Travel Insurance & Trip Insurance Explained

Travel Insurance & Trip Insurance Explained

Exploring the world can provide many exciting, rewarding experiences, but travel does come with certain inherent risks. Nothing has taught us that more powerfully than the COVID-19 pandemic. So how can we travel the world safely? Travel insurance. Travel medical insurance and trip insurance are your best protections against the unexpected. Trip and travel health insurance can protect your trip investment and your physical health.

VisitorsCoverage is a trusted online travel insurance marketplace where travelers can get travel insurance reviews, compare international travel insurance options and ultimately find the best travel insurance for their needs. We know how confusing travel insurance is. We also know it doesn't have to be. We've prepared this explainer to help you understand the benefits of travel insurance, the cost of travel insurance, and what travel insurance covers.

What is Travel Insurance?

So, let's start with the basics. There are two main categories of travel insurance:

For a minimal upfront fee, trip insurance can cover prepaid travel expenses that would otherwise be non-refundable if you need to change or cancel your trip. For example, if you're forced to cancel a trip due to a covered reason like a natural disaster, trip insurance helps you recoup some financial losses. Trip insurance can also cover things like delayed, damaged or lost baggage, airline-canceled flights, or lost passports. Discover more benefits of trip insurance.

How much does trip insurance cost? Costs vary based on the benefits and coverage duration. But you can get basic trip insurance for as little as $100. When you're planning and investing in the trip of a lifetime, paying a hundred dollars extra to avoid the possibility of being faced with significant financial loss should your trip plans go awry, will give you peace of mind.

Travel medical insurance (sometimes referred to as travel health insurance, visitors insurance, and sometimes just travel insurance) can cover unexpected medical costs incurred while abroad. Your home country's health insurance may cover medical events incurred through domestic travel, but it won't protect you in foreign countries. If you have an accident or injury and need medical care while abroad, you could be forced to pay medical care costs out of pocket. Spending a little money up front on travel medical insurance can save you literally thousands in medical fees and ensure that you receive quality medical attention immediately. Visitors to the United States, where medical costs are notoriously high, will find travel medical insurance particularly beneficial. These types of plans can also be helpful to new immigrants who don't have permanent healthcare parents visiting their children in the U.S.

How Much is Travel Insurance?

Travel medical insurance is generally more expensive than trip insurance. But you can think of it like this: While trip insurance protects the trip, travel medical insurance protects the traveler. Like trip insurance, travel medical insurance costs can vary depending on the benefits and coverage duration.

Travel health insurance can help you get immediate access to things like telehealth, 24-hour assistance, emergency medical evacuation, hospitalization and medical care related to Covid or any other illness or injury incurred after the policy effective date and care for acute onset of pre-existing conditions. But travel medical insurance can also save you from facing crushing medical debt. Paying $300 up front for a travel medical policy might save you $30,000 in medical expenses. In the era of Covid, travel insurance just makes sense.

Knowing these distinctions can help you make informed decisions when choosing travel insurance policies for you and your loved ones.

Other Benefits of Trip and Travel Insurance

Although many people think of travel insurance as limited to reimbursement for canceled plans or medical bills, it actually encompasses a number of different features. Some common benefits include financial protection expenses incurred from lost passports and luggage as well as coverage for replacement eyeglasses if yours are lost or damaged during your trip.

Here are some lesser-known benefits of buying travel insurance. These are usually considered add-ons to the basic trip and travel medical coverage we outlined earlier.

  • Covid travel insurance: The global pandemic has changed the way we travel. Certain visitors insurance plans for those coming to the U.S. can cover Covid related treatment and services.
  • Multi-trip insurance: Certain plans can cover multiple trips within a one-year period. Business travelers and anyone else who frequently travels internationally may benefit from multi-trip insurance.
  • Cancel for Any Reason travel insurance: While most trip insurance plans have a built-in benefit that covers trip cancellations for reasons beyond the traveler's control, like natural disasters or airline issues, this CFAR add-on can cover certain prepaid travel expenses if you decide to cancel for literally any reason. In the era of Covid, Cancel For Any Reason insurance is especially important. Covid rates vary day to day and country to country. Your destination country may look stable when you book your flight but that could change as you get closer to your departure date.
  • Border entry protection: Did you know that even if you arrive at a U.S. border with a valid visa, you're not guaranteed entry? If you're turned away at the border, plans like Cover America-Gold can help with the financial burden of getting back home sooner than anticipated.
  • Repatriation: One of the hardest benefits to think about is repatriation, or the return of mortal remains. If you or one of your traveling companions were to pass away far from home, it can be very difficult and expensive to transport the body home to be laid to rest. Repatriation coverage helps with the cost of returning mortal remains of a person to their homeland. This benefit's required for those applying for a Schengen Visa.
  • Adventure sports optional riders: If you plan on participating in exciting activities like river rafting, skiing or mountaineering on your trip, you may want to purchase an additional adventure sports rider that will cover you if you're injured during some of these more risky activities. 
  •  Kidnap and Ransom insurance: Unfortunately, some areas of the globe are more dangerous than others. In certain places, there is a real threat of kidnapping. If you are kidnapped, you or your loved ones may be asked to pay a ransom or hire lawyers and negotiators to return home safely. Sometimes known as K&R, Kidnap & Ransom insurance protects you and your loved ones against the debilitating costs that can be incurred to get a kidnapping victim home safely.

Finding the right travel insurance policy for you and your loved ones can give you peace of mind so you can focus on acing that overseas business presentation, reuniting with your children, or creating amazing memories with your loved ones.