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Travel Insurance

insurance policyBefore purchasing a travel insurance policy with medical coverage, be sure to check what your regular medical insurance does or doesn't cover, particularly when traveling overseas. You should also consider the medical care offered at your destination. Many Western countries have excellent socialized medical care available and you may not even be charged for the care you receive. On the other hand, if you're in a remote area of a developing country and need to be evacuated for adequate medical care, the expenses can mount quickly.

Read the fine print regarding coverage or lack thereof for preexisting conditions. Generally any medical problem that arises within 60 days prior to purchasing the policy is not covered; however, there are some exceptions to this.

Baggage loss and delay coverage protects you in the event that your luggage is lost, delayed or stolen. This often includes a cash payment if your bags are delayed for more than 12 hours after you arrive at your destination.

Flight delay or cancellation insurance (sometimes called "travel delay") typically pays for accommodations, meals and new travel arrangements once you've been delayed a certain amount of time (often 6 or 12 hours -- read your policy carefully).

Travel document protection kicks in to help you replace a passport or other travel documents when they're lost or stolen.

Annual Insurance
If you travel many times a year (particularly internationally), it may be more economical to purchase annual insurance instead of individual policies for each trip. Annual insurance may also be a good idea if you regularly travel to developing countries, even if it's only a few times a year.

Most annual policies provide medical evacuation coverage, benefits in the event of loss of life or limb, as well as minimums for lost luggage and treatment costs for illness or injury. These policies typically do not include trip cancellation coverage, but in some cases you may add this for an additional fee.

Insurance Companies
Here are a few established travel insurance companies to consider. Please read all terms and conditions carefully to be sure the policy provides the types of coverage you're looking for and is valid in the countries you'll be visiting.

  • CSA Travel Protection
    (800) 711-1197

  • Global Travel Insurance
    (800) 232-9415

  • HTH Worldwide
    (866) 655-3058

  • MEDEX
    (800) 732-5309

  • MH Ross
    (800) 423-3632

  • STA Travel
    (800) 781-4040

  • Travel Assist Network
    (866) 500-0333

  • Travelex
    (800) 228-9792

  • Travel Guard
    (800) 826-4919

  • Travel Insurance Center
    (866) 979-6753

  • Travel Insurance Services
    (800) 937-1387

  • Travel Insured International
    (800) 243-3174

  • TravelSafe
    (888) 885-7233

  • TripInsuranceStore.com
    (888) 407-3854

  • Universal Travel Protection
    (800) 694-4311

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