• Travel Insurance Blog

  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017

When a student, rarely does one want to spend on anything but the most necessary expenses. It is but natural that student travel insurance is not on top of the to-do list of the student traveler.

It is true that not all situations call for the same travel insurance when traveling as a student. Some features of travel medical insurance and trip cancellation insurance may only be needed under certain circumstances.

If you’re a student about to undertake international travel, ask yourself the following question: Is there a hefty cost to my trip getting postponed or cancelled? Air tickets can typically be rescheduled. If you’re traveling on a budget and your accommodation consists of hostel-type accommodation, the penalties for cancellation may not be very high either.

Also ask yourself whether you have coverage through another source. If you’re going overseas on a study abroad program, for example, you may already have coverage. However, if you do not have any coverage, it is important to act responsibly and purchase appropriate coverage.

Travel tip: When looking for student plans, certainly factor in additional coverage for adventurous sports if you like to participate in them, even if you have not planned any such activity yet.

History is full of lessons for mankind—if only we stopped to learn them. While you, today's traveler, may think you are nothing like Christopher Columbus, you may be surprised to know that Columbus probably faced some of the same problems you do during travel! You may even start thinking about where Columbus had any travel insurance for his voyages!

When the Pilgrims came to the United States, the American Indians were affected badly by infections brought by the Pilgrims. At least that’s one of the theories. And of course, when missionaries spread their work in parts of Africa, they were simply unprepared for the diseases and infections that were prevalent there.

Today, however, travel is much more widespread, and infections travel along with us, making isolated infections a rarity. But weather conditions in each country create mutations in bacteria that affect different people differently.

Needless to say, that only reiterates the fact that any traveler is under increased risk of falling ill when abroad. Add to that other contributing factors such as stress, and the need for travel insurance becomes more than obvious.

Travel tip: Carry a packet of water purifying tablets when traveling to remote places, and you’ll never have to worry about using your travel insurance!

One of the most important types of insurance coverage for travel is trip cancellation insurance. However, it is glossed over by many travelers who don’t consider cancellation when actually planning a trip.

However, there are certain kinds of trips for which trip cancellation insurance is indeed a necessity. For these trips, you are much better off purchasing a travel insurance plan with trip cancellation insurance, or a separate plan for cancellation or interruption. An example of such a trip is a cruise.

Although a cruise is typically thought of as a means of transportation and therefore akin to air travel, that is not the case. Cruises are more like a complete holiday package, and are different in that there are usually no rescheduling options without a financial penalty.

Also, cruises get booked months in advance, and so, that would mean that there is more time between your booking a cruise and the actual departure date. That lends itself to more chances of the trip being cancelled, making coverage a prudent decision. Trips that include packages such as safaris, or multi-day adventure treks/sports are also prime candidates for trip cancellation insurance.

Travel tip: Do your research and decide on trip cancellation coverage before booking the trip. Many plans offer waivers of the pre-existing conditions clause when the insurance plan is purchased within two weeks of the booking.

When going on a cruise, it is best to purchase the cruise insurance that is necessary, not just one that is offered. While many cruise companies offer insurance even during the booking of the cruise, the coverage may not be sufficient.

AIG’s Travel Guard’s Cruise, Tour and Travel Platinum plan provides insurance that is valid for all travel, including cruises. The plan offers a $50,000 medical benefit, and also includes emergency medical evacuation to the home country, where required.

One of the major reasons for purchasing cruise insurance is the plan’s trip cancellation benefit. However, the reasons for cancellation are sometimes restrictive, and in today’s scenario, cancellations because of work or other reasons that may not be covered are very common.

The AIG Travel Guard plan offers two extra options for trip cancellation: Cancel for Any Reason, which reimburses 75% of nonrefundable expenses of your trip; and Cancel for Work Reasons, which covers business-related reasons for cancellation. The Cancel for Work Reasons costs $24 per adult, and the Cancel for Any Reason is included on payment of half the base price extra.

Travel tip: Decide whether you need cruise insurance before you make the payment on your cruise, and buy insurance as soon as you make the initial payment.

The last thing a traveler wants to do is fall ill during the trip, regardless of whether he/she has international travel insurance. However, it comes in very handy in case of any injury or illness, and there is no reason to visit a country without adequate insurance.

If you’re looking to save money, there are so many more ways of doing that other than skimping on insurance. For one, create a travel budget. It is so easy to lose track of expenses, with international credit cards providing an easy way of payment throughout the world.

Also, try and “go local.” When you’re shopping, looking for accommodation, or even airfare, local establishments often provide the best price. The international chains come with an extra price tag, in several countries. It’s also a good idea to look for and sample local food, instead of always eating at the hotel.

Many cities around the world offer world-class public transportation, and if you are lucky enough to be visiting such a city, take full advantage of it. Traveling by taxi is not just more expensive, it is also slower in a lot of places.

Travel tip: When shopping, remember that fixed prices are not the norm in many countries; however, that trend is changing. Ensure that you know whether bargaining is encouraged before getting into the swing of things.

Most international travelers purchase a vanilla travel insurance plan to cover themselves against the costs of unplanned illnesses. However, there are several types of travel insurance, and choosing the best option for your needs can also save you some much-wanted money.

If your international trip is one of many you will likely undertake in a given year, consider annual travel insurance. This plan covers you for an unlimited number of trips, and can save you a lot of stress and money. This is especially useful if you are a businessperson who travels overseas often.

You can also consider purchasing missionary insurance if you will undertake intermittent trips abroad, with short periods back at home. This kind of plan offers a bunch of benefits, including home country coverage between trips. It also offers some mental health benefits.

On the other hand, if you are traveling abroad as part of a group, consider group travel insurance. The group does not have to be a formal group; it can even be a family trip. That can save you a bunch of money, although the coverage cannot be customized individually in most cases. Selecting the right kind of plan can save you some money.

Travel tip: If your group has many people in different age groups, you can split the group based on age or required coverage for more savings.

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