Did you know there are 9 different types of insurance for travel?
In this guide, we’ll briefly go over the various types for your upcoming trip or relocation so you find the right travel insurance for you and your loved ones.
Travel Insurance Types
Travel Insurance is your standard type of insurance for a trip covering trip cancellations, flight delays, lost luggage, and some limited medical coverage. Basically your trip itself is insured.
You can typically get this limited coverage through your credit card, airline, or can purchase more a comprehensive plan through an insurance company.
Travel Medical Insurance
Travel Medical Insurance is a more comprehensive plan to cover any expenses in case you get sick or injured once you leave your home country on vacation in the short term.
Basically, it’s a combo of traditional travel insurance and medical insurance for international travel.
Your primary health insurance typically does not cover any medical expenses internationally so when you’re on vacation if you go to the nearest hospital, all expenses are out of pocket.
There have been incidents recently where hospitals in foreign countries won’t let you leave until you pay the total bill in cash. The local police have been called in as well.
Travel medical insurance also offers additional coverage for evacuations and natural disasters as well.
International Health Insurance
Where travel medical insurance covers you and your family in the short term like a vacation, International Health Insurance covers you medically in the long term if you decide to move to another country or visit for 12 months or longer.
Since you typically can’t purchase standard medical insurance while living abroad, you would purchase long term major medical coverage for travelers.
International Health Insurance is also known as Expat Insurance.
Senior Travel Insurance
Senior Travel Insurance is a form of travel medical insurance created specifically for travelers over the age of 65, and actively enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and enrolled in a Medigap Plan or Medicare Advantage Plan.
International Student Health Insurance
If you’re a student, scholar, or exchange student studying in a foreign country, International Student Health Insurance will cover you medically while abroad. The health insurance will also cover students traveling for organized sports as well.
So you’re preparing for an upcoming mission trip or volunteer trip (natural disaster relief, social good), and you know you’re going to a country that might be underdeveloped or dangerous, this is where Missionary Insurance comes in.
Insurance for International Business
Let’s say your business needs to assign employees internationally, and as an employer, you need to provide health insurance coverage while away because your primary employer-sponsored group health insurance doesn’t cover international work. This is where international health insurance comes in.
This liability insurance coverage protects from accidents, injury, and illness while abroad.
Marine Medical Insurance
If you’re a captain or a professional crew member (cruise ship, yacht, etc.) you probably travel all over the world into international waters which could mean multiple countries all by boat.
You’ll need to be covered not by a specific country, but the majority of the world if not entirely global coverage. This is where Marine Medical Insurance comes into play.
Visitors Insurance is a unique type of international insurance created specifically for tourists and immigrants visiting the United States. The U.S. has some of the most expensive healthcare in the world, and Visitors Insurance covers just that.
Travel Insurance Explained
Travel Insurance is different than travel medical insurance or international health insurance in that it’s not a comprehensive health insurance plan with medical expense coverage.
Insurance for travel coverage is simply an optional solution in case the “worst-case scenario” with your upcoming travel plans like a cancellation or lost luggage.
Basically, you’re buying a “Peace of Mind”.
There’s no reason why you should pay an arm and a leg for the coverage.
In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the comprehensive insurance plan, what’s covered, and we’ll answer all your questions.
Travel Assistance Services
Emergency travel assistance and concierge services are typically provided to you while on your trip 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Emergency Travel Arrangements
- Medical Treatment Referral
- Lost Passports
- Lost Travel Documents Assistance
- 24-Hour Medical Care Monitoring
- Lost Luggage and Personal Belongings Assistance
- Emergency Cash Transfer
- Embassy or Consulate Referrals
- Legal Professional Referrals
- Emergency Message Relay Service
- Emergency Translations
- Emergency Prescription Drugs Replacement
Trip Cancellation & Interruption Coverage
- Below are examples of trip cancellation and interruption that might be covered. Travel insurance plans vary so please read your plan when purchasing.
- The sickness, bodily injury or death the insured, a family member, a travel companion, a business partner or a caregiver of a child.
- A family emergency.
- Your primary residence or your travel destination being rendered uninhabitable.
- A documented case of theft of your passport or visa.
- Business travelers involved in a merger, loss of a job or relocation due to your job.
- You’ve been in a traffic accident.
- There has been an unannounced strike at your job.
- Severe weather has caused a cessation of services provided by your common carrier.
- There has been a mechanical breakdown of the common carrier.
- There has been an evacuation due to natural disasters.
- You have been called to military duty for a natural disaster that has occurred.
- A terrorist attack has occurred.
- Your military leave has been revoked.
- Your travel provider has default or declared bankruptcy (travel partner, travel retailer, tour operator, travel agent or agency, or a firm from whom your purchased travel arrangements are not included).
- There is a hurricane warning declared at your destination.
- A judge has sent you a subpoena to appear in court as a witness.
- You’ve been summoned for jury duty.
- You are involved in a quarantine.
- There has been a hijacking.
Travel Insurance Policy Benefits
Varies By Policy
- Trip Cancellation Coverage
- Trip Interruption Coverage
- Trip Delay Insurance
- Missed Connections
- Change Fees
- Reimbursement of Miles or Reward Points
- Lost Baggage Insurance and Personal Property
- Baggage Insurance
- Baggage Delay Insurance
- Accident and Sickness Medical Bills
- Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
- Common Carrier Accidental & Dismemberment (Flight Accident Insurance)
- Trip Cancellation For Any Reason (including nonrefundable reservations)
- Trip Interruptions for Any Reason
- Search and Rescues
- Sports Equipment Rentals
- Non-Medical Emergency Civil and Political Evacuation
- Rental Car Insurance
- Pre-Existing Condition Waivers
Who is the best Travel Insurance company?
I recommend IMG Travel Insurance Plans for the following reasons:
- Cheaper Than Other Travel Insurance Companies.
- More Major Medical Coverage Options (25 Travel Medical Plans)
- Comprehensive Health Plans for Individual and Group Travel Insurance
- $2.6 billion-dollar Travel Insurance Provider.
- Offers Only Insurance for Travel.
- Rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best.
- Rated A- by Standard & Poor’s.
- 24/7 Emergency Medical and Travel Assistance Services.
- Multilingual Customer Service Staff (18 Languages Spoken In-House)
- A Network of 17,000 Physicians and Facilities Worldwide
Travel Insurance Loopholes
Some loopholes in the fine print with traditional travel coverage (i.e. credit cards) are the medical plan coverage when stepping outside your home country. Usually, there is some health coverage or medical assistance, but minimal at best.
International hospitals have been known to dramatically increase medical expense prices up for tourists especially when they’re seeking emergency care. Traditional travel insurance just doesn’t cover it.
The bottom line is you want to make sure there is sufficient coverage available if you’re stepping outside your home country including border countries.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get travel insurance quotes?
Click on the “Buy Now” buttons through this page, or you can click above to compare plans.
What should I enter for “Trip Cost”?
Enter the total amount of your non-refundable and pre-paid travel arrangements to be insured (Final Trip Payment).
Is a Travel Insurance Plan refundable?
If there is a “free look” period on your comprehensive insurance policy, travelers are eligible for a refund on the coverage itself.
This varies from policy to policy. You typically do not get a refund as part of Trip Cancellation Insurance.
What does Trip Cancellation cover?
Employment layoff, the airline or cruise line goes into bankruptcy or default, terrorism, work has revoked your time off, civil or political unrest in the country you’re visiting, inclement weather, sickness or death of you, a family member, or traveling companions.
I’m pregnant, will I be covered under Trip Cancellation?
Typically not. Most plans do not cover pregnancy, but you can upgrade to a “Cancel For Any Reason” upgrade to your policy.
How long does the Travel Insurance plan last?
The length of your trip.
How do I file a claim?
Always save your receipts before, during, and after your trip.
Contact your trip insurance provider.
Submit your receipts and documentation proving you have canceled your trip.
Fill out a claim form.
Submit all documentation to the insurance company.
How long does a claim take to complete?
The average time is between 15 -20 days.
Can I buy a travel insurance policy after booking my flight?
You can purchase trip interruption insurance coverage anytime up to the day of the flight. Anytime starting the first day of your trip, you can not buy coverage.
Are flight insurance plans included in my trip insurance?
Under the Trip Cancellation Insurance coverage, a prepaid or non-refundable trip expense including airfare can be refunded. Travel Delay can cover trip costs as well. These are the 2 methods for canceled flight insurance.
Is there Travel Insurance for Sports?
You want to look to Travel Medical Insurance for typical sports, extreme sports, winter sports, and adventure sports activity. They have optional coverage and additional health insurance-related riders and insurance benefits specifically for sports-related travel like Scuba Diving, Bungee Jumping, Mountain Climbing, etc. TMI is a health plan that will provide you medical coverage.
Can I buy travel insurance for multiple trips?
Yes. You will purchase an annual policy that will cover unlimited trips throughout that year, up to 30 or 45 days at a time. Coverage for multiple trips is NOT the same as a single trip coverage. Please be aware.
Are my frequent flyer miles or points covered under travel insurance?
Typically miles or reward points are not covered and are not eligible for a refund.
How much does travel insurance cost?
The travel investment prices vary on several different factors such as the number of travelers, their ages, trip cost, and the length of the trip. The destination can also determine the premium cost.
Can I get a discount on insurance for traveling?
No. The cost of insurance for travel coverage is regulated by the state, and considered illegal to discount any costs for coverage.
Is there travel insurance for pre-existing conditions, and can I cancel my trip?
Canceling trips due to pre-existing conditions vary from policy to policy. If there is a waiver available, you typically have to cancel within a certain window after purchasing the coverage. You want to make sure you are pro-actively seeking a policy that can be flexible with pre-existing medical conditions.
Is life insurance included with travel insurance?
Under the Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) benefit, there is some form of life insurance included. The Accidental Death coverage is not sufficient life insurance, but rather will cover final expense costs. Not all plans have AD&D or Flight Accident Insurance coverage. You need to check the policy prior to purchasing.
With Group Travel Insurance, can everyone in the group be on the same policy?
Yes. With group travel insurance, the group must travel to the same destination on the same dates.