Get ready for our second installment of planning for long-term travel, the insurance edition. Insurance is a very interesting purchase because you’re buying something you hope you’ll never actually need to use. But it’s invaluable when you do need it.
In the first segment of planning for long-term travel, we touched on travel insurance. These types of policies offer essential protection during long-term or long-distance trips for problems like:
- Lost or stolen luggage
- Missed flights
Travel can be costly, so investing in coverage is always a good idea. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of travel insurance and how your current plans can provide additional coverage.
Homeowners or Renters Insurance
It’s hard to relax and enjoy your travels if you’re worried about what’s happening at your home base. Before you leave home, you have to make sure your property and personal belongings are safe. Homeowners and renters insurance cost is nominal compared to handling the financial hit of a break in or disaster while you’re gone.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK: In addition to verifying what is/isn’t covered and the coverage amounts, see if your homeowners or renters insurance covers lost or stolen luggage.
Traveler’s Health Insurance
You may be required to have health insurance in the U.S., however, few plans are applicable outside of the states. Once you travel out of the country your health insurance coverage usually becomes nonexistent.
There are countless travel health insurance options available. The most important considerations are the company’s reputation for handling claims and the amount of coverage provided. Look for a comprehensive travel health insurance plan that covers:
- Emergency care
- Hospital stays
- Accident medical expense
- Emergency evacuation
- Accidental death and dismemberment
- Repatriation of remains
- Passport protection
- Baggage delay insurance
One of the best programs is STA Travel’s international travel insurance. It’s open to teachers, students and any travelers between the ages of 12-25. Regular travelers can also take advantage of annual plans that are more cost effective.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK: Whether your current health plan covers any type of international care. Some plans may cover things like emergency services. If that’s the case you can use specialty products like evacuation insurance to fill in the gaps.
Are you planning a long-term trip by vehicle? Maybe an international trek from Canada down to South America? Well then, you may need to increase your auto insurance.
The last thing any traveler wants is to get into an auto accident in a country where they don’t know the regulations, aren’t fluent and don’t have adequate insurance. Getting behind the wheel in another country comes with new requirements, risks and liabilities. That’s why most auto insurance plans only cover driving in your home country.
Luckily, you can get extended auto insurance that’s added on to your standard policy. You could also get coverage through a rental company if you’re renting a vehicle. One last place to check is your credit card company. Some companies will cover the insurance costs if you use their credit card to purchase the rental vehicle.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK: Look for auto insurance plans that also cover medical expenses for injuries sustained in an accident. That way you are doubly protected from health-rated expenses.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
By far, trip cancellation insurance is one of the most popular types of coverage for travelers. It’s highly recommended if you’ve purchased an expensive flight or put down a large deposit.
Basically, this type of insurance provides reimbursement if travel plans are canceled. The plan will specify various scenarios in which the reimbursement applies. Comprehensive “cancel for any reason” policies offer the most extensive trip cancellation coverage.
It’s best to purchase trip cancellation policies from a third party. Usually, the travel or tour provider won’t cover their own default unless the business goes under.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK: If the plan includes an “acts of terrorism” clause. In some parts of the world, this could be a real need. Plans that include the clause provide coverage if the countries you are traveling to are affected by a terrorist act that delays or cancels your travel.