Traveling Abroad? Double Check Your Insurance Coverage

For those who are planning to travel outside of the United States, consideration should be given to trip protection, health insurance, theft insurance, and other related insurance such as evacuation, baggage, and flight insurance. Making sure that you have the adequate insurance in place prior to traveling can relieve concerns and allow you to enjoy your trip with fewer worries.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance protects the cost of your travels. This type of insurance typically reimburses some or all of your travel-related expenses (flights, organized tours, cruises, some accommodations) if you or a covered partner are unable to travel due to sickness, death, layoffs, or other acceptable reasons. Trip cancellation insurance makes the most sense to have if you or your travel partner have health-related issues or care for someone with health-related issues. Before purchasing a trip cancellation policy, be sure to check the benefits offered by your credit cards. Some cards offer robust or even limited trip cancellation insurance that make purchasing additional policies unnecessary. The coverage of these policies varies from provider to provider, so make sure to closely read the policy to make sure it aligns with your concerns.

International Health Care Coverage

Although some international health care coverage is available through private insurers, Medicare offers essentially no coverage for those traveling outside the USA. For those insured by Medicare, special attention should be given to health coverage during international travel. If you’re currently covered by a Medigap policy, some coverage may be available through the plan provider, although deductibles and co-insurance may be different. Likewise, for those travelers who currently purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan, some coverage may be available depending on the provider and policy selected. Be sure to check with your policy representative before purchasing additional coverage. If your private policy or Medicare supplement cover international travel, be sure to understand how coverage is received. It is common for international travelers to pay up front for any care and then seek reimbursement from their health insurance provider upon returning home. Some travel policies work differently, where the health care provider bills the insurance company directly. For travelers wishing to acquire additional coverage, pricing is typically based on age and can be expensive for those age 70 and older. Comprehensive insurance, which includes medical insurance along with evacuation and possible cancellation insurance, may be a more affordable way to get the coverage you need.

Theft Insurance

Considering the value of the items in a typical carry-on bag, it makes sense to consider whether these items are protected from theft. Most homeowners insurance policies protect against theft anywhere in the world, although deductibles may be high enough to offset some of this coverage. For example, ifyour $800 iPad gets stolen but your homeowner’s deductible is $1,000, you wouldn’t be able to recover any part of the value from your insurance company. You may wish to add a rider to your current homeowners policy for this type of coverage, or purchase separate travel insurance if you’ll be traveling with several expensive items. In order to more easily apply for benefits if you are the victim of theft, be sure to take photos of your items and document the makes and models, along with identifying numbers. You will probably also need a police report from the country where the theft occurred to make a claim.

Other Related Insurance

Evacuation insurance, which covers the cost of getting to an appropriate medical facility if you’re in need of care, makes sense if you’re traveling to remote destinations. These policies may not get you all of the way home but insure that you have access to quality care independent of the location of your travels. These policies may be quite specific in how you need to use them, so make sure you understand what the requirements are before engaging these services.

Flight insurance is a limited life insurance policy that pays out to your heirs in the event of your death in a plane crash. These policies are typically overpriced, given the very low likelihood of a plane crash.

Baggage insurance protects against lost or delayed checked luggage. While limited baggage insurance is provided through your airline, it’s unlikely to fully cover any valuables in your luggage. As with theft, your homeowners insurance will likely cover your items, but the deductible may be so high as to make this coverage impractical. You can typically purchase additional coverage from the airline or through a comprehensive policy. Credit card benefits may offer additional protection for your baggage.

Preparing for international travel can be an exciting adventure! Don’t let insurance concerns ruin your trip. Speak with your Wealth Advisor for advice regarding the information mentioned above. As always, make sure to store copies of your important documents, including your passport, travel itinerary, credit card information, medical prescriptions, and insurance policies, in a safe place that you will be able to access while you’re abroad, such as an online storage portal or on a password-protected thumb drive.