A complete guide to travel insurance – the wayfaring redhead

Nobody goes on vacation planning for things to go awry but when things do you will be glad that you have travel insurance. The last thing you want is an emergency when you are abroad without any coverage to help you out. I personally risked traveling without insurance for several years but when I looked at how affordable it can be as compared to out of pocket costs its was a no brainer! The basics

There are a lot of travel insurances out there and they all have several different plans that cover various aspects. Before you buy insurance you need to figure out what you need out of an insurance. For example, my travel credit card covers for flight delays and lost baggage so this was not as important to me.

You also want to keep in mind where you will be traveling. Will you stay in major cities with easy access to care? Are you more of a thrill seeker and venture off the path of civilization? Maybe you are taking a cruise and need an option that would have flights to mainland? Covering the trip itself

If you don’t have a travel credit card that gives you coverage you will want to make sure your insurance covers the basics. This to me would include trip cancellation, flight delays, lost baggage. If you book a trip through a company you can easily buy their insurance to cover for these things but remember it may not provide medical coverage. Medical coverage

This is the primary reason that I got travel insurance this past year. I like to think that I am adventurous when I travel and therefore know it is only time before I might need medical coverage abroad. Even if you aren’t adventurous it isn’t hard to roll an ankle or get appendicitis. Remember it doesn’t matter how good your insurance is in your country this typically does not cover you in other countries. You may even find countries that will make you pay upfront for services even if you are emergently ill or injured. (You may remember hearing about the young adult taken from a cruise ship with appendicitis and severe infection that was taken to a hospital on a nearby island. When they didn’t have >$20,000 upfront for surgery they stopped all care and shipped him to a community hospital which still demanded money up front but less.) Dental coverage

Here is where things would get very very expensive if you do not have any coverage. If you are on a cruise ship or just off the beaten path you may need to be flown out in order to have medical care. Medical evacuation could run you in the $100,000s plus which no one wants to have lingering over their head. Travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage will help cover such costs. On the other hand, you may also see some talk about repatriation. Repatriation would be if you needed flown back to your home country for medical care. Most insurances will not cover this if there are reasonable medical facilities closer. Some plans will also cover a family member to come over to where you are if you are hospitalized. What caveats to look for

I personally found Geoblue Trekker travel insurance to be the best fit for me. They offer single trip, multiple trip or family insurance options. I have multiple trip insurance for a year which will cover me on all my trips in a year period up to 70 consecutive days each. The deductible is $50 which is better then even my primary insurance at home! Geoblue is through Blue Cross and Blue Shield and does require you to have primary insurance. Your primary insurance however does not have to be through them. As you get older you will find insurance to be higher but as a reference I’m in my late 20s and pay $100 for an entire year! You can also find a list of the top ten travel insurances here for more planning and comparing to find what’s right for you.