cruise insurance policies also tie in flight cancellation, trip interruption and inclement weather provisions. These specifics are important for travelers who must fly to the port of call.
Miles Walker is a freelance writer who normally writes feature articles for carinsurancecomparison.org. He recently wrote about car insurance CA.