Travel Insurance Buyer’s Guide
How to Protect Yourself on Vacation
By Ken Faught
There are a lot of things that people forget about when traveling, especially with international adventures. One of the biggest items is travel insurance, and it can be confusing to say the least. The most common mistake people make is believing that their insurance will protect them worldwide, but most likely, that is not that case. That’s why we put this travel insurance guide together to help answer some of the key questions, help you determine if it’s worth the cost and let you know what some of the companies offer.
There are four different types of travel insurance:
1) Trip Cancellation Insurance is for interruptions with your travel.
2) Travel Health Insurance covers you in the event of hospital visits while you are traveling abroad.
3) Medical Evacuation Insurance provides transportation to a major hospital when critical care is required.
4) Baggage & Property Insurance protects you from theft or damage to your property while on vacation.
We believe that everyone should have several types of insurance when they travel. The question is how much and which types? I have even rented a satellite phone when travelling in Zimbabwe and Botswana and had insurance for air ambulance transport in the middle of the desert during an off-road motorcycle ride, because accidents do happen. I separated my shoulder in Jaco, Costa Rica and was told I broke my collarbone. I paid full pop for the only ticket available back to the United States, and that was an overpriced first-class ticket. When Jennifer Emig sliced her finger when we were in Kauai and had to seek emergency treatment. Without the proper insurance, you could spend tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket to get care.
The type of insurance you need really depends on you and the insurance you have in your country. For starters, check your current policies for coverage. Most likely none of the options below are covered but check just in case.
Travel Insurance (Short-Term)
World Nomads is a company that specializes in short-term vacation coverage. This includes health coverage world wide (except for in your country of residence) and theft. It can also include medical evacuation, trip cancellation and theft (with a $500 per item theft limit)
Travel Insurance (Long-Term)
World Nomads also offers a long-term option for frequent travelers, but it’s more expensive as you would expect.
Camera & Video Equipment Insurance
I have used a company called TCP Insurance on and off since the 1990s. They offer a variety of general liability and equipment theft and damage options for a realistic price. Of course prices vary depending on the amount of equipment you own and all sorts of other criteria.
Unique Medical Insurance
If you are planning on living outside of the United States for more than six months, IMG Global specializes in long-term medical coverage world wide. It can also include coverage inside the United States with certain restrictions and you can choose your own deductible starting at $250 per occurrence. It also includes medical evacuation.
HTH Worldwide offers comprehensive international medical insurance that includes the United States. Travel insurance policies also include medical evacuation but does not include trip cancellation or theft.
Travel Insurance Tips & Tricks
Take photos of all your items before you travel and then stores those photos separately so you have reference pictures in case something happens.
Write down serial numbers of all equipment and keep that at home and in your mobile phone.
Make sure you have access to insurance policies while traveling just in case you need to file a claim.
File a police report immediately if you have any type of accident or theft.
Some credit cards may offer certain types of insurance coverage, such as automobile insurance, but read your policy to understand your coverage and policy limits.
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Hi! We are Ken Faught & Vanessa Doleshal. We love adventure travel, photography & sharim our journey with YOU! Our goal is help you plan that perfect trip & keep inspiring you to take the next one.