Types of Travel Insurance
Travel insurance policies provide at least six types of coverage, intended for different types of travelers and trips:
Comprehensive medical travel insurance is for people who don’t have any other medical insurance, even at home. Since most people who can afford it have health care coverage in their home country, often through their employer, comprehensive travel medical insurance is mainly of interest to long-term travelers who’ve left their jobs and lost their insurance coverage at home, or to those living and working outside their country of citizenship or permanent residence.
Emergency medical travel insurance is for people who have medical coverage at home, but whose health plan at home doesn’t cover them while they are travelling. Emergency medical travel insurance only covers emergency services abroad; once you get home, you’re back under your regular home coverage for any necessary follow-up treatment or continuing care. Check with your current insurer before you waste money on an emergency travel medical plan that duplicates your existing coverage.
Medical evacuation travel insurance covers the cost of an air ambulance, attending physician and nurse, etc. if you are so badly injured, or become so ill, that you can’t come home or get to a suitable medical facility on a scheduled commercial passenger flight. Even very badly injured travelers usually can come home on regular flights after no more than a couple of weeks of emergency treatment and stabilization abroad. Some of the activities most likely to lead to a need for medical evacuation, such as scuba diving and extreme sports, are often excluded from medical evacuation coverage.
Trip cancellation and interruption travel insurance covers the cancellation or refund penalties and the cost of getting home if you have to cancel your trip, or cut it short, for specified reasons. The covered reasons vary, but typically include injury or illness to you, a travelling companion, or a member of your immediate family. War and terrorism may or may not be included, or may be covered only at additional charge.
Supplier default insurance covers any money you lose because of the bankruptcy of an airline, cruise line, tour operator, or other provider of travel services. Some travel insurance companies no longer offer it at all, while others pick and choose which travel suppliers they will insure.
No matter which type of travel insurance you go for, make sure you read the fine print!
It is very essential to have a travel insurance policy. Author Pranav Sharma is an experienced insurance professional and widely read expert on general insurance based in Mumbai. Pranav helps readers opt for best travel insurance policy in India.