Insurance When Travelling Abroad
When you are travelling, your insurance needs may be different than they are at home. In some cases, your insurance will only cover you in the US or the country you purchased it. If you want to have the right kinds of coverage while travelling abroad, you should consider your insurance needs and buy beforehand, so that you are prepared in case of an emergency.
Most of us find that our travel agents remind us about the need for health insurance. That's at least in part because they will get a commission if they sell that to you up-front as part of your travel arrangements. However, many domestic insurers in the US won't cover health costs outside of the US! You'll have to check your policy carefully. Some insurers may provide a percentage of costs incurred outside of the US, but not all. Some insurers will provide no reimbursement. Having said that, if you've got good coverage that will provide a reasonable level of reimbursement, you might want to avoid this coverage at the travel agency. It's notoriously expensive as insurance goes. Want travel health insurance at a better price? Try calling your insurance company first and see if you can get a short-term rider through them. It may save you money.
What if you will be driving while on vacation in another country? You should consider getting an international license that identifies you as a licensed driver in your country of residence. Also check with your insurer regarding your insurance policy and whether it provides any coverage abroad. It will likely be more cost effective if your existing insurer will provide you with coverage abroad.
If that doesn't work, you still have options. While you can get insurance from a rental company, it also tends to be very expensive. If you need insurance while driving abroad, consider putting your rental vehicle on a gold card. One of the standard benefit's of a gold credit card is usually rental car insurance.
Then, theres the headache of lost or stolen luggage. Your homeowner policy may cover your belongings, but it's always worthwhile to check if there are limit's to that coverage, or if certain named perils (like loss of luggage due to theft or misplacement) are excluded. You can always ask your insurance agent for lost luggage insurance. Again, it's likely to be less expensive than any insurance that you get through your travel agent.
Another thing to consider is trip interruption insurance. In the recent past, some travel companies have gone bankrupt, leaving their customers abroad and scrambling for ways home, as well as coping with additional costs. If your travel company goes bankrupt, or weather causes a trip to be cancelled, trip interruption insurance could help you recover part or all of your costs. You can also buy medical cancellation insurance as a part of this coverage, although some travel agencies will offer this as a part of the overall trip interruption insurance.
You have lots of options when it comes to buying any kind of trip coverage. Some companies offer overseas insurance packages that include all of the insurance you could ever need. Prices will typically be based on age, length of stay and the number of people covered. But do shop around. Prices vary!