An important question that we get frequently deals with travel insurance (also known as trip insurance). There are multiple companies out there that offer travel insurance, but which one is truly the best?
Money expert Clark Howard has a recommendation:
How To Use InsureMyTrip
There are a variety of options when shopping for trip insurance. But Clark and the volunteers at Clark's free Consumer Action Center recommend using InsureMyTrip. How does it work? Let's try and buy travel insurance together.
Step 1: Visit InsureMyTrip’s website
Step 2: Click Start Quote
At no point during the search do they ask for personal information.
Step 3: Select Your Destination
Step 4: Insert Travel Dates
Step 5: Disclose Your Citizenship
Step 6: Share Ages of Travelers
Step 7: Select Travel Purchased
This is where you select the high-ticket items such as flights, cruises and vacation home rentals that you’ve bought.
Step 8: Share the Total Cost of the Trip
Step 9: View Quote!
From here you will see a bunch of options. You can filter those options by several factors including coverage, price, provider, Better Business Bureau rating and customer ratings.
Not ready to buy yet? No problem! Enter your email address, and the results will be emailed to you with a link to pick up where you left off. Keep in mind that the longer you wait, the more expensive your travel insurance policy will likely become.
Important: Consider ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ Coverage
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for travel-related insurance is at an all-time high. But not every trip insurance policy covers you for pandemic-related cancellations or changes.
The most important thing to look for in a trip insurance policy is that a plan gives you the option to cancel for any reason.
Choosing a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) policy is the best way to cancel the trip. Typically, a CFAR policy is a little more expensive, but of course, it gives you the most flexibility.
It’s important to know, though, that there are times that a CFAR policy isn’t necessary. For example, if your hotel or airline has a “cancel within 48 hours policy,” and you cancel within that time frame, you do not need an insurance policy and can save that extra money.
Also, CFAR policies don’t refund 100% of the trip. You can expect to get back a sizeable chunk (60-80%) but not all of it.
Booking a CFAR Policy With InsureMyTrip
In order to illustrate how InsureMyTrip works to select this type of policy, I chose a random country to visit: Italy. From there, I was asked for information including departure and return dates, the number of travelers in my group, the cost of the trip and whether there were any add-ons to my itinerary such as cruises or airfare. Pretty straightforward.
After you answer those few questions, you’ll get matches with a variety of insurers, prices and coverage options. At the top of the search results section, there is a “Filter” button. If you select that, you’ll see an option for COVID-19 insurance plans.
From there, a second box will pop up with additional coverages such as “Cancel for Any Reason.” The more complicated your trip (cruises, extended flights, etc.), the more is important to pick a plan that has a CFAR option. Life happens, and certain trip insurance allows cancellation only for certain reasons. You do not want to try and cancel a trip at the last second and learn that you do not qualify for a refund.
Other Options To Consider
Besides the traditional trip or pandemic trip insurance, there are a variety of other options to add a layer of security when traveling both domestically and internationally.
- Comprehensive Plans: This type of plan offers the most overall benefit. Services such as trip cancellation, baggage loss, airline delays or cancellations, and medical emergencies are typically covered under a comprehensive plan.
- Medical Only Plans: These plans cover you should you become unexpectedly ill or injured during your trip. You would typically be reimbursed for your medical expenses up to the limit of the particular plan that you choose.
- Evacuation Plans: This plan covers you in the event that you need to be evacuated out of a particular place to seek medical care in another place. If you know that you are going to be in a remote area and have underlying health concerns, then an evacuation plan might be important to consider. (This is also a good time to determine whether your existing health insurance plan provides any coverage if you're out of the country.)
- Accidental Death Plans: Just as the name suggests, this plan is meant to give a designated beneficiary financial support in the event that something goes catastrophically wrong during the trip. Think of it as a short-term life insurance.
Some policies offer additional benefits for lost baggage reimbursement and delays in connections or arrivals. When you travel by air, airlines enact what is called a “Contract of Carriage.” This outlines the airline’s rights and responsibilities and your rights and responsibilities as a passenger.
While an airline has the legal obligation to get you to your destination or offer you a refund, sometimes delays in travel can cost big bucks when you have connecting flights, cruises, or hotels waiting at the other end. Having trip insurance in your back pocket can help offset the loss that an airline will not reimburse.
Where NOT To Book Travel Insurance
It is important to note that the best place to obtain trip insurance is from a site such as InsureMyTrip. Never, never, not ever should you add it when booking on an airline, hotel or car rental website.
For the best possible pricing, you should add trip insurance within two weeks of booking your trip — assuming of course this is not last minute. Booking within two weeks gives you plenty of time to shop for the best plan, and you’ll still be within the window of the cheapest rates. The longer you wait to purchase trip insurance, the more expensive it becomes.
Whether you travel near or far, depending on the circumstances, trip insurance might be a viable option to lessen the cost should the unexpected happen. With services such as InsureMyTrip, it is possible to create an insurance plan based on your unique travel situation. No two scenarios are treated equally. Travel safely!
More Travel Tips From Clark.com:
- The Best Way To Reach Customer Service at the Most Popular Airlines
- Clark's Best Travel Tips To Save Money
- Follow Clark Howard's #1 Rule To Travel Cheap