What You Should Look After When You are Traveling – Part 2

Written by: David Scott

In our previous article, What You Should Look After When You are Traveling: Travel Insurance (Part 1), we have already discussed why you need travel insurance, the main types of travel insurance, and the detailed coverage options. Furthermore, in this article, we will cover:

  1. Other Criteria to Consider
  2. Coverage You May Already Have
  3. Plan & Price Option Comparisons

Other Criteria to Consider

In addition to these typical options, you will also want to consider other criteria that are relevant to your situation, for example:

  • Country of Citizenship
    • Many of the insurance plans that will be mentioned in the upcoming section are for the US. However, there are also quite a few that cover additional countries. So, depending on where you are located, you will want to search for travel insurance companies that are for citizens of your country. 
  • Home Country vs. International
    • Specifically, at least for US citizens, medical plans only cover you abroad if ‘medical travel plans’ are included. However, most of the other travel insurance companies cover you as long as you are more than a hundred miles from home. So, just make sure you understand where you are covered in the world.
  • Trip Maximum Duration
    • Depending on whether you are traveling for (1 day, 3 months, 365 days, 5 years), the plans that are available to you, depending on the length of your trip, will vary greatly. If you are traveling for one day, certain plans might not be available. And if you are traveling for 365 days or more, you will definitely be limited to which plans you can get. Also, as we mentioned before, there are multi-trip plans, but these typically also have trip length limitations. So, if you are planning to take multiple trips during the year, you can pay for an entire year of coverage. But you typically can only stay, for example, 30-90 days on each trip, and you have to return home between trips.
  • Schengen Visa and Other Country Requirements
    • The Schengen countries are located in Europe. A Schengen visa will allow you to visit and move freely between the 26 countries that make up the Schengen area. However, the EU is aware of the incidents that may happen during one’s travels throughout the Schengen zone. That is why it has obliged all travelers to be in possession of travel health medical insurance to protect themselves in case of any emergencies. A travel insurance policy is mandatory only for travelers who need to apply for a Schengen visa. So, if you are planning to apply for a Schengen visa, you need to have certain requirements met with your insurance. Many people get confused when it comes to travel medical insurance and purchase travel insurance instead; hence, it is important to know the difference between the two (please read our previous article “What You Should Look After When You are Traveling: Travel Insurance (Part 1)”). Other countries may have other requirements for insurance. So, make sure you check before you travel. 
  • Exclusions
    • One of the exclusions that we look at is alcohol exclusion. Most insurance companies exclude alcohol-induced illness. Meaning if you drink too much and get alcohol poisoning, your travel insurance is not going to cover it. Other exclusions often apply, so be sure to look through the list before buying the insurance.
  • Public vs. Private Hospitals
    • Most insurances will let you go to any hospital and cover it, but that is not always the case. Some of them will only cover if you are in a public hospital.
  • Renewable Policy
    • If you are traveling long-term, you will want to know if you can renew the policy each year or month, depending on how you want it to work.
  • Age Restrictions
    • Many policies have age restrictions, So if you are above a certain age, your policy is going to cost more or may not be available from certain insurance companies. 
  • Concierge Services
    • Insurance companies sometimes offer concierge services. They will help you find English-speaking doctors. They will help you find new flights if you have a delay or a cancellation. So, check out what kind of services they will offer if that is something you are looking for.
  • Customer Service & Claim Time
    • We highly recommend at least calling and understanding how long their customer service wait time is. In case you have an incident while you are overseas. Regarding claim time, you likely won’t be able to test it unless you actually have an incident. But you may want to research online to see what other people have said about the claim times of certain insurance companies. 
  • COVID-19 Coverage
    • You would be covered if you purchased your travel insurance policy before COVID-19 and shelter-in-place. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on 12th March 2020; if you purchased your travel insurance policy before that date, you can assume that you will be covered. But definitely still make sure to check with your insurer because the dates may vary. Most insurance providers are giving updates on how COVID-19 is affecting future travel plans, but some existing policies have new strict cut-off dates, so make sure to check your insurance policy and make your claim for compensation before it’s too late. You are very unlikely to be covered if you booked a trip to travel to an affected region and took out travel insurance after coronavirus was declared a pandemic. If you bought travel insurance prior to the pandemic and now you can’t travel because of the travel restrictions, then you should be able to cancel your policy. But definitely look into your pending claims because if you cancel your travel insurance policy and have outstanding pending claims, then those claims will be nullified if you cancel your travel insurance policies. 

Coverage You May Already Have

Now, let’s take a look at the coverage you may already have and don’t realize!

  • Credit Card Companies
    • Most credit cards come with some sort of insurance. For example, one of the most common, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, comes with basic travel insurance for trips up to 60 days. Call the companies and see what they offer before you go buy something that you don’t need.
  • Health Insurance Provider
    • Check with your health insurance company. Depending on your citizenship and the company and plan you have, you may be covered for certain trips and durations. Most likely, if you are in the US and traveling abroad, your existing health insurance will not cover you.
  • Airlines
    • Some airlines, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, include free travel medical insurance for a certain period of time when you purchase your flight. For example, Emirates covers up to $175,000 for COVID-19-related overseas medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, and repatriation, and $115/day/person for up to 14 consecutive days if you test positive for COVID 19 and are unexpectedly placed into mandatory quarantine while overseas. Please check with your airlines before purchasing additional travel insurance from third parties.

Plan & Price Option Comparisons

Now that you know what coverage you already have and what options are available, we will give you some external sources to compare some travel insurance providers:

Please note that we are completely neutral, and we have no affiliation with any of the insurance providers listed in the other blogs above.

Final Thoughts

After reading through our articles, both Part 1 & Part 2, on this topic, now you have a grounded understanding of all factors that you need to consider before deciding to have travel insurance, such as why you need travel insurance, the main types of travel insurance, and the detailed coverage options in Part 1 and other criteria to consider, the coverage you may already have, and plan & price option comparisons. Now, all that’s left to worry about is enjoying your holiday!

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