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How Does Travel Insurance Work

Travel Team | Feb 1, 2022

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Put simply, travel insurance protects you and your investment should unforeseen events like illness, injury or cancellation disrupt your travel plans. It works much the same way as other types of insurance, in that you should purchase your policy before your trip, rather than waiting for something bad to happen. If something does happen that impacts your trip, like a hurricane or medical emergency, you won't be able to buy a plan to cover the event after the fact.

As with other types of insurance, you typically pay your costs up-front, and then get reimbursed when your travel insurance provider approves the claim. That's why it's important to provide documentation when filing a claim, such as a medical bill or statement from the airline.

Should you need to file a claim, be sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the event to make sure you follow all the required steps. In some cases, you may be able to access the documents you need and file your claim quickly and easily online.

There are a variety of different types of travel insurance available which offer different levels of coverage and protection, including:

  • Travel Medical Provides medical coverage when traveling internationally.
  • Trip Protection: Provides coverage for trip cancellation, delay or interruption, as well as lost, stolen or damaged luggage.
  • Student Travel: Provides medical coverage for those studying, teaching or doing research abroad.
  • Visitor to the USA: Provides medical coverage for non-U.S. citizens traveling to the United States.

While some travel insurance companies allow you to purchase a policy up until the day before you travel, it's generally better to purchase as early as possible. A good rule of thumb is to buy travel insurance at least within a few days of making your initial trip deposit. This way, you'll be protected if anything should happen to cancel or delay your trip. Your policy will go into effect the day after you purchase it.

When it comes to choosing a travel insurance provider, you should look for one that offers a variety of programs, outstanding customer service, understandable and affordable policies, a vast network of international doctors and hospitals, and 24/7 emergency assistance. You can also take a look at the provider's reviews and testimonials to hear from other travelers on how easy the company is to work with and what quality of service they provide.

If you have additional questions about how travel insurance works, please visit our FAQs or contact us to learn more.

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