Travel insurance is widely available and often offered as part of a vacation package. Travel agents rarely complete your booking without first offering you a comprehensive travel insurance package. If you phone an airline to book a ticket, the customer service representative will also offer you travel insurance, particularly if you are booking a non-refundable ticket. Many credit card and charge cards offer free travel insurance for those who book a trip using their services. Also travel insurance is also widely available as part of comprehensive health and life insurance plans.
A good basic travel
insurance policy will include coverage for such eventualities
as cancelled flights, lost luggage and overseas medical and hospital
expenses. One caveat however is that the older you are, the more
difficult it may be to get comprehensive travel insurance from a
life or health insurance company. Usually with credit card coverage,
your age doesn't matter. The travel insurance is simply offered
to the customer as a privilege for using the service.
The amount of travel insurance coverage that
you will need can also depend on your destination. Travel insurance
experts recommend taking out travel insurance if you are planning
to visit Canada, Europe, Japan, Africa, South America or the Middle
East. This is because medical care is particularly expensive in
these countries. Those traveling to the United Kingdom, Scandinavia,
New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia may not need as much coverage
as medical services are more easy to access and less expensive in
The cost of your premiums may also depend
on the length of time you intend to spend out of your home country.
Business travelers, who take several trips a year may benefit from
taking out annual travel insurance. Annual travel insurance is cheaper
than paying for several individual policies over the course of year.
Most insurance companies offer travel insurance
on annual basis as well as per trip basis. Annual policies cover
unlimited trips made by the insured during the entire year provided
that each trip does not exceed a certain number of days. This period
is usually 90 days. This type of coverage is best suited to frequent
Family travel insurance packages are also
common offerings by insurance companies and travel agents. Usually
family packages include coverage for yourself, a spouse and your
children. Although annual policies are also provided for families,
such plans are generally not as popular as the annual policies for
individuals as they can be expensive. Family travel insurance is
cheaper in the long run if it is purchased per trip.
A number of insurance companies are also
offering what is called a "phone and fly" service. This
is a 24 hours a day service that allows you to call up from anywhere
in the world and purchase travel
insurance for a last minute flight.