Travel Insurance as the phrase states, is an insurance taken out to cover the medical needs of the insured while traveling outside his/ her town of residence. While embarking upon a trip, it is important that one should be covered by travel insurance; however, while choosing a travel insurance policy, it is important to know the flavors available. Most international travel insurance policies cover medical needs, however many a policy also cover financial and monetary losses in the event of loss of luggage or any other losses suffered due to reasons set in the policy.
Travel insurance coverage is of various kinds but can be broadly classified into five kinds:
Comprehensive travel medical insurance: This kind of coverage is best suited for people who have no medical coverage, even in their home town. This is best suited to people who travel a lot or are posted on a job outside their country of citizenship.
Medical evacuation insurance: This kind of medical travel insurance covers costs of an air ambulance and the cost of doctors and nurses in the place of injury. Evacuation is very expensive and is not really necessary, because most countries today have excellent medical facilities to take care of emergencies. This kind of coverage is needed for sportsmen taking part in extreme sports who may need immediate and advanced medical attention in case of a mishap.
Emergency travel medical insurance: this kind of medical insurance is for people who are covered at home, but the coverage does not include traveling medical aid. This kind of coverage only covers emergency medical services abroad and the post incident care has to borne at home by the individual or the existing medical cover at home. Make sure that your home cover does not include travel cover before you opt for emergency travel medical insurance.
Supplier default insurance: This kind of insurance will cover any monetary losses borne by you in case of the airline or operator you are traveling by goes bankrupt. This coverage has been cut back since the September 11 incident and many companies have stopped offering it.
Trip cancellation or interruption insurance: This kind of insurance covers the penalties levied due to cancellation of the trip for reasons as specified. The reasons may include injury or illness to the insured or a person of his/her family, or a travel companion.
How to get travel insurance
The internet is the best source to find the best international travel insurance suited to you. You may find many companies offering cheap vacation insurance, cheap worldwide travel insurance, and Multi trip holiday insurance and so on. All these are various words used to mean the same.
Most travel agencies and service providers offer travel insurance as an add-on option when you buy tickets from them. Many of them offer various kinds of international travel insurance that suits their services. It is important to pick and choose the insurance that suits your needs rather than just buying what is being offered.
Many regular insurance agents also offer international travel insurance especially the longer version kinds like the comprehensive travel medical insurance. Travel coverage when included with health coverage works out cheaper in the long term, and works best for frequent and long term travelers. It is however important to discuss your needs with your regular insurance agent before taking up a policy, so that you do not end up paying twice for the same coverage.