Different Types of Traveling Insurance
Not all types of travel insurance are created equal, cost-effective, or even necessary.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip Cancellation Insurance is designed to refund you all or part of your normally non-refundable travel costs in case of a personal or family medical emergency. It’s usually offered to you right when you book your flight, and is not always available after the ticket is purchased.
There are always lots of stipulations and conditions around the coverage, but it might be worth it if it’s an expensive trip with long-haul flights.
Baggage Loss/Theft Insurance
Baggage Loss/Theft Insurance covers all or some of the value of your travel belongings if they are lost, stolen, or damaged. Read the fine print before you buy this kind of insurance! The requirements to make a claim, valuation formula, and even acceptable circumstances for making a claim vary greatly.
All in all, this type of insurance tends to be more hassle than it’s worth unless you’re traveling with expensive stuff (which may not even be covered). You may even already have this coverage with a credit card or other type of existing insurance.
Emergency Medical Travel Insurance
Emergency Medical Travel Insurance covers or reimburses you for unexpected medical expenses while you travel. It’s also the most commonly purchased, and probably the most practical type of travel insurance on the market.
In the case of accidents, some policies cover sports like scuba diving and skydiving while others don’t. What you were doing when you were injured, and where, are often important things to medical travel insurance companies.
If you are visiting certain locations in political turmoil or if you get hurt in a terrorist incident, you might also not be covered by some plans. It’s always important to read the fine print and make sure the things you want covered are covered.
All that aside, this type of insurance can be worth a lot to you if you fall ill or are in an accident. Trust me; it has come in handy for me multiple times over the years.
Full-time and long-term travelers may not qualify for regular travel insurance after they’ve been traveling for long enough. For example, for Canadians to qualify for travel insurance, they must have valid provincial coverage as a base. But if you are out of the country for too long, you lose that provincial coverage, and thus can’t get travel insurance any more.
In this case, we look to Expat Insurance, also called International Health/Medical Insurance or Worldwide Travel Insurance. It offers comprehensive medical insurance internationally, and is tailor-made for expats and long-term/full-time travelers.