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Travelers’ Insurance: What do I need to know?

Travelers’ insurance is one of the best safety nets you can purchase when vacationing with kids.  Once you’ve decided to get insurance, however, then you need to decide what kind, and through which company.  After some personal experiences, I’ve compiled a few tips you should keep in mind before you choose your coverage! 

You may already have coverage. 

Your current health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, your workplace, or your major credit cards may already offer full or some health coverage while traveling.  This is the best place to start. Know what is already covered by what you currently have before opting into additional coverages.

You may be able to add temporary coverage to an existing plan. 

Some major credit cards and health insurance coverage offer the option to add temporary coverage during your travels.  Because you are an existing client, this is often a good, low-cost way to go. Check here before extensively reviewing third party options.

You can get often get coverage through a vacation package or you can get it through a third party. 

There are pros and cons to both options.  You will want to think critically about what is covered and for what cost.  In my experience, third party options tend to be better and safer, but it’s best to review both options and consider your specific travel needs before choosing. 

Not all plans are created equal. 

Costs and coverage can vary significantly.  You should consider what you may need or what you would want to be covered if you need to see a doctor or go to a hospital.  Do you only want coverage for visits and prescriptions? Do you want coverage for broken bones, stitches, or surgeries? Or, in a true emergency, evacuation overage or the ability to fly another person to where you are for support?  All of these things and more can be covered, you just need to consider what you want and what you are willing to pay for. Be sure to read the fine print and choose wisely.

You may need to pay for your expenses upfront and submit a claim afterward. 

Even with travelers’ insurance, it is likely that you will need to pay your bill upfront and submit a claim for reimbursement.  When reviewing coverage options, be sure to consider and ask questions about how you file a claim and if/when you need to pay.

Choose the coverage that will follow you. 

Will you potentially leave the country you are traveling to for a side trip?  Are you going to a national park or conservation area within the country? Be sure your coverage includes these areas.  When choosing coverage, be sure to ask a lot of questions about your dates, itinerary, and locations. The more you know upfront, the fewer surprises while traveling.

You can get coverage for a full year or for the length of your trip. 

Frequent travelers should consider long-term plans that cover their full itinerary for the year.  If you tend to do only one or two short trips a year, shorter coverage is likely a better option. 

You know your family’s needs best. 

At the end of the day, you know what’s best for your family.  Consider the coverage you already have, the length of travel, location(s), your family’s needs, dates of travel, your finances, etc. Think through what you need and allow that to guide your decision making.

No matter what insurance you choose, it’s guaranteed that it’ll take a load off your back while traveling with kids! 

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Gunjan

Hello, I’m Gunjan Prakash, an artist by profession, mother and wife by choice, and a traveler since birth! When I was young, summer trips with my parents were the highlight of the year. Whether it was the small pleasure of trying a new type of street food, or the awe-inspiring immersion in another culture, with its own architecture and customs, I always felt most at home when I was traveling. As a visual artist, I love channeling the inspiration from my travels into my creative process. I carried this passion for discovery with me through college, where I traveled with friends while working towards my Masters in Computer Arts. From river cruising in Egypt to sailing in Croatia, skiing in the Alps to snorkeling in the Caribbean, I’m on a quest to discover all the highs and lows our incredible planet has to offer. I truly believe that travel is about more than a one-time experience. It’s about meeting others, building community, and creating memories on a global scale. During my travels, I’ve visited 37 countries and counting. Since my twins were born, 7 years ago, we’ve visited 20 countries, and learned the ins and outs of traveling with small children. Now I’ve made it my mission to empower a community of fellow adventurer, families and solo wanderers alike, by telling my stories, both past and future. I hope this platform can be a resource for ideas, suggestions and recommendations, as well as a gathering place for those of us who have been bitten by the travel bug.
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