How To… Choose Travel Insurance

Getting Started

Before you purchase travel insurance, do a little research.

Find out what’s covered by your homeowner’s insurance, credit card provider or your existing health insurance policy.

Homeowner’s insurance might cover lost or stolen luggage, but it won’t cover other travel-related incidents such as trip cancellation. It’s likely your existing health insurance won’t cover medical expenses outside of the country.

Once you’ve determined what coverage you already have, choose travel insurance to fill in the gaps.

 

Types of Travel Insurance

Premiums are based either on the length of your trip or a percentage of your trip’s cost.

Three basic types of travel insurance exist:

          1. Short-term or single trip covers trips up to 90 days.
          2. Long-term or multi-trip covers trips up to one year
          3. Expatriate covers people living overseas.

 

Elements of Travel Insurance

Policies can vary widely in the types of incidents they cover and the coverage amount. Here are some common features that can be included:

            • Emergency medical care usually doesn’t include routine exams or physicals.
            • Emergency dental care usually doesn’t include checkups or cleaning.
            • Medical evacuation covers the cost of transporting you to the nearest hospital equipped to handle your medical emergency, which could be in another country.
            • Trip cancellation or delay covers the cost of your trip if you need to cancel or delay due to an emergency or unforeseen circumstances such as a transportation strike.
            • Lost or delayed baggage covers up to a certain dollar amount.
            • Repatriation of remains assists with the cost and red tape of returning your remains.
            • Legal aid, referral assistance, and multilingual help can be invaluable in an emergency.
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    Common Exclusions

    Like most insurance policies, travel insurance has many exceptions. Here are some common ones:

              • Prior medical conditions
              • Pregnancy
              • Sports activities (including scuba diving, rock climbing and organized sports)
              • Self-inflicted injury
              • Suicide
              • Mental illness
              • Claims arising from war (declared or undeclared)
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      Choosing a Policy

      Finding Travel Insurance
      Here are some tips to get your search started:

                • Research your current coverage by checking with your existing health insurance provider and your credit card provider.
                • Ask your travel agent.
                • Explore the web.

       

      Access Your Needs

      Several factors will determine which insurance policy is best for you:

                • The length of your trip
                • Your destination
                • Participation in high-risk sports (e.g., mountaineering, climbing)

       

      Compare Features

      Weigh your needs against the types of coverage offered. Remember to read all the fine print.

      Consider:

                • What’s covered, and what isn’t
                • The cost

       

      Tuatara Tours recommends that all clients who travel with us have current travel insurance, even if you are travelling domestically.

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