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The Ultimate Checklist When Choosing The Travel Insurance

By : Fernanda lustosa | Sep 28, 2020

When planning your trip you most probably will be excited about more fun things, such as what will you visit, where you would like to explore further, the food you are going to taste, etc. But even though these things are legitimate, some practical details are very important, and your travel insurance is one of the ones that should be on the top of your list. 

There is an array of travel insurances to choose from, so we prepared a guide that hopefully will help you and will clarify any doubts you might have on the matter. Some people think travel insurances are an expense you can cut off but in reality it provides you safety while abroad. It can cover different needs, from injury to illness, lost luggage, cancelled flights, damages and more. And if you are the type of person who travels many times per year, then it is even more strongly advisable to take one.

A good plan will cover:

  • Most countries
  • Injuries or sudden illness
  • Cancellation of different natures, either hotel or flight, or if you have to suddenly cancel a trip because fell ill or in case of death in the family
  • Emergencies that may cause you to return home before the ending of the trip
  • 24h emergency service
  • Damage, lose, or steal valuable possessions. If this included electronics, have in mind that usually, companies offer a small limit, which you can upgrade. Ensure that your coverage is alright if you are travelling with cameras, laptops and other valuable electronics that can be lost, stolen, or damaged in any way. 

These coverages fall into the following categories: 

  • Medical Insurance
  • Baggage and personal belongings cover
  • Cancellation cover
  • 24h assistance
  • Emergency medical assistance (evacuation included)

Now, it is time to read every detail. For example, a company may cover your medical expenses but you must check their limit offer. A good travel insurance won´t cover less than US$10.000, although we recommend choosing coverage of at least US$100.000. Your health comes first and, of course you hope not suffer any kind of accidents or injuries, but if you do you can trust that hospital bills will be covered. Remember to check for emergency evacuation, and this is separate from medical coverage. This includes from the hospital in the country you are visiting to your home country, natural disasters or any type of evacuation to a hospital.

Travel insurances won’t cover for…

Travel insurances are there to cover you in very specific cases, so be sure you are eligible by checking the points below: 

You won’t be covered in cases of:

  • If you lose cash – or if it was stolen
  • If any loss or damage was caused because you were not careful or reckless. Check out with each company what they define by ‘reckless’, but for example, if the company understands that you just left your belongings unsafe, then most probably you won’t receive any reimburse
  • Pre-existing health conditions. You can’t go for a check-up either


Buying the travel insurance that is the right one for you

Since there are many types of travel insurance, before purchasing the one that is the right for you, it is nice to check with your credit card what it is already cover by them. For example, depending on your use of credit card, you might already be covered in cases of trip cancelation, and it comes for free. Sure, you can’t customize the insurance this way but you can buy a travel insurance that complements what your credit card already gives you. 

Many travel agents offer travel insurance when you are booking your flight or hotel. But pay attention that most of the times, even though this is an easy and convenient choice and coverage is not expensive, most of the times you can’t customize the package. 

Finally, you can go through the many websites of travel insurance companies, which is more laborious but you will be able to choose the policies that answer your needs and compare prices. The best thing to do is to research and compare. 

Other points to pay attention to: 

  • Valuable items are covered only if they are kept in your hand luggage. If you place them in your dispatched luggage and it gets lost, you can be covered by the lost luggage but it does not mean you will be necessarily covered for the loss of valuable items. Read the policies carefully.
  • If your flight is cancelled or delayed for too long, you should contact your airline but you can also contact your travel agent.
  • By close relatives travel insurances understand only children, parents, siblings, grandparents, and in some cases brother and sister in laws.

Finally, a good deal will look like...

  • At least US$1 million for travel to Europe and US$2 million for the USA
  • US$2.000 or more in case of travel cancellation or abandonment
  • At least US$1.400 of baggage cover
  • At least US$200 in case of delays superior to 12 hours 
  • At least US$500 in case of missed departure (you will need to prove that your delay was not your responsibility. Ex.: you were involved in an accident or your car broke down)

There is much more that a travel insurance can cover, but these are the basic guidelines you should follow when choosing what fits you the best.