When I first started traveling I didn’t even think about travel insurance. Even as I’ve made traveling my career, I still found myself wondering what is travel insurance? What does travel insurance cover? And my favorite, how much is travel insurance? Today I’m going to help answer your questions about travel insurance, and share my favorite way to get cheap travel insurance that you don’t need to stress over. This post was written in partnership with Allianz Travel Insurance.
What is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance isn’t that hard to figure out once you understand what plans cover. Once you know what sort of coverage can be offered, you’ll start to be able to compare travel insurance plans and offers better.
The purpose of travel insurance is to cover you in case something bad happens while you’re traveling. Let me break down many of the popular coverage categories offered in travel insurance plans. I’ll start with the categories I think are perhaps the most common situations where you’ll need coverage.
Collision Damage Waiver
Covers costs if a car you’re renting is stolen or is damaged in an accident or while it’s left unattended. My guess has always been that driving in unknown areas makes you a bit more susceptible to accidents. You can also feel confident turning down car rental insurance add-ons if you know you already have coverage in your travel insurance plan.
Baggage Loss / Damage
Covers loss, damage or theft of baggage and personal effects. If your luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged while traveling you can claim for reimbursement. This coverage is also helpful and can provide peace of mind if you’re worried about pickpockets or tend to lose things easily.
Reimburses the reasonable additional purchase of essential items during your trip if your baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for 24 hours or more. Receipts for emergency purchases are required. If an airline loses or misdirects your luggage, you can use the baggage delay coverage to reimburse you if you have to buy clothes or toiletries.
Reimburses your prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason. We all know things happen, and sometimes things occur that keep us from being able to take the trip we’ve already paid for. My friend, Tamara, recently used her Allianz travel insurance to get reimbursement after she had to cancel a flight and trip due to getting sick. With a simple online claim submission she soon had her reimbursement for the missed flight.
Reimburses you for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip and for the increased transportation costs it takes for you to return home due to a covered reason. This is similar to the cancellation but helps cover if something happens during your trip that forces you to end it early and lose out on what you’ve already paid for.
Reimburses additional accommodation/travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a covered departure delay of six or more hours. We’ve had weather delays that caused us to miss connecting flights and the airline won’t pay for your hotel if the cause was weather related. Travel insurance saves you from having to pay for the hotel or other expenses you have to incur due to the missed or cancelled flight.
Provides benefits for losses due to covered medical and dental emergencies that occur during your trip. Depending on your plan, there is a $500 or $750 maximum for all covered dental expenses. This coverage is especially important if you’re traveling internationally since many US medical insurance plans won’t cover you internationally.
Emergency Medical Transportation
Provides medically necessary transportation to the nearest hospital or appropriate facility following a covered illness or injury. When we took our multi-day river rafting trip last summer this coverage came in handy since we were rafting in places with no roads. If we had a medical emergency we would have possibly needed a helicopter to evacuate us to a hospital. Consider how accessible medical care facilities will be while you’re traveling when considering what kind of coverage you need for this feature.
Travel Accident Coverage
Provides cash payment for covered losses due to death, loss of limb(s) or sight as a result of a covered travel accident. This is perhaps the most catastrophic coverage option, but could be helpful if you’re leaving a family at home or planning an extreme adventure.
Annual Travel Insurance Plans are Easy and Cheap
If you take a few trips a year, an annual travel insurance plan could be an easy way to make sure you’re covered on all your trips. Personally I love buying a plan once a year and knowing it’ll protect me on each of my trips. Annual plans can also be surprisingly cheap travel insurance.
Allianz Travel Insurance offers three main annual travel insurance plans. The AllTrips basic plan is the cheapest at $125, but doesn’t have coverage for everything listed above, such as trip cancellation or interruption coverage. Their next plan, the AllTrips Prime costs $249, and brings in the trip cancellation and interruption. Lastly, their AllTrips Executive plan is $459 and includes coverage for business expenses and change fee coverage. The executive plan is perfect for a business traveler.
Note, these prices are for a single person, but you can add your family to the coverage if you need. Getting a quote is simple and they don’t ask for any personal information. Go to the Allianz site, input the type of coverage, day your travel is starting, ages of the covered travelers, then submit. You’ll quickly be shown a screen like the one below that helps you easily compare your travel insurance options.
Hopefully, I’ve helped you answer the “what is travel insurance” question. It’s not as daunting as it may seem and can really pay off when something goes wrong. Annual plans are an easy way to buy coverage once and get all your trips in a year covered.