Travel Insurance vs Travel Medical Insurance

Travel Insurance vs Travel Medical Insurance

Now that your trip is booked, you need to start thinking about everything you'll need to have a great, and hopefully stress free time! Thinking about insurance may be at the bottom of your list but it is definitely a necessary evil. But what kind of insurance do you need? And how much coverage is necessary?

If you do not already have international health insurance, the two types of insurance that you need to consider are travel insurance and travel medical insurance. Both are important in ensuring that you are prepared for any unexpected problems during your trip.

What's the difference?

Travel insurance basically covers any problems or mishaps you may encounter while traveling like lost baggage or last minute changes to plane tickets or hotel reservations. Travel medical insurance, on the other hand, covers any medical issues or emergencies.

Do I really need travel insurance?

After booking your trip, take some time to think about both the following:

• Weather condition of destination. Are you traveling somewhere where weather emergencies occur frequently?

• Traveling condition. Are you traveling during a particularly volatile season like snow, monsoon, hurricane, etc?

• Weather condition of your current location. Thailand may be lovely but you can't get there if you are stuck in a Japanese snow storm!

• Duration of vacation. The longer your trip, the more potential for something unexpected to occur.

• Flight cancellation. Are you covered for the deposits?

• Lost of baggage along with your valuables like prescription medication, passport, etc.

Ultimately, travel insurance can provide you with peace of mind. Traveling to a new destination, either by yourself or with others, can be stressful. Knowing that you are covered in the event of unforeseen circumstances may well be worth the cost. As one travel insurance expert noted, "Travel insurance covers the loss of passport and items which can be worthwhile. It is really up to the individual," ICBC AXA. If you are interested in learning more about travel insurance or speaking to an expert about your options, click here.

Do I really need travel medical insurance?

As with travel insurance, deciding if and how much, travel medical insurance to purchase, is dependent on your individual situation:

• Are you traveling to a destination that could aggravate your condition or that could present a threat to your health?

• Health care of destination. You may be looking forward to the adventure that your exotic vacation may offer but some more rustic locales may have an abundance of dangerous insects or lack of a clean water supply.

• Itinerary. Consider the activities you plan to engage in while traveling. Will you be scuba diving, skiing, hiking, etc?

• What if an accident happen that requires medical evacuation or repatriation?

• What if you or someone in your group falls sick during the trip?

Like travel insurance, purchasing travel medical insurance will certainly provide you with security knowing you are covered in case of emergency. "The reality is that illnesses or accidents have little correlation with age or occupation and a reasonable insurance coverage will help minimize the impact of unforeseen circumstances," Joanna Cao, CEO of MSH China.

If you are interested in learning more about travel medical insurance or speaking to an expert about your options, click here.

Avoid these mistakes

Travel insurance and travel medical insurance policies vary. According to ICBC AXA, one common mistake people make when looking to buy insurance is that, "People look at budget before benefits, think they are covered and then in an emergency situation find out it is not covered or certain things are not covered."

Be sure you understand exactly what is and is not covered under a policy before purchasing and review your policy carefully before leaving for your destination. You may be able to find a policy that offers both travel and travel medical insurance so spend some time researching your options.

In a Nutshell

1. There are important differences between travel insurance and travel medical insurance.
2. Be sure to research both types to understand how to ensure you are fully protected.
3. Carefully consider when and where you are traveling and assess potential risks.
4. Carefully consider the length of your trip and activities you have planned.
5. Do not let budget be your deciding factor when purchasing insurance. Accidents and emergencies are much more expensive!