Oftentimes when shopping for travel insurance, in preparation for an overseas trip, you'll see a multitude of seemingly interchangeable terms for various coverages. You'll undoubtedly see terms like travel insurance, trip insurance, visitors insurance, travel medial insurance, and many others. What's the difference and, more importantly, which one is right for you?
Travel insurance is a broad term, encompassing several types of insurances available while traveling. Those will fall primarily into two major categories:
Visitors insurance is short-term insurance, focused primarily on medical coverage, to cover you during your travels. The plans will generally cover new and unexpected medical conditions. You might also see it referred to as travel medical insurance, visitors medical insurance, travel health insurance, or many other ways.
Trip Cancellation Insurance or Travel Insurance
Booking a trip well in advance of your travel dates to save some money? Putting down a hefty sum on a non-refundable deposit to ensure availability? Traveling with someone that might back out of the trip, increasing your costs? What if you get sick or injured before a trip, lose your job, or your destination is affected by a natural disaster? These are some of the many reasons why trip cancellation insurance might be of value to you. When selecting trip cancellation insurance, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the covered reasons and covered expenses within the policy, as well as their coverage percentages. An added benefit to most trip cancellation insurance plans is emergency medical coverage if you get sick or injured while on your trip.
E.g., A cruise vacation involving cruise fees, airline ticket charges, airport shuttle charges, shore excursions, and other prepaid expenses. Delayed flights could cause you to miss your trip entirely!
So which kind of insurance is right for me? The following side-by-side comparison will help:
|Visitors Insurance||Travel Insurance|
|Trip Length||May be purchased for any trip from 5 days to 1 year, even longer in some plans||Ideally suitable for trips up to 30 days|
|Baggage Delay||Typically excluded||Typically included|
|Travel Delay||Typically excluded||Typically included|
|PPO Network||Typically available||Typically not available|
|Choice of medical maximum and deductible||Typically available||Typically not available|
|Loss of passport||Typically not available||Typically available|
|Acute onset of pre-existing conditions||Typically available||Typically not available|
|Plan eligibility||Many plans available both for U.S. and non-U.S. residents||Most plans are only for U.S. residents|
|Purchase eligibility||May be purchased before or after departure||May be purchased only before departure|
|Refundable||Refundable before or after the effective date of the policy, subject to terms and conditions of each insurance policy.||Only during the free look period, such as 7 to 10 days after the purchase.|
|Home Country Coverage||Incidental and/or end of trip home country coverage available in some plans.||Not available|
If you still need assistance deciding which kind of travel insurance is best for you, please feel free to contact us to speak with a licensed insurance professional.