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:
Trip Cancellation 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!
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.
So which kind of insurance is right for me? The following side-by-side comparison will help:
|Trip Cancellation Insurance||Visitors Insurance|
|Trip Length||Ideally suitable for trips up to 30 days||May be purchased for any trip from 5 days to 1 year, even longer in some plans|
|Baggage Delay||Typically included||Typically excluded|
|Travel Delay||Typically included||Typically excluded|
|PPO Network||Typically not available||Typically available|
|Choice of medical maximum and deductible||Typically not available||Typically available|
|Loss of passport||Typically available||Typically not available|
|Acute onset of pre-existing conditions||Typically not available||Typically available|
|Plan eligibility||Most plans are only for U.S. residents||Many plans available both for U.S. and non-U.S. residents|
|Purchase eligibility||May be purchased only before departure||May be purchased before or after departure|
|Refundable||Only during the free look period, such as 7 to 10 days after the purchase.||Refundable before or after the effective date of the policy, subject to terms and conditions of each insurance policy.|
|Home Country Coverage||Not available||Incidental and/or end of trip home country coverage available in some plans.|
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.