This post reveals my uncensored thoughts about how to travel safely and get value post-coronavirus.
Post pandemic travel abroad can be one of the most rewarding and memorable adventures. Still, if the unthinkable happens and you have to cancel your trip for any reason and get home quickly, you need to have an advocate (travel advisor) to help you get through this.
Is travel insurance worth it? That depends. There are many travel insurance plans to choose from. Do not think just because you bought travel insurance it will cover you in all situations!
Which one is best for you depends on where you are going and your health – and in a pandemic, the health of people around you. Will your insurance policy be accepted in the country you are in? Do you have to pay and then submit your bill for reimbursement, or will the insurance company pay the health provider? What about Medicare? These questions need to be answered before you go.
My friend Linda Bell is a Life & Health Insurance broker. She gave me a description of the most common types of travel insurance policies:
Trip protection is a combination of benefits that may include coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delays, emergency medical, emergency medical evacuation, baggage protection, baggage delay, and 24-hour emergency assistance services.
Travel Medical/International Medical
Travel Medical Insurance reimburses you for emergency medical expenses incurred when you are traveling or living in a foreign country. Maximum coverage levels can be substantial enough to cover major medical expenses such as emergency surgery and extended hospital stays. Plans usually include coverage for emergency medical evacuation, reunion, repatriation of remains, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), and other 24/7 travel assistance services.
Emergency Medical Evacuation
Depending on the plan, emergency medical evacuation covers the cost of transporting a seriously injured or ill person to the nearest adequate medical facility, a hospital near home, or the hospital of his/her choice.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment
Flight accident insurance, common carrier accident insurance, and/or 24-hour accidental death insurance pays you or your beneficiary a lump sum benefit when an accident results in your death, loss of a limb, or loss of your eyesight.
These plans specifically cover high-risk situations such as business travel to high-risk or war-risk countries. Coverages available include travel medical insurance, emergency medical evacuation, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance with no exclusions for incidents involving acts of war or terrorism. This category is also where you’ll find kidnap and ransom insurance, Defense Base Act insurance, and high-limit accidental death and dismemberment.
Designed for year-round peace of mind for people who love to travel, annual multi-trip travel insurance plans provide coverage for all of your trips throughout the year. (Maximum trip length of 30 to 180 days per trip depending on the plan.)
If your group consists of 10 or more traveling on the same trip itinerary, a group travel insurance plan may be your most economical choice! Many group plans are not age- banded; premiums vary according to the trip cost per person. Comprehensive group protection plans include trip cancellation, travel interruption and delay, emergency medical, emergency medical evacuation, lost or delayed baggage, and more. You can also purchase coverage for just medical and/or medical evacuation.
BEWARE, says Linda! Most travel insurance policies do not cover travel emergencies that are associated with COVID-19 unless Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage is included or added to your policy. Linda works closely with Travel Insurance Center when making recommendations for travel insurance coverage for her clients. Their Worldwide Trip Protector Plus travel protection plan is a very popular plan right now because it includes Cancel For Any Reason and Interrupt For Any Reason coverage if purchased within 21 days of initial trip payment or deposit and full pre-paid trip costs are insured. This policy returns 75% of your insured trip cost, which gives you a nice financial safety net when planning a trip during these uncertain times. (Must cancel 48 hours or more before departure. Not available to residents of New York.) Click here to take a close look at what this type of travel insurance policy covers.
Here’s Linda’s business card if you’d like to have more information about travel insurance, traveling with Medicare, or any other insurance questions: