Insurance is like the airbags in your car: you never think about it, but you’re grateful you have it when you need it. You may have health insurance, life insurance, and car insurance, but have you thought much about travel insurance? If you are a frequent traveler, it is especially important that you consider the value of this type of coverage before your next business trip. As friends of frequent travelers, we at Sapphire are happy to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about travel insurance.
What is Travel Insurance?
If you are not familiar with travel insurance, it is pretty self-explanatory. Travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers unexpected travel-related expenses across a spectrum of circumstances, from trip cancellation to lost luggage to medical emergencies. Travel insurance also covers you in the event of a flight accident or any loss during a business trip.
How Does Travel Insurance Work?
Travel insurance includes a variety of benefits depending on the specific policy. Your travel insurance policy outlines the specific situations it covers, the amount you are eligible to receive in these types of events, and how you can be reimbursed for the covered costs. There are two umbrella categories for travel insurance:
Trip Cancellation Insurance
When you have trip cancellation coverage, it means that if you need to cancel your trip before you go, you will be reimbursed for the nonrefundable costs of the trip. This is only applicable if your reasons for cancelling the trip meet the requirements outlined in your policy. In general, these reasons might include:
- Unexpected injury or illness (may require a physician’s order)
- Death or hospitalization of a family member
- Weather events
- Issues with the air carrier
- Natural disasters
- Legal issues such as being called to jury duty
Under this umbrella, there is also the potential for trip interruption protection. This type of coverage ensures your insurance company will reimburse you for costs that may occur due to an event that requires you to return home sooner than anticipated. In general, these are events that are out of your control, such as a natural disaster or other emergency.
In addition, this type of insurance can cover certain medical emergencies. You may think you don’t need this because you have domestic health insurance, but many policies will not cover you while you’re abroad, or your coverage may be limited. You can’t anticipate a medical emergency, and if you become sick or injured during your business trip, you will want travel medical insurance to ensure that your expenses are covered. Given that a medical emergency can cost tens of thousands of dollars, you want travel insurance. A trip cancellation insurance policy may be able to cover both medical emergencies and emergency medical evacuation. In addition, some policies include repatriation expenses, covering the cost of sending your remains back home in the event of your demise while overseas.
Other situations that this type of policy may cover include lost baggage and baggage delays. In general, these policies will cover the cost of the lost luggage up to a specific amount. You may also be able to file another claim to cover any additional costs you accrue due to the lost luggage.
Travel Medical Insurance
Travel medical insurance also covers these emergency medical situations, but it is more comprehensive than trip cancellation insurance. This type of policy is most commonly used for those who plan on traveling abroad over an extended period of time.
Do I Need Travel Insurance?
Your employer may have a specific type of travel insurance that they require you to receive for your business trip. This should be outlined in your company’s travel policy. If you are self-managing your business trip, it is often optional, leaving it up to you to decide whether or not you need it.
If you’re trying to decide whether or not you need travel insurance, consider what kind of coverage you need. It’s possible that you have some types of coverage through your already existing insurance policies, as well as your credit card company. You may have lost baggage coverage, medical emergency coverage, accidental death and dismemberment coverage, and many other types of coverage through these avenues. Make sure you fully understand what you already have in place before you buy travel insurance. Then, you can determine if there are any gaps you need covered.
Why Should I Get Travel Insurance?
The specific advantages of travel insurance will depend on what type of policy you choose. In addition to the obvious benefits of coverage, you may also be able to receive additional benefits such as identity theft protection, rental car insurance, emergency cash transfer, trip assistance, and more. It’s important to research the specifics of different policies to learn more.
The most important benefit to travel insurance, however, is peace of mind. When you buy travel insurance, you don’t have to worry about what will happen in the event of an emergency. You know that whatever unexpected events occur, there is a contingency plan that prevents it from becoming financially devastating.
At Sapphire, we are happy to act as a resource for international business travelers. We hope this blog helps you determine your need for travel insurance. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a wireless internet hotspot to hop the pond with you, we would be happy to supply it for you. Shop Sapphire for a mifi device that provides a reliable internet connection in more than 100 countries across the globe.