What Is Travel Insurance And How Does It Work in 2023

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Purchasing travel insurance is one of the most critical aspects of preparing for a trip overseas, and it is one that many people ignore. This type of insurance protects you from incurring unwanted and unexpected financial losses if you have to cancel your trip or face a large medical cost that you cannot afford.

In this article, we’ll be talking about travel insurance and how it works.

What Is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is a sort of insurance (or protection) that is designed to cover all or part of the cost of any medical expenditures incurred when traveling overseas, as well as trip cancellation, lost or stolen belongings, travel delays, and so on.

It is designed to cover expenses that arise unexpectedly and after the coverage is activated. As a result, it frequently excludes medical coverage for pre-existing diseases like diabetes or pregnancy. On the same note, it goes without saying that if you buy travel insurance after an incident has occurred, the insurance provider will not cover it.

Keep in mind that travel insurance differs from international health insurance, which is designed for ex-pats and students who aren’t just passing through.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Although coverage varies from one company to the next and from one specific plan to the next, most travel insurance plans cover the following:

1. Medical treatment

If you are injured or become unwell while on vacation, your travel insurance will cover doctor consultations, emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgery, prescription drugs and medicine, and other expenses.

2. Trip cancellation, interruption, or curtailment

If your trip is cut short or canceled due to unforeseen circumstances, you will be reimbursed for any lost travel and/or lodging expenses. The policy determines which causes are appropriate for reimbursement. You can also purchase a Cancel For Any Reason add-on for your current insurance.

In the event of death, the remains will be repatriated: It may also cover the costs of a funeral in another country. Lost, stolen, or destroyed property, but not if it is due to irresponsibility.

READ ALSO: What is Property Insurance? Overview and How it works

3. Missed flight

If you missed a flight due to no fault of your own (e.g., the airline rescheduled or experienced a delay), your insurance provider will reimburse you for any expenses incurred.

Additional Travel Insurance Coverage

Some travel insurance policies will cover things that aren’t covered by the “basic” policy, but you’ll have to pay extra for them. This can include things like:

What Is Not included in Travel Insurance?

The following circumstances are usually not covered by most travel insurance companies:

Pre-existing conditions

If you have diabetes, your insurance provider is unlikely to pay any costs associated with the disease, such as medications or doctor visits. Some insurance providers, on the other hand, may cover the sudden onset of a pre-existing condition.

Travel insurance providers will normally not cover any expenses related to the pregnancy, such as giving delivery, general check-ups, or morning sickness if you are traveling while pregnant.

Does Travel Insurance Have Disability Coverage?

Some travel insurance providers cover pre-existing diseases and disabilities, but not all. Disability travel insurance is not included in most policies by default, and disabled persons will almost always have to pay more to acquire the extra coverage they require.

You can get coverage for the following situations (in addition to conventional travel insurance):

  • Medical treatment related to your disability/pre-existing condition.
  • Loss or damage of disability and mobility equipment.
  • Replacement of essential medication.
  • Replacement of an essential carer.

Finally, it’s a case-by-case matter, and you’ll need to discuss your impairment with a travel insurance company to see how it fits into their policy.

The amount of coverage for physical disabilities varies depending on the type of disability and whether it is “stable.”

Related Post: 10 Best Disability Insurance of 2023

What Activities Are Covered by Travel Insurance?

Every travel business has its own set of policy rules for what it will cover. However, most travel insurers will provide coverage if you are involved in an accident while participating in one of the following activities:

  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Trekking
  • Surfing
  • Cycling
  • Recreational sports

Under some situations, even the following actions may be covered by some insurers:

  • Skiing (if it is done during skiing season)
  • Scuba (if it is done under the supervision of licensed instructors and only up to a certain depth, usually 10-30 meters)
  • Rock climbing and abseiling (if you have to use special equipment, you will likely not be covered)
  • Sailboating (only within a short distance from the shore)
  • Rafting on whitewater (only for rapids 1, 2, and 3)
  • Bungee jumping (depending on the specific policy)

What Activities Are Not Covered by Travel Insurance?

There are some vacation activities for which travel insurance companies do not provide coverage, such as:

  • Base jumping
  • Off-the-season skiing
  • Motorbiking and motor racing
  • Hunting
  • Partaking in professional sports
  • Running with bulls

If your travel insurance company does, by chance, cover any of the aforementioned activities, the overall policy cost will be greater.

How To Choose The Best Travel Insurance Plan?

This type of question does not have a single response because it is dependent on your specific demands and the type of vacation you are taking.

When looking for the finest travel insurance package for your needs, keep the following features in mind:

  1. The company that provides travel insurance – Make certain you’re getting your insurance from a reliable business.
  2. The insurance policy’s coverage – Is everything that’s vital to you covered? Do you, for example, have medical expenditure coverage? How much money will you have to pay out of pocket before the insurance kicks in?
  3. What activities are covered by your insurance during the holidays? If you’re going skiing, you’ll want coverage that covers skiing-related incidents, among other things.
  4. Is repatriation a possibility? – Is there any compensation for travel disruption or cancellation, and if so, what does it entail?
  5. Will you be covered if your belongings are stolen?
  6. The policy’s price tag – Examine the policy’s cost to see if it fits within your budget, but keep in mind that low-priced policies often have restricted coverage.

See Also: 10 Best Cheap Auto (Car) Insurance In Michigan 2023

How To Get Insurance For International Travel?

Travel insurance can be purchased online through brokers that operate as a go-between for you and the insurance companies. This is typically the best option because they only work with reputable companies and can customize travel insurance plans to your exact needs, removing the need for you to go out and search insurance providers on your own. 

Furthermore, while deciding which travel insurance plan to buy, it’s vital to study and compare many policies thoroughly so you know precisely what you’re getting.

The following are the measures to take while buying travel insurance for foreign travel:

  • Determine how much coverage you require
  • Look up information on the internet
  • Check to see if the policy covers you where you’re going
  • Pay close attention to the small print
  • Purchase your travel insurance policy as soon as possible.

Have you ever wondered how insurance companies make money?

1. Determine how much coverage you require

Consider where you’re going, what activities you’ll be doing, how long you’ll be staying, and what you’ll be bringing with you when determining how much coverage you’ll need. As a result, you should always select insurance that includes at the very least medical aid, cancellation, and lost/stolen luggage coverage.

2. Look up information on the internet

There are a plethora of travel insurance comparison websites, such as TravelersCoverage, that make comparing different insurance products a breeze. It’s simple to compare plans and select the one that’s right for you once you know what kind of coverage you require.

3. Find out if there is coverage for where you are going

You must ensure that your travel insurance policy covers your country of destination before purchasing it. Not all insurance covers all destinations, and it’s uncommon for a firm to provide coverage for a country where a travel warning is in effect.

4. Pay close attention to the small print

It is critical that you read the tiny print before purchasing an insurance policy. There are several confusing or deceptive claims that persuade you to believe you have more coverage than you do.

Similarly, you may not be aware that you are eligible to file a claim until you read the fine print attentively, as tedious as it may be.

READ ALSO: 15 Best Jewelry Insurance Companies of 2023

5. Purchase your travel insurance policy as soon as possible

It’s also crucial to purchase travel insurance as soon as possible so that you’re insured for any financial losses if you have to cancel. You will never get 100% of your money back, but depending on the insurance, you may be able to get a significant portion of it back.

When Is The Best Time To Get Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance should be purchased within 15 days of the day you booked your trip or started paying for it/made your first deposit. You can add them to your coverage as the departure date approaches and you make extra deposits.

You may not be able to acquire complete coverage if you buy your insurance at the last minute or after 15 days have passed since you booked your trip.

Furthermore, if a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, strikes or is predicted to strike your chosen location, and you purchase insurance after being advised, trip cancellation will not be covered.

How Does International Travel Insurance Work?

If any of the terrible situations covered under the plan occur after you purchase a travel insurance plan, you can file a claim with the insurance provider, and they will repay part or all of the costs, depending on the policy restrictions.

If you become unwell while traveling abroad, for example, you can obtain a doctor’s note and medical bill and submit these to your insurance provider to file a claim for compensation.

Although most people believe that travel insurance simply covers health insurance, it actually covers a lot more. It also covers any costs incurred if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly if your luggage or other personal possessions are stolen or lost, and repatriation of remains in the event of death.

A life full of evntualities deserves to be protected at all cost. Check out the best affordable life insurance companies.

How To File a Travel Insurance Claim?

You should contact your travel insurance carrier as soon as possible to register a claim. If you want the firm to consider your claim valid and cover it, you’ll need all the supporting paperwork you can acquire. Here are several examples:

1. If you require medical assistance

If you are involved in an accident or become unwell while traveling abroad, you must keep any medical bills, doctor notes, and other papers proving your need for medical treatment. The insurance company will compensate you for the costs of your therapy once you submit your claim. If you have travel health insurance with a recognized health insurance company in nations like the United States, the hospital may be able to bill the fees straight to the insurance company.

2. Stolen things or a car accident

If your personal belongings are stolen or you are involved in a car accident while on vacation, you must call your travel insurance provider right away to find out what to do. You’ll also need to submit a police report and keep the evidence for when you file your insurance claim.

3. Trip cancellation

If you have to cancel your trip, you must provide the insurance company with a reason. Include a letter from your employer, for example, if the cause was work-related. Include a doctor’s note, etc. if the cause was health-related.


Before you leave the country you’re visiting, contact your travel insurance company to find out what documents you’ll need to file a claim.

In certain circumstances, travel insurance companies ask you to inform them right away if something goes wrong.

Most importantly, read your insurance policy carefully to determine the exact steps you must follow to file a claim with your travel insurance company.

Make copies of any documentation that confirm your reimbursement eligibility.

You may want to see: What Is PMI Insurance? Full Guide

How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?

In general, the cost of your travel insurance plan will be between 4% and 12% of the total cost of your trip. More expensive vacations will normally cost more to insure simply because the amount of money that the travel insurance company will have to reimburse if the trip is canceled for any reason is larger. However, the price varies based on the following factors:

1. The type of coverage you require

Plans that only cover basic health care will be less expensive than those that cover other elements such as trip cancellation, theft of personal belongings, and so on. There are different levels of coverage even for basic health insurance, which might alter the cost of the insurance plan.

2. The length of your journey

For a journey of 30 days, the same plan with the same quantity of coverage will cost more than if you are only going for a week or a couple of days.

3. How many people are you planning to incorporate in your strategy

Similarly, if you only need health insurance for yourself, it will be less expensive than if you require coverage for your entire family.

4. Your age

The cost of travel insurance rises in tandem with the traveler’s age. People over 65 pay more for insurance since they are more likely to file a claim, however, if you have small children, you may be able to add them to your plan at no additional cost.

5. Your destination

When it comes to pricing your plan, some travel insurance firms consider where you’re going because some areas are riskier than others.

Is Medical Insurance for Traveling Worth It?

The amount of money you stand to lose if your vacation is canceled determines whether or not travel insurance is worthwhile. If you’ve already paid for your hotel room, airplane ticket, and other activities, then buying travel insurance for a fraction of the cost could be worthwhile.

However, if you are visiting family and have booked an inexpensive round-trip ticket, you are unlikely to lose much money, therefore travel insurance may be a waste of money in this scenario.

Travel insurance is also required if you are visiting a country with high healthcare costs, such as the United States. If you get sick or have an accident in a country with high healthcare costs, your medical bill might easily run into the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, so the cost of insurance is a drop in the bucket.

Finally, it is up to you to assess the risks and determine whether or not insurance is required for your trip.

READ ALSO: Health Care Vs Private Insurance: What You Should Know

How To Save Money On Travel Insurance?

Although it is common knowledge that lower-cost travel insurance policies provide less coverage and may cost more if you need to file a claim, you can still make informed decisions and save money on your travel insurance:

1. Buying through a travel agency or an airline is not a good idea

When you buy a trip or a flight, tour firms or airlines may include travel insurance as part of the package. Although it is convenient, many of them charge additional costs, and you may end up spending more for travel insurance than you require or receive.

2. Check to see whether it’s available online

This is advantageous not only because it allows you to compare more policies through comparison websites, but it also allows you to take advantage of discounts offered by many travel insurers for purchases made online.

3. Purchase it as soon as possible

Try to purchase travel insurance as soon as you arrange a trip because it will cover any expenses that arise between the time you book the trip and the time you travel.

4. Understand what you’re insuring

While it is true that it is better to be safe than sorry, there is such a thing as being too safe. If you have a refundable vacation, for example, don’t seek reimbursement coverage because travel insurance firms only cover non-refundable excursions.

If you’re not taking anything precious with you, don’t pay a large luggage loss/theft premium.

5. Obtain group coverage

When traveling as a family, purchasing group travel insurance is less expensive than purchasing individual travel insurance for each member.

If you travel frequently, instead of getting new coverage each time you travel, purchase an annual, multi-trip policy. With an annual policy, you are usually only covered for a certain amount of time each time you leave the country.

Examine your credit card to see if you already have travel insurance.

Note: You should not try to save money on travel insurance by purchasing a policy that provides insufficient coverage or has a large deductible/excess (the amount you have to pay from your own pocket before the insurance company covers the rest). If you choose a travel insurance plan with a large deductible, the plan will be less expensive in the long run, but if you need to make a claim, you will lose more money.


One of the mind-opening pleasures of travel is its unpredictability, but travel insurance should be free of shocks. The time you invest in learning about your alternatives will pay off in the form of peace of mind as you embark on your future adventure. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a sort of insurance (or protection) that is designed to cover all or part of the cost of any medical expenditures incurred when traveling overseas, as well as trip cancellation, lost or stolen belongings, travel delays, and so on.

What does travel insurance cover?

Although coverage varies from one company to the next and from one specific plan to the next, most travel insurance plans cover the following:
Medical treatment
Trip cancellation, interruption, or curtailment
In the event of death, the remains will be repatriated
Lost, stolen, or destroyed property
Missed flight

Do travel insurance providers cover pre-existing diseases and disabilities?

Yes, some travel insurance providers cover pre-existing diseases and disabilities, but not all.

What do travel insurers provide coverage for?

Every travel business has its own set of policy rules for what it will cover. However, most travel insurers will provide coverage if you are involved in an accident while participating in one of the following activities:
Recreational sports



Chukwudumebi Amadi
Chukwudumebi Amadi

What’s up, I’m Dums. I help brands gain visibility through SEO Writing and other applicable Content Marketing Strategies.

My educational background includes a BSc in Mass Communication with a focus on writing for the New Media.

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