Vacations abroad offer a seemingly endless array of options for activities, accommodations, and overall atmosphere. While there are many ways you can plan yours, many travelers design their trip around one of two broad mindsets: luxury getaway or roughing it.
Trip Insurance and Your Luxury Vacation
It’s easy to forget about the necessity of insurance when the sum total of your vacation plan is to lie down in the sun or under the shade of your private cabana. You might not even think about it when you dream of cutting through the blindingly white blanket of snow at your favorite ski resort.
Truth is, it doesn’t matter how luxurious a trip you plan—you still need insurance to help shield your assets from the financial disaster that can follow even the simplest illness abroad. Luxury vacations aren’t free of food poisoning, accidents and crime.
Of course, personal injury isn’t the only thing to buy insurance for. Travelers should also consider securing insurance coverage to pay for damages experienced when a trip must be cancelled for a covered reason, such as a natural disaster. If you add up the cost of the clothes, shoes, accessories and electronics you plan to bring with you on your luxury getaway, you might think that baggage protection is a pretty good idea as well.
Insurance when You’re Roughing It
Your idea of roughing it may be different than mine, and that makes planning your trip insurance policy more of an in-depth process. For some, roughing it could mean exploring the deep, dark, tropical wilderness of a far-flung location with no hotel, hostel or bed and breakfast in sight. For others it may mean days spent skydiving, deep-sea fishing, and parasailing with nights spent in a hostel or bare bones cabin.
No matter what activities you use to fulfill your dreams of roughing it, a trip insurance policy has coverage options that protect you should you become injured while enjoying them. For example, let’s say you and your naturalist guide go deep into the Amazon. You spend your nights in a tent or upon a boat along the river where typhoid, and yellow fever run rampant. If you’re injured or become ill, you’ll need remote emergency transportation to get you back to society and competent medical professionals. If you plan to focus on sports or dangerous activities like deep-sea diving, you may need a more specialized policy that covers the physical injuries you could endure as part of those activities.
Luxury or Not—Consider the Location
Sometimes the location of your vacation matters much more than the style in which you plan to enjoy it. For example, let’s say you want to go to Egypt. You may think you’ll be safe because you spared no expense in planning a lavish trip with daytime tours of the pyramids from atop the back of a camel and a nighttime stay in a $1,200 a-day, a sea-view room in a luxury resort. But you aren’t safe. The area is experiencing civil unrest which could mean that you need to consider kidnap and ransom insurance as well as warzone coverage, especially if you’re spending time in areas known for harboring wealthy tourists.
Think about the Reach of Other Policies
You probably already understand that your domestic health insurance policy only covers the cost of treatment you receive in the United States and excludes anything you get abroad, but did you also know that your life insurance policy might not pay out a death benefit to your beneficiaries if your death occurs while you’re abroad? It’s true. If you take your trip to an area with civil unrest within a couple of years of taking the policy out, your claim could be denied because you didn’t disclose that you were taking the trip when it was underwritten. And if your death is the result of an act of war, civil unrest or terrorism, the claim might also be denied.
You have ultimate control over the activities and overall setting of your vacation overseas. You also have ultimate control over your insurance protection when you go abroad. To exercise your control over one and not the other is a mistake you’re likely to regret, especially if you face unexpected injuries, illnesses, trip changes and other adversities. Don’t leave your trip at risk. Complete the proper insurance planning as you outline the other specifics of your itinerary. Then, enjoy your time in luxury or the rough, exactly as you intended.