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Travel Insurance: Don't Leave Home Without It

Iceland, France, Thailand…

Italy, Dubai, Greece...

They’re some of the hottest travel destinations out there, but did you know these countries have a requirement that could stop your vacation before you even get out of the airport or passenger ship terminal? Yep - travel insurance.

These popular international destinations are just a few of the many countries now requiring you provide proof of health insurance before you are permitted to pass through immigration. Don’t have a policy handy? Well, hey! We can show you right over there to the insurance desk in the arrivals hall, where they’ll be happy to sell you a policy at a premium price. Ugh.

I’ve mentioned this in previous writings (and I can’t stress it often enough), but your health insurance plan isn’t valid outside the United States. Heaven forbid you’re injured on vacation, but in popular destinations like Mexico, you will be required to show proof you can pay a minimum of $10,000 before you’ll be seen in the ER. Can’t lay your hands on that kind of money? Bummer - off to the public hospital with you. And Mexico is hardly the only country to treat travelers this way.

And the things that bugs me most - trip insurance isn’t that expensive! Your tour operator, or tour package company, will always offer you trip cancellation and interruption insurance, and if you don’t like what those policies cover, your travel advisor likely has access to several companies, too! They can definitely find a policy to fit your particular trip and pocketbook.

So what should you look for in a trip insurance policy?

Find a policy offering a minimum of $50,000 emergency medical coverage AND $100,000 emergency transport coverage. Some adventure tour companies will ask you to carry more.

Look for a policy that covers you as the “Primary insurance,” rather than secondary.

This type of policy will cover you abroad like your personal health insurance policy covers you at home, preventing you from having to pay two deductibles.

Do you travel outside the U.S. frequently, for business or for pleasure? Ask your travel advisor about an “annual” or “executive” plan. Pay one price and you’re covered for multiple trips.

No one wants to sound like a naggy know-it-all - especially me - but when it comes to protecting yourself on the road, here goes: BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE. You won’t be sorry!

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