Recent months have brought travel risks to the
forefront of consumers’ minds: the economic downturn, and safety risks overseas due
to political unrest.
There are two broad types of travel-related coverage
for those leaving the United States:
- Travel insurance covers the loss of the prepaid travel
costs of a trip should it be canceled, interrupted, or postponed. It also can
reimburse unexpected expenses incurred due to a sudden change in travel plans
due to illness or other causes.
- Specialty medical coverage protects against personal
insurance risks when someone is outside the United States.
Travelers can buy travel coverage in conjunction with
their travel tour, hotel bookings or flight reservations. It’s also available
from providers that specialize in the international insurance market. For
example, Continental, a major international airline, offers trip cancellation
and interruption coverage through its reservations Web site.
The coverage reimburses the traveler for “prepaid,
unused, non-refundable travel expenses should your trip be cancelled or
interrupted due to any covered reason.” Such reasons include: inclement
weather, an unexpected illness, death of a traveler, and travel delays.
The Insurance Information Network of California notes
that trip insurance providers sometimes require a physician’s verification if a
trip must be canceled before it occurs. It advises buyers to check whether the
travel coverage is “cancel for any reason protection,” or more limited
Trip interruption insurance is another variation. It
can provide reimbursement for extra food and lodging costs if a traveler
becomes ill during the course of a trip. Some plans cover medical costs. Trip
delay insurance covers expenses a traveler incurs in resuming a planned trip or
returning home after being quarantined in another country. Often these various
coverages are bundled and sold together in a package.
Short-term medical insurance may be appropriate for
the millions of U.S. residents who travel outside the U.S. every year. Those
who travel outside of America may be going beyond the boundaries of their
medical insurance without knowing it, according to Clements International, a
provider of international insurance policies.
The unpredictable nature of the spreading of swine flu
that began in April 2009 has heightened awareness of health risks while
traveling around the world. Travelers may wish to consider short-term medical
insurance if they’re traveling outside of the United States for an extended
vacation or business trip.
To determine whether it’s necessary, it’s advisable to
check if a domestic health insurance policy covers out-of-country travel. If not,
short-term medical insurance provides coverage for illnesses or medical
evacuation that occurs while traveling outside of the United States.
International travelers face the same insurance risks
(and sometimes additional risks) while outside the country that they do while
stateside. Life insurance issued in the U.S. may not be available on the same
basis while a person is traveling for an extended period as when not traveling.
It’s prudent to check on the validity of life insurance coverage as part of the
Check with your insurance agent about what type of
insurance protection might be needed if taking an overseas trip.
TLIG is a local Trusted Choice® agency that
represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety of personal
and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet
your specialized needs.
Visit us online at www.tligins.com or call us at (434) 582-1444.