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Is Annual Travel Insurance Right for You? (Part 2)

Traveleidoscope:  Is Annual Travel Insurance Right for You?

Last week, I wrote the first part of a two-part post, "Is Annual Travel Insurance Right for You?". This week, I’m continuing the conversation, and offering additional things to keep in mind when considering annual travel insurance. And remember, even if annual coverage isn’t for you, many of things that you need to consider for annual travel insurance, largely apply to single trip insurance coverage.

1. What else do I need to think about when deciding?

Just because you have annual travel insurance, doesn’t mean that you’re totally covered. Like I mentioned above, check your travel insurance police and various other policies to see what you're covered for. For example, my husband and I are scuba divers, so we carry separate dive insurance. Not all annual policies cover “extreme” sports/activities, like scuba diving and we dive in some pretty remote places. So there’s always a possibility that we may have a dive accident or come down with a dive related illness, like decompression sickness. If we have to be transported to the nearest hyperbaric chamber or get dive related medical treatment, that’s probably not covered by regular travel insurance, and may require specific, separate coverage if you need to be airlifted out(see more below). And, what you don’t want is to receive a huge bill for those types of medical services, when you get home.

2. Is annual trip insurance worth it?

Whether it’s worth it for you is a decision you'll need to make. That takes some time, but here are some things to consider when doing your analysis:

a. How many trips will I be taking and how much traveling will I be doing? If you’re only taking one trip a year, annual insurance may not be worth it; however, if you travel frequently, it may be less expensive to get annual coverage as opposed to single trip coverage.

b. Where are you traveling to? Are you going somewhere remote or maybe a country that’s a bit risky?

c. How long/expensive is my trip? Covering some of the costs of an expensive or length trip (I’m not talking about long-term travel – that’s another kettle of fish from an insurance standpoint)

d. What level of coverage am I looking for? Again, for a long or expensive trip, annual travel insurance may help cover the costs of your trip if you have to cancel. If you’re looking for premium coverage for that long trip, well my friend, that’ll cost more.

e. Is coverage just for you, or do you have a family that needs to be covered? If you need family coverage, an annual plan may be more economical.

f. Does it cover Collision Damage Waiver (“CDW”)? My travel insurance policy covers CDW, but your auto insurance may also provide coverage. Some of my credit cards offer CDW , while others don’t. Also check your auto insurance and credit card policies which may cover you.

g. Does it provide medical coverage and to what level? Does your regular medical plan cover you (and your family) while traveling in another country? If it doesn’t, you need to determine if your annual travel policy has international medical insurance for long-term and short-term travel. In certain cases, you may also want to consider a separate travel medical insurance policy.

h. Does it cover incidentals that may not be covered by other insurance? What those other incidental costs are will depend on what coverage you currently have.

i. Compare quotes. Weigh the cost of single, per trip coverage for all of your planned trips combined, and compare that to the cost of an annual multi-trip package for the same coverage. Keep in mind, there are only a few companies that offer annual trip insurance.

j. Read the small print. It's ugly, but ya gotta do it. It's the only way to understand the policy you're considering. Find out exactly what you're covered for, and whether it's right for your travel needs.

3. Remember, there may be some hidden benefits.

My policy covers trips greater than 100 miles from home…. That means road trips too!

4. What about overlap?

You might have overlap and that’s another place where you’ll have to do the cost-benefit analysis.

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