Travel insurance provides you coverage on a miscellany of things and situations while you're overseas. These include trip protection, international medical insurance, emergency medical evacuation, and world and terrorism insurance. To save money on travel insurance, be prepared and familiarize yourself with key concepts, talk to the right people, and take care of your belongings.
Know What Type of Cover You Need
Before barnstorming the offices of travel insurance providers, know the type and scope of cover you need. This depends on your destination country, the type of logistical and medical infrastructure found there, and flight insurance. Other key elements to take into account include medical, baggage, trip interruption and/or cancellation, and evacuation.
So, assess beforehand the purpose and importance of your trip, so you don't end up coverage you really don't need. For example, if you are traveling for business, make sure you get trip cancellation or interruption, especially if you are working on a time-sensitive deal.
If you are headed to a country with political unease or a lax judiciary system, you should purchase coverage for political evacuation and/or identity theft.
Be Forthcoming with Your Insurance Provider
Tell your insurance agent upfront if you have a pre-existing medical condition. That way, you are sure whether it is included in the policy, is excluded, or should be purchased separately. The last thing you want is to find yourself dealing with medical misfortune in a foreign country and to be unable to receive proper care.
The insurance company also can invalidate the entire policy if it finds out that you were not forthcoming with your entire health history and that you tried to hide an important condition whose treatment can be very pricey.
Get the Right Policy for Your Traveler Status
Another way you can save money on travel insurance is to choose the perfect type of policy for your traveler status. You should determine whether you are a recurrent traveler who invariably hops from one plane to another, or whether the only time I would see you on a plane is the summer or when you take off from work.
If you frequent traveler, you should consider purchasing a multi-trip policy. Otherwise, you will be a happy with a single-trip coverage contact. Make sure you don't mix both policy types because you could lose some money if, for example, you bought multi-trip coverage but only flew two or three times during the year.
Take Reasonable Care
"Take reasonable care" means that you take the necessary precautions to attend to your possessions at the airport and outside. If you leave your bag unattended and someone steals it, don't expect a payout from the insurance company because it would consider it as the result of your own negligence.
Not receiving coverage money from the insurer would add on your overall travel insurance bill because you have paid premiums yet hadn't received the corresponding benefit.
Don't Drink (But if You Do, Don't Get Caught Drunk)
Getting caught drunk will invalidate your travel insurance policy, and most insurers are adamant to highlight that in the contract. So read, read and read again the contract as well as the fine prints, making sure you understand, and ask questions otherwise.
If you lose something or have an accident overseas, and were found in a state of alcoholic bliss, the insurance company wouldn't cover you, be it for possession or medical care.
Buy Insurance Through a Rewards Card Program
Some providers of travel rewards credit cards work with insurance companies to give coverage to qualified applicants. So, check with your card company or insurance company to see what options are available and to figure out what credit card companies have partnered with insurers on specific deals.
Travel rewards cards help consumers accumulate incentives that can later be converted into extra mileage and a collection of benefits ranging from airport VIP treatment to business class or first class conversion. You can also use your card to pay your travel insurance bill, thus earning additional incentives while traveling. Check out our review of the best travel rewards credit cards.
Keep an Eye on Your Credit Score
Like any financial product, travel insurance and the premium you pay are partially based on your creditworthiness. Try to review your credit report every now and then to detect mistakes or fraudulent postings. By law, you can receive a free credit report each year. Reach out to Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
You also can complain to the Federal Trade Commission, telling the agency what the issue is, what steps you have taken to highlight and fix it, and why so far you haven't seen any progress from the groups you contacted.
Increase Your Deductible
One good way to lessen your travel insurance premium is to raise your deductible. When an insurable event happens, "deductible" is the cash you pay before the insurance company takes care of the remaining expenses.
Discuss deductible options with your insurance agent before purchasing it, making sure you clearly understand under which you would need to spend the money and how quick you must do so. This is important because if you get sick overseas and don't have proper coverage, your condition might deteriorate, especially if you land in a country running on the "cash first, then medical treatment" motto.
Know What Coverage You're Purchasing
Do your homework and familiarize yourself with the basic plan types of travel insurance before shopping around and talking to your insurance agent. Travel experts typically break travel insurance into five major categories:
Accidental Death & Dismemberment
This policy covers you, or your beneficiary, a hefty lump sum should the worst happen – that is, an accident results in death or the loss of body part. Check with your insurance carrier types of events that are covered because things like terrorism, acts of war, and biological or nuclear attacks generally are excluded from coverage.
This policy reimburses your non-reimbursed travel costs if an emergency happens before or during your trip. In this context, the "emergency" banner includes things like company bankruptcy, airline strike, sickness, and death.
International Medical Insurance
This plan covers you if you get sick overseas and need medical attention. All types of situations are covered, including emergency evacuation, repatriation benefits, family reunion and travel help.
This type of plan will suit you and your families if you work overseas or are a part of a number of professional or social corps. These include expatriates, missionaries, and others. All these groups take annual medical insurance to replace primary-care insurance while they live and/or work abroad.
Emergency Medical Evacuation
This policy will cover you if you are seriously ill or injured. It will pay for your transportation to a medical facility or a clinic you or your loved ones choose. If you plan long-distance trips, get appropriate coverage because emergency medical evacuation is expensive.
You can save money on travel insurance by shopping around and using a policy picker like this one to compare premium quotes. You also must do your homework and know the proper type of coverage you're getting as well as its restrictions, coverage amount, and deductible.