Travel insurance – just exactly what does this type of insurance cover? As I searched for travel insurance for my summer university studies in France I discovered that many times, insurance programs were really trip insurance, designed to specifically cover the trip itself (trip cancellation, loss of baggage, early termination of trip, etc) when what I really needed was medical insurance that was more like my health insurance at home.
One thing I was advised by several professors who travel regularly and take students on international trips abroad is that not only do you want medical insurance for illness and injury but you also want insurance that will pay for a next of kin to travel to you if you are hospitalized for a lengthy time or are unable to travel alone (emergency medical reunion), insurance that will, if you are travelling alone with minor children, cover the cost of returning the children to their home country, insurance that will cover the cost of repatriation (bringing you home if you an physically unable to stay in your destination country) and insurance that covers repatriation of mortal remains should you die.
As I wandered through the various types of insurance on the web I discovered that there is an extra charge if you plan to participate in a hazardous sport such as motorcycle riding, snow skiing, bungee jumping, etc. Fortunately, bicycling, my favorite sport, is not considered hazardous.
STA travel, is the world’s largest student and youth travel agency. Through STA you can get an International Student Identification Card (ISIC) and if you are a teacher you can get an International Teacher Identification Card (ITIC) both of which will provide you with discounts when abroad. An additional benefit of STA is their insurance.
Global Travel Shield is a part of American Express. Like most of the plans you will find, they allow you to build your own policy. Unfortunately, their policy is unavailable in some states so be sure to check that first.
Travel Guard (Chartis) is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. a Pennsylvania Insurance Company. Like most companies, they offer you the opportunity to compare their various plans and options and receive a quote before you buy.
World Wide Medical travel insurance is underwritten by
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Nationwide Life Insurance Company and Nationwide Mutual Fire Company. As with most travel insurance companies, they also provide coverage of lost baggage and interruption of travel.
These are just a few of the many companies that you will find on the web. They are the top 4 that I used when I narrowed my search. My suggestions are to read carefully and make lists of options; re-read your lists and organize them in parallel columns; let these lists set for a day and then compare the various options. At this point, you may have specific questions you want to address on each site. You want to get the travel insurance coverage that is right for you, for your family and for your trip.
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