travel insuranceOver the years, insurance companies have designed and introduced many Travel Insurance packages according to the requirements of an individual, family, or group. Arrangements for Cheap Travel Insurance can be made at the time of booking a trip to cover just the duration of the trip, or a more extensive and comprehensive insurance can be purchased from Travel Insurance companies, travel agents or directly from cruise lines and tour operators. Whatever source you purchase the insurance from, you have to be careful and understand properly what is covered or not covered in the policy, as some travel insurance packages purchased from cruise lines and travel operators are less inclusive of risks than the insurance packages provided by insurance companies.

Travel insurance packages offer coverage for student travels, business related travel, leisure and holiday travel, adventure travels, cruise travels, and also international travel. Travel Insurance covers many risks associated with travelling and the premium charged depends on many factors like, whether the insurance is for an individual, family, or group, and the destination and duration of the travel, etc. Insurance companies, travel agents, and tour operators provide Cheap Travel Insurance packages for a Single trip return journey, or a package for multiple trips in a year.

The Single trip return journey Travel Insurance package can provide insurance cover for an individual, family or group, and the premium depends on the duration of the travel, the destination or country travelled to, and the risks that need to be covered. Most of these insurance packages offer free insurance for children travelling with adults and cover many of the risks involved in travelling within the country or internationally to another country. Even the Cheap Travel Insurance packages for Single trip return journeys will cover the most basic risks like Medical expenses incurred during travelling, loss or theft of baggage, loss or theft of travel documents, baggage delays or baggage misplaced, cancellations or cutting short a trip due to sickness or injury, etc. This insurance package is good for those individuals who travel once or twice a year or occasionally, and for families planning for a short or long holiday within the country, and especially when traveling to another country.

But a businessman, or an individual who travels extensively, with multiple trips within the country and internationally, this Single trip return journey package is not cost effective and is time consuming as it has to be arranged for every trip within or outside the country. The comprehensive Multi trip Annual package is the answer to a regular travellers requirement for Travel Insurance. There are many other Cheap Travel Insurance packages for short-term trips, like Ski-trip insurance packages, budget backpacker insurance packages, motorcycle travel insurance for those wanting to tour countries on their motorcycles, and insurance for Senior travelers.

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 Offers of “Protection” May Not Provide Insurance Coverage for Your Travel Investment

If you had a recent trip cancelled due to snow or bad weather, you may be considering travel insurance for your spring getaway. But beware – every offer you get for travel “protection” may not be travel insurance coverage. In a bad economy, insurance fraud can be costly to uninformed consumers hoping for better protection of their investment. So, before your buy travel “protection,” the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers these tips and considerations you should review.

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance may not be appropriate for all trips and you may have some coverage from policies you already have – such as a life, health or homeowners/renter’s policy. Read your policy or speak with your insurance agent or company to find out more about what personal property and medical coverage you already have that could provide protection while you’re traveling. Some credit card companies also offer travel insurance if you pay for the reservation with your card. When making your decision, check to see if your company offers those benefits.

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After finding out what coverage you already have, ask yourself the following questions to help decide if you will benefit from the added cost:

  • Do I really need the coverage?
  • What could go wrong before or during the trip? Can I cover those costs on my own?
  • Will the coverage apply if I have a family emergency affecting someone other than myself (the traveler), or does the coverage only apply to personal emergencies (like if I get sick)?

All companies and agents selling travel insurance must be licensed in the state where you are purchasing the policy. While considering whether you will benefit from the insurance, also stop to investigate where you are considering buying the policy.

Marketing and sales material for fraudulent coverage is often difficult to distinguish from real insurance coverage. So, to protect yourself – STOP before you write a check for the premium or sign the application and CALL your state insurance department to CONFIRM that the agent and company are licensed in your state. Many insurance departments also make this information available online.

What Are the Major Types of Travel Insurance?

There are two main types of travel insurance. The first type, commonly called trip cancellation insurance, protects against the loss of non-refundable travel costs – like airfare, hotel or tour expenses. So if you’re making a deposit on a cruise or have non-refundable airline tickets, this would be the type of coverage you’d consider.

The other type of travel insurance offers protection against loss due to medical emergencies, damage to personal property or death that occurs while you are traveling.

Trip Cancellation/Delay/Interruption Insurance

Travel insurance generally covers a very specific list of reasons for cancellation, delay or interruption. Before you buy a policy make sure you’ve reviewed these situations carefully.

  • Trip Cancellation – Reimburses pre-paid travel expenses if you aren’t able to take your trip because you become ill or die.
  • Travel Delay – Reimburses pre-paid expenses if you aren’t able to take your trip because of a travel delay, such as a flight delay or cancellation.
  • Trip Interruption – Reimburses pre-paid expenses if your trip is cut short because you become ill or die, or because of any other misfortune listed in policy. Covered reasons might include bad weather, airline strikes, terrorism, bankruptcy, jury duty, or fire or flood damage to your home.

Medical/Accidental Death Insurance

When considering a medical or accidental death travel policy, ask about pre-existing conditions and age limits. How companies deal with pre-existing conditions can vary widely. Read the terms of coverage carefully if you have a pre-existing condition and be prepared to pay a higher premium to cover them. Some insurers also charge more for older travelers.
American health insurance is generally not accepted outside of the United States. To find out more about the extent of your coverage, speak with your insurance agent or company before you leave home.

  • Medical/Health – Reimburses medical and emergency dental expenses that you incur because of an illness or injury while you’re traveling.
  • Medical Evacuation – Provides emergency transportation to either a hospital in the geographic region where you are and/or transportation back to a hospital near your home.
  • Accidental Death – This coverage is usually split into three parts:
    1. Air Flight Accident – Covers death or dismemberment during flight only.
    2. Common Carrier – Covers death or dismemberment while traveling on public transportation such as a plane, ferry, train, bus or taxi.
    3. Accidental Death – Covers death or dismemberment at any time during a trip.

Baggage/Rental Car Damage Insurance

Homeowners or renter’s insurance may cover baggage or personal property damage when you’re traveling and your auto insurance may extend to a rental car, but you should always check the terms of your current policy or ask your insurance agent or company.

  • Baggage Loss – Reimburses for lost, stolen or damaged personal items. This usually doesn’t cover personal items lost or damaged by an airline. If you buy baggage insurance, be sure to review the policy for the list of property that is not covered and the value limits associated with the property.
  • Rental Car Damage – Reimburses for damage or loss to a rental vehicle. If you purchase this coverage you can decline the rental car company’s “collision damage waiver.” This coverage doesn’t provide liability protection.

Is a Waiver the Same as Insurance?

Cruise and tour operators may offer Cancellation Waivers. Keep in mind that waivers are not insurance policies and are not regulated by the state, and therefore do not have the same consumer protection as a travel insurance policy.  Read all of the restrictions before you buy a Cancellation Waiver.

What Red Flags Should I Watch For?

Here are some warnings against possible fraudulent policies:

  • The insurance is advertised through blast faxes, spam e-mails, Internet pop-ups or signs posted on telephone poles.
  • The company claims you can save a considerable amount on travel insurance.
  • The company uses high-pressure marketing and an extreme sense of urgency, telling you that you “must act now” or “this one-time offer.”

Just remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

What Should I Check Before I Buy?

  • Are the company and the person I am buying the policy from licensed by the state where I live to sell insurance?
  • What is the refund policy on prepaid expenses? How long in advance do I have to cancel to get a refund?
  • Other than a full refund, what benefits will the insurance company offer? Will they rebook a flight or help me find a new hotel room?
  • Read the policy to see if the coverage applies only to the traveler, or if an illness or emergency with a family member will also trigger the coverage.
  • If you’re working with a travel agent you trust, ask about his or her experiences with any recommended travel insurance companies. Have their customers filed claims? Were those claims paid?
  • If you’re planning an adventurous vacation (i.e. skydiving, scuba diving), ask if the insurance will cover those activities.
  • You don’t have to buy travel insurance from the travel agent booking your trip. You may get a better deal if you work directly with the travel insurance company. Just make sure the quotes you’re comparing are for the same coverages.
  • If you buy from your travel agent, ask to speak with the licensed insurance agent in their office, and check with your state insurance department to make sure that person’s license is up to date.

Learn more about Medical Tourism Insurance


international travel medical insuranceCompass Benefits Group has dedicated its efforts to providing international medical insurance, travel insurance and impeccable service to the international community.  It’s our specialty. 

Each year millions of individuals depart their home countries to travel abroad for vacations, corporate or business travel, international study abroad, and missionary travel to name a few. Many international travelers discover the hard way that their home country medical insurance policies provide little or no coverage for losses incurred while on international trips or living abroad. Medical treatment away from home can be expensive and evacuation from a life threatening situation can cost thousands of dollars more than the cost of the trip abroad. Compass Benefits Group helps take the risk out of international travel. Protection against these losses is available for individuals traveling outside of their home countries.

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