Types of Travel Insurance Plans

by Asako Maruoka /
Asako Maruoka's picture
Nov 22, 2011 / 0 comments

While vacations or travels can be a success with careful planning, there can be unfortunate things that can happen and turn a vacation into a nightmare instead.  Buying travel insurance is a great way to avoid such situations.  A traveler can be protected from unexpected things such as medical expenses, the high costs of trip cancellation & interruption, rebooking flights in case of bad weather, and many more.

Yet, as there are many types of travel insurance plans available from many companies and with different coverage, a traveler should be keen on doing their research and gaining understanding.  Doing so should enable the traveler to get the best travel insurance he or she needs for a trip or even for a whole year for the frequent traveler.

Below are the types of travel insurance, an overview of each, and why they should be purchased.

Medical/Medivac/Accidental Death

Medical Insurance covers the medical and dental needs of the beneficiary while on travel.  Under this type of insurance plan, there are two types of coverage that can be available as well: medical evacuation and accidental death and dismemberment.  Yet, there are policies that offer these two as stand alone coverage.

A medical evacuation or medivac is an insurance type that will cover for transport to a hospital in case public transportation or any kind of transportation is unavailable and the patient is unfit to travel through regular means.  This travel insurance plan is for those who travel for vacation, business, study, or mission to remote places where transport is almost next to non-existent.  This insurance plan should cover for helicopter transport, for instance.

An accidental death and dismemberment coverage of a medical insurance or stand alone insurance plan acts like a typical life insurance.  It covers an insured person for the whole duration of the trip and pays his/her beneficiary/ies in case of death.

If you already have Medicare or a health insurance covered by an HMO, you would probably ask yourself “Why should you buy travel insurance?”  Medicare usually only cover medical expenses incurred within the country of residence while an HMO usually covers only those incurred in the region they operate.  So, before buying medical insurance for travel, you should first check into the coverage of your current medical insurance.  Additionally, you should check about rules on pre-existing conditions and limits in age.


Trip Protection

A trip protection plan covers the related expenses when a traveler needs to cancel a trip before it even starts, delay a trip or interrupt or cut a trip short.  Whenever you travel, you ordinarily make reservations for airline tickets and hotel accommodations and these require a certain amount for down payment.  Ordinarily, if you cancel any of these reservations, you’ll be incurring a fee to be deducted from the down payment you made.  Trip cancellation coverage will protect you from these fees - yet there are only certain conditions that apply, for instance, due to illness.  Under this coverage, you may also get a refund of all your prepaid expenses.

Delay coverage covers prepaid hotel expenses that were not yet used due to a delay in travel.  Instances where this type of insurance plan can be applied include bad weather conditions.

Apart from cancellation and delay, a traveler may also need to interrupt or cut a trip short for several reasons and this could entail expenses related to unused prepaid airline tickets, new airline tickets related to the new flight schedule, and other prepaid hotel accommodations that will be unused.  Interruption coverage will take care of these expenses under valid conditions such as job loss reasons, due to illness, illness or death of a family member and even bad weather conditions.

Trip protection travel insurance plans are best for travelers looking forward to long or extended travels where bad weather conditions and other personal issues can arise in between; because the longer your travel plan is, the greater the possibility for unexpected things to happen.


Luggage/Rental Car Insurance

Luggage and rental car insurance plans will cover stolen or lost baggage and rental car in case of vehicular accidents while on travel.  Airlines generally cover lost baggage yet there are limitations to what they would pay for.  For instance, certain personal items might be too expensive for them to reimburse.

Meanwhile, rental car insurance is beneficial for those whose regular auto insurance does not cover rentals.  Thus, a traveler should first consult with his or her current insurance plans before buying a certain luggage or car rental type of travel insurance.


Special/Package Insurance

A special or package insurance can be a combination of all or a few of the types of travel insurance mentioned here.  This can include coverage for a single trip only or coverage for a whole year; and coverage for a single or a group of travelers.

A frequent traveler should look into an insurance plan that has coverage for a long period or a whole year to save on fees.  A group or family traveling together on the other hand, may save on fees with group insurance.  A traveler may further customize a travel insurance plan in order to achieve the ideal travel insurance.  Checking with different insurance providers can help achieve this.

When you buy travel insurance it is a great way to plan for unexpected events such as bad weather, illness that may require medical expenses, or road accidents.  And in order to achieve the best travel insurance, a traveler should take time to explore the different types of insurance plans listed here.  It will also be wise to check coverage for travel assistance services that can help located services such as professional medical services or even advice on what to do in case of stolen or lost passport while on travel.