Why you need travel insurance for your big international trip – Robb Report

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As the deployment of the Covid-19 vaccine continues, many countries are reopening their borders and travelers are feeling more confident again.

International travel is exciting and rewarding, but it’s important to be prepared when crossing borders. When traveling away from home, there is always the possibility of having an illness or injury in an unfamiliar place. On top of that, you navigate new environments, language barriers and logistical challenges.

International travel often requires a lot of planning and usually prepayments for deposits.

“Long-haul flights and accommodation can add up and can be a big loss if you don’t finish your trip as planned or if you end up canceling,” says Lisa Cheng, spokesperson for the insurance company. World Nomads. “Protecting these investments, as well as your health, should be a priority when traveling abroad. “

International travel creates additional risks for you and your belongings, but there are many possible issues that you can purchase insurance for.

Travelers by the sea in Turkey.

Atif Zafrak / Unsplash

Medical insurance considerations for the international traveler

Perhaps more importantly, planning for medical issues is essential when you are out of the country. Cheng says that when faced with a medical emergency, your travel insurance company’s emergency assistance team can direct you to quality care through a network of approved providers, help you monitor your care, and take remedial action. arrangements for medical evacuation if necessary. “These things are especially difficult for yourself to figure out when you are in a foreign country,” she says.

Travel medical insurance pays for expenses such as doctors, hospitals, and treatments.

Carol Mueller, spokesperson for Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, says most American consumers don’t realize when traveling abroad that their health plan is not with them.

At best, “you’ll be off the grid and bear the increased expense of hospital or doctor visits abroad,” she says. Or your health plan may not have international coverage. Travel insurance can save you thousands of dollars in personal, unforeseen and potentially catastrophic expenses, she says.

Look for travel medical coverage of at least $ 100,000. Seniors, who typically make more medical claims while traveling, may want to seek medical coverage of at least $ 250,000.

A separate coverage called emergency medical evacuation insurance pays to transport you to a better medical facility or even home when your condition requires it. You can purchase travel insurance policies with medical evacuation coverage of up to $ 1 million.

“A medical evacuation could be financially catastrophic, costing over $ 100,000,” Mueller said.

She also notes that medical evacuation coverage isn’t just for airlifting you out of a remote area after an injury. It also offers advantages such as:

  • The cost of the extra seats needed to get home with a broken leg.
  • The cost of a traveling medical escort to accompany you home or an additional travel attendant for minor children returning home while the hospitalized traveler has an extended stay.
  • Expenses associated with additional hotel nights or meals for a traveling companion who stays longer at the bedside of a hospitalized traveler.

Related: Compare travel insurance quotes from over 22 providers

Insurance for what you have packed

And then there is everything you can take with you. Baggage and Personal Effects coverage pays for damage, loss or even delay in getting your baggage to your destination. For example, good baggage coverage can offer $ 2,500 per person when baggage is missing and $ 500 per person to spend on necessities if baggage is delayed for 12 hours or more.

“You will need protection for your luggage and personal effects, including your travel documents,” explains Cheng. “It’s a big deal to travel abroad when you lose a passport and / or visa. The same is true when your luggage is delayed or your wallet is stolen.

International Travel Insurance

The glowing beachfront properties and beach in Palafrugell, Spain.

Susan Flynn / Unsplash

Delays and emergency changes

If you are traveling abroad, you probably have connecting flights. Your policy’s travel delay coverage can ease the stress of long waits by covering expenses if a flight is delayed by more than a certain number of hours. For example, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection’s ExactCare plan provides $ 200 per day if you’re delayed more than five hours. You might need it for meals, toiletries, or extra clothing.

If you need to cut your international trip short, a policy’s Trip Interruption Benefit reimburses you for unused non-refundable down payments. For example, if you lost a hotel deposit in Capri because you were injured in Rome and had to return home earlier, this benefit will reimburse you.

Trip Interruption Coverage also covers the cost of your emergency trip home.

If you don’t have this type of coverage, you could be faced with very expensive last minute fares for international flights.

Set up a comprehensive insurance plan

Travel insurance plans typically bundle coverage into a comprehensive package that includes trip cancellation insurance and trip interruption and delay coverage; travel medical expenses and medical evacuation; damaged, delayed, lost or stolen baggage; and a host of emergency travel assistance services.

Note the 24/7 helpline offered with your insurance plan. Travel assistance from a travel insurance company can make everything about your trip easier, including helping you with entry and vaccination requirements, currency conversions, locating a local doctor in overseas, locating a pharmacy or translating or interpreting services, explains Cheng.

Related: Compare travel insurance quotes for 2021


Erica Lamberg is a personal finance and travel writer based in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She is a regular contributor to USA Today and her writing includes NBC News, US News & World Report, Business Insider, Oprah Magazine, and Creditcards.com.


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