There is a wide range of travel insurance plans available, each with its own unique features. Some simply extend your medical coverage, while others offer added perks such as trip cancellation reimbursement, lost or stolen baggage coverage, and more. We’ll shed some light on these benefits and walk you through scenarios where you’d be thankful to have a travel insurance policy in place!
Medical emergencies can happen at any time, and when you’re traveling, they can be even more stressful. It is important to understand how Medicare plans function while you’re traveling abroad. Original Medicare (Parts A & B) generally do not cover medical expenses incurred outside of the U.S. That said, most Advantage and Supplemental plans will offer limited medical coverage – you typically pay the expense upfront and have to submit for reimbursement after returning home. Having a travel insurance plan with expanded medical benefits can not only increase the dollar amount you are protected for, but it can also coordinate payments directly to the hospital/facility.
To learn more about Medicare’s coverage abroad: Does Medicare Cover Expenses Overseas?
Trip cancellation is one of the most common benefits included in travel insurance plans and it provides coverage for non-refundable expenses if you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason, such as illness, injury, or a family emergency. Let’s say you have an extravagant trip planned to [insert your favorite vacation spot here]. Between the flights, the hotels, and the excursions you’ve splurged and have spent a pretty-penny before ever leaving your house. However, just before departure, your spouse falls ill and you have to cancel the trip in its entirety. When you call the airline and hotel to get your money back, they politely inform you that the “fine print” specified that refunds are not applicable if the cancellation is requested within 14 days of the trip. What now? Your once-in-a-lifetime vacation just turned into a financial black hole. A travel policy, with trip cancellation benefits, offers protection for covered, pre-paid costs.
Lost Baggage Protection
Another benefit of most travel insurance policies is lost baggage protection. Let’s walk through another scenario to put this into perspective… You’re fantasizing about your dream getaway and can practically feel the soft sand beneath your toes. You can almost taste the fruity umbrella-drinks as the cool ocean breeze whistles gently by. The big day finally arrives, and you’re bursting with excitement as you step off the plane, ready to embark on your grand adventure. But wait! Your suitcase with that perfect Hawaiian shirt, among all your other belongings, has taken a detour to Timbuktu. This is where the magic of travel insurance can swoop in to save the day! You can rest easy knowing that if your baggage decides to pull a Houdini act, you can receive compensation to replace your belongings; whether it’s a snazzy new outfit or even a replacement camera for capturing those picturesque moments, lost baggage protection can ensure your trip goes smoothly!
24/7 Emergency Assistance
If you find yourself in need of urgent medical attention in a foreign environment, it can be challenging to navigate the local healthcare system, find a reputable doctor, and communicate effectively (especially if there is a language barrier). With travel insurance, you gain access to a dedicated support team that will assist with coordinating your care. This is especially important if you’re traveling to a remote location where medical care is not readily available. In more severe cases where you need to be evacuated to a hospital with better medical facilities, or even repatriated back to your home country for further treatment, the travel insurance’s emergency assistance can make the necessary arrangements. This could involve organizing medical transportation, coordinating with your healthcare providers, and ensuring that you receive appropriate care during the journey.
Peace of Mind
We all know that life has a way of throwing curve-balls when we least expect them. From flight delays that make you question the concept of time itself to unforeseen emergencies that test your resolve, don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back from exploring the world. With travel insurance, you can unleash your wanderlust without hesitation, embracing the unknown with open arms. It’s the freedom to explore and create memories that will last a lifetime, unencumbered by worries or “what-ifs”. You can travel with confidence, knowing you’re protected every step of the way!