Wherever you go in the world, there is always the risk of an accident, illness, theft or other crime. There are many reasons for women and men to take out travel insurance, but there are also some reasons travel insurance may be more important to a female traveler than a male traveler.
In general, there are two types of travel insurance:
- Full-featured travel insurance package plans that bundle travel medical with trip cancellation, interruption, missed connections, and more.
- Travel medical plans that are medically focused but often include some trip interruption but fewer of the full-featured benefits.
As a woman traveler, or someone who cares about a particular woman traveler, there are a number of things to understand about travel insurance.
Including what travel insurance will provide:
If your camera is stolen
Airline coverage for stolen items is limited, but the risk of theft is not limited to the airline staff. Bags can be stolen from taxi trunks, from your hotel room, even fall overboard off a ferry.
Baggage coverage provides replacement value with maximum limits for any single item – like electronics and cameras. In many cases, you’re better off covering expensive items like cameras with a rider on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Then, rely on the baggage coverage with your travel insurance plan to cover your bag, your shoes, your clothes, etc.
If you are injured or get sick
If you are injured or get sick while traveling, the right travel insurance plan will cover your medical treatment, emergency transportation, physician’s expenses, medications, and more. This coverage usually includes some coverage for emergency dental treatment as well.
Some travel insurance plans also include a benefit called ‘return of minor children’ that ensures your dependent children are returned safely home in the event you are hospitalized.
When you travel outside your health insurance network, you’ll wind up paying the higher out-of-network costs. Most health insurance plans do not cover treatment received outside the U.S. borders, so it’s important that you have travel medical insurance (by far the least expensive travel insurance) when you are visiting another country.
If someone else gets sick
If someone else gets sick, either before or during your trip, and you want to cancel your trip to be with that person, travel insurance will reimburse your unused prepaid non-refundable trip costs. That means if your son or daughter, spouse or parent gets sick, you can cancel or end your trip to be with them and still get your money back.
It’s important to note that the person who is sick must be a covered person as defined in the travel insurance description of coverage (unfortunately, best friends and beloved pets don’t count – you’ll need ‘cancel for any reason’ coverage in that case) and their illness must not have been caused by a pre-existing medical condition (unless you also purchased a waiver).
If you die – or someone else dies
If you die on your trip, the right travel insurance plan will ensure that your body is suitably transported back home – saving your family the hassle of navigating complicated foreign repatriation laws. Medical evacuation and repatriation coverage only kicks in when you are traveling outside your home country.
If someone else suddenly dies while you are traveling, and you want to return home, travel insurance provides trip interruption coverage which reimburses up to 150% of your unused trip costs and additional airfare if you have to end your trip.
Again, it’s important to note that the person who dies must be a covered person as defined in the travel insurance plan document.
If there’s a hurricane or other natural disaster
If there’s a hurricane or other natural disaster, a good travel insurance plan with coverage for natural disasters will allow you to cancel your trip and get your pre-paid trip expenses back (up to the policy limit) in the event your primary residence or travel destination is rendered uninhabitable by the disaster.
Travel insurance with natural disaster coverage will also help you with unexpected trip costs due to flight delays that result from the natural disaster.
Hurricanes and other natural disasters are not automatically covered by a travel insurance plan, however. You must read the plan document to understand the coverage for natural disasters and to understand the policy limits. For example, you won’t be able to cancel simply because the pool is ruined and the restaurants are closed – you’ll need ‘cancel for any reason’ in that case.
If you’re in a car crash
If you rent a vehicle on your trip and it’s damaged or stolen, the coverage you have from your own automobile policy may not provide for all the related costs, including ‘loss of use’ charges.
The right travel insurance plan will have car rental collision coverage included to cover the cost of repairs or replacement (up to the policy limit) for a rental car. Depending on your credit card trip protection benefits, however, you may do just as well relying on their benefits. Again, it’s important to consider the risks and read the benefit description to understand your coverage fully before you choose one over the other. Neither your travel insurance nor your credit card benefits will cover liability due to a traffic accident, so you could still be sued.
If you’re in a traffic accident en route to your scheduled departure, many travel insurance plans with trip cancellation coverage will reimburse your pre-paid trip costs if your claim is submitted with proper documentation.
If your flight is delayed
Flight delays come in all shapes and sizes: mechanical failures, flight operation delays, union strikes, weather, and more, but the airlines don’t give you a lot of perks when it comes to delays.
The right travel insurance plan will reimburse you a certain amount each day for basic expenses, including lodging and meals (sometimes even movie rentals for the kids) if your trip is delayed the minimum number of hours and for a covered reason.
If your passport is stolen
If your passport is stolen before your trip, you could lose all your non-refundable trip costs simply because you can’t get a replacement in time. Travel insurance can help you if your passport is stolen before your trip or during your trip.
File an official report that your passport was stolen and a good travel insurance plan with coverage for lost and stolen passports will reimburse your non-refundable trip costs. If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re traveling, the travel insurance assistance services will help you get it replaced and even re-pay the emergency processing fees.
If you’re attacked
If you are the victim of an assault occurring within ten days of your scheduled departure date and you want to cancel your trip, the right travel insurance plan will fully refund your pre-paid trip costs.
If your travel insurance plan covers assaults prior to departure, it usually covers an assault that occurs during your trip. So, if you are assaulted on a trip and you want to return home immediately, your unused trip expenses will be covered as well as your additional airfare as long as assault is listed as a covered reason for trip cancellation/trip interruption in the plan document.
If you’re pregnant
In general, pregnancy is specifically excluded from all travel insurance coverage, but travelers can cover cancellations due to pregnancy. In addition, medical conditions that are defined as complications of pregnancy are covered as long as the plan has medical coverage that includes those as a covered event. See How Travel Insurance Covers Pregnancy for details.
The key to any insurance policy is reading the fine print and understanding your coverage. You’ll notice we use the term ‘for a covered reason’ a lot in this article. That’s because we know the covered reasons catch many travelers who assume their plan covers ‘everything’ by surprise. Only by reading the plan, and asking questions if necessary, can you be certain of your coverage.
Luckily, travel insurance plan documents aren’t too long or difficult to read and every travel insurance plan comes with a free review period during which you can modify or cancel the plan.