- What kind of traveler you are – business travelers have different needs from vacationers.
- Who you are traveling with – family travelers have different needs than singles.
- Where you are traveling – travel to a remote island with limited medical care is different than heading to a big city.
- What you plan to do on your trip – scuba divers have different travel insurance needs than retirees.
The key to purchasing the right travel insurance plan is gaining an understanding of travel insurance. The following steps will help you narrow down the options and purchase the right plan for you and the trip you are taking:
- Know WHEN to purchase your policy. Sure, a traveler can purchase a quick travel insurance plan right before they leave, but in choosing to wait you miss out on important coverage including: pre-existing medical conditions, ‘cancel for any reason’, ‘cancel for work reasons’, financial default, hurricanes, and work conflicts. Purchasing your policy soon after making your initial trip payment (10-14 days is required by most plans) means you’ll have access to these time-limited coverages. Read more here: When should I buy my travel insurance?
- Know what coverage you NEED in your plan. To best understand what coverage you need, you’ll need to think about: a) the risks, b) the exclusions in the plan, and c) your comfort level. If you’re planning to ski the back country in Switzerland, for example, you’ll need to check your plan to see if it covers that sport. If it’s excluded, you’ll have to look into adding an adventure sports option and perhaps increase the medical coverage limits to meet your comfort level. If you have been to the doctor to treat any illness or injury during the plan’s look-back period, consider whether it’s necessary to have a policy that provides coverage for pre-existing medical and purchase it within the required number of days after making your first trip payment (see step 1). Read more here: What travel insurance doesn’t cover.
- Know what coverage you can LEAVE OUT. Not everyone needs ‘Cancel for any reason’ coverage, for example, because the covered reasons for trip cancellation are quite broad. Of course, we recommend you carefully review the plan you choose and think about the circumstances you could encounter before your trip, but if the risks are covered by the policy, there’s no need to add the extra coverage. Read more here: When travel insurance is not necessary.
Once you’ve completed this analysis, use our travel insurance comparison tool to filter the options quickly.