In the world of travel insurance, there are two basic types of coverage.
Medical expense coverage. As the name suggests, this will provide coverage for your medical expenses while outside your home country. If you break a leg, or get sick while traveling, this is the coverage you would want. Go to the hospital, give them your insurance card, and eligible expenses will be covered with travel medical insurance. You might even group emergency medical evacuation coverage in with this as well.
Trip cost coverage. Here, you have coverage for trip cancellation, lost baggage, delayed flights, or vacations that are cut-short. If you’re going to Cancun for 2 weeks, and a 3-day hurricane causes you to cancel your trip, this is the coverage you want to have.
Some travel insurance policies have aspects of both, but will usually focus their benefits on one area or the other.
For example; the Custom plan from CSA is focused on offering trip cost benefits including trip interruption, trip cancellation, anf lost baggage. It also provides, however, up to $50,000 of medical expense coverage. This is low compared to some medical expense plans that offer $1,000,000, but it still provides some medical coverage in addition to the trip cost benefits.
How do I decide which coverage I need?
Consider your destination and length of trip. If you are going to Europe for a week, the risk of a medical emergency is low, and you might choose trip cost coverage to protect the money you have spent on the trip. Plus, the “smaller” amount of medical coverage would give you some coverage.
If you are going to Tibet for 3 months, the risk for medical emergencies is much higher, and a medical cost plan is the right choice. Plus, the additional coverage would apply to emergency medical evacuations as well, and this can be one of the most expensive risks of all