I was so thrilled with the fact that I was going to take my family to New Jersey for the very first time. We had never travelled outside India before. While I was making my travel bookings, for which, trust me, I was being really generously, a friend of mine suggested that when I was spending so much on travel, wasn’t it also necessary that we spend a fraction of that amount on our security in a foreign land? What he insisted here was for me to buy travel insurance. He impressed on me the need to keep myself and my family protected from adverse circumstances, right from delayed baggage to evacuation from the country, and I certainly did see his point.
On doing some research online, I came to know that travel insurance would cover for medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while travelling, either internationally or domestically. And it certainly is a must in this day and age of growing threats and skyrocketing costs.
Therefore, I decided to buy travel insurance for me and my family. Based on my experiences in choosing the right plan, I am sharing with you the expenses incurred and the factors that affected the coverage.
Types of Travel Insurance
- Simple Travel Insurance:
A simple travel plan is usually a travel medical plan that covers a traveller for medical emergencies while he is abroad. The cost of such a plan is fairly low, which could be even $1 a day.
- Comprehensive Travel Insurance:
This travel plan provides protection not only for medical expenses but for emergency evacuations, trip cancellations, loss of baggage and belongings, and more.
The buyer is also given the option of additional coverage, such as “cancel for any reason”, non-medical evacuation, sports, concierge services, deductibles, etc., in a comprehensive plan. It just costs slightly more, based on what all covers you choose.
In general, a simple plan can cost you anywhere between 4% and 10% of your total pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost. But, when trying to get a quote for travel insurance, based on your needs, do check whether there is any fixed price for the insurance, since prices vary according to the applying conditions. You need to understand the pricing guidelines to estimate the cost of the insurance policy.
Here are a few factors that can affect the coverage. But one thing is for sure – no matter what it costs, travel insurance is worth the investment.
Factors that Determine Travel Insurance Rates
- Number of Individuals Travelling:
More the number of travellers, more will be the rates on the plans. We were the family of four, so the rates were decided accordingly.
- Age of the Travellers:
Rates are typically higher for travellers aged 65 years and above. Since there was no elderly member in our little travel group, the cost was lower.
- Duration of Travel:
The length of travel will determine the number of days a traveller will be exposed to medical risks and travel interruption. Hence, longer trips mean higher rates. Ours was a 12-day trip, for which we were averagely charged.
Although the rate might differ for different plans, it shouldn’t be a criterion to select the best travel insurance plan, since it is your own and the life of your loved ones that is at risk.