Travel insurance is essential when traveling internationally. It provides financial protection against unexpected events such as medical emergencies, trip cancellation or lost baggage. It can help reduce significant out-of-pocket expenses. It also includes valuable assistance services with document loss, legal concerns, and emergency evacuations, enhancing your overall safety and peace of mind while abroad.

Travel insurance is something that you should never leave home on an international trip without.  Why take the chance?  If you’re hurt while traveling and don’t have travel insurance it can create financial, medical, and logistical challenges. Dealing with a medical emergency while traveling can be stressful. Without insurance, you may face financial strain and potentially legal issues if you cannot cover medical bills or damages resulting from an accident.

We’ve used SquareMouth for over 8 years. it always provides many different options from various top-tier travel insurers, along with options you can customize based upon the coverage you want.  They also show ratings for each of the companies they represent, plus traveler reviews that can help you making the best choice in a carrier and policy.  You can find out more here.

Without travel insurance, you may be responsible for covering all medical expenses out of pocket. Healthcare costs can vary significantly from one country to another, and treatment for injuries or illnesses can be expensive.  You should check to see if your existing health insurance plan covers you when you travel internationally.  Many doctors and hospitals overseas may require payment for services before they release you or you can exist the country.  Even if you have insurance that covers you, they may not be able to pay the provider quickly, delaying your departure and racking up even more costs.

In some countries, the quality of medical care may be lower than what you’re accustomed to in your home country. Without insurance, you might be limited to the available healthcare facilities and resources, which might provide low quality care.  If your injuries are severe you may need evacuation to a more suitable medical facility or repatriation to your home country. The costs can be exorbitant, running into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. If your need to cut your trip short, you may lose money on non-refundable bookings for accommodations, flights, tours, and other prepaid expenses. Trip interruption coverage can reimburse you for these costs in certain situations.

Some travel insurance policies provide coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, but this coverage is typically subject to specific conditions and waiting periods.  Many also include 24/7 assistance services, offering support for various situations such as lost documents, legal issues, and language barriers. Without insurance, you might not have access to these valuable services, making it more challenging to navigate unforeseen circumstances.

Here are some of the key features of most travel insurance policies:

  1. Trip Cancellation Coverage: If you need to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, injury, or a family emergency, travel insurance can help cover the non-refundable expenses, such as airline tickets and hotel reservations.
  2. Trip Interruption Coverage: If your trip is cut short due to a covered event, such as a medical emergency or a natural disaster, travel insurance can help reimburse you for the unused portion of your prepaid expenses.
  3. Emergency Medical Expenses: Travel insurance often covers emergency medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgery, and other necessary medical treatments while you are traveling abroad. This can be crucial, especially in countries where healthcare costs are high.
  4. Evacuation and Repatriation: In case of a serious illness or injury that requires evacuation to the nearest adequate medical facility or repatriation to your home country, travel insurance can cover the associated expenses.
  5. Lost or Delayed Baggage: Provides coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage. It may also offer compensation for essential items if your baggage is delayed for an extended period.
  6. Travel Delay or Missed Connection: If your trip is delayed due to reasons beyond your control, such as bad weather or a transportation strike, travel insurance may cover additional expenses, such as accommodation and meals.
  7. Travel Assistance Services: Many travel insurance plans offer 24/7 assistance services, including help with lost documents, legal assistance, and information on local medical facilities. This can be particularly helpful when you are in an unfamiliar location.
  8. Personal Liability Coverage: Provides coverage for third-party injuries or property damage caused by you during your trip. This can be important in situations where you might be held legally responsible.
  9. Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) Coverage: Some travel insurance policies offer the option to cancel your trip for any reason not covered by standard cancellation policies. This flexibility provides a higher level of control over your travel plans, but can also significantly increase the cost of the policy.

It’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of a travel insurance policy to understand the coverage limits, exclusions, and specific details of the plan you choose. Different policies may offer varying levels of coverage, so it’s advisable to select one that aligns with your individual travel needs.