Comparing costs and benefits
The key? Read the fine print, says Stan Sandberg, co-founder of Travelinsurance.com, one of several websites allowing customers to compare policies from multiple providers. Others include Squaremouth.com and Insuremytrip.com. Type in your destination, travel dates, total cost, and age of travelers, and these sites offer policy options at various price points. (You’ll notice prices shoot up for those over age 70.)
Policies greatly differ by how much protection they offer, Sandberg says, so it’s important to do your research—and do it early. To nab a CFAR policy, for example, you need to lock it in within a certain number of days after the initial trip deposit date. If you have health problems, you’ll likely want a policy with a pre-existing condition waiver. Traveling to a remote corner of the world? Make sure the emergency evacuation coverage is high.
Trip cancellation tends to be the priciest element of travel insurance, Sandberg says. If you want a cheaper option that just covers medical care and evacuation, enter a trip cost of $0 when you calculate or purchase a policy.
Annual subscription options are available for frequent travelers. Some companies specialize in emergencies, such as Medjet, which, in addition to catering to business and leisure travelers, offers membership for expats and students studying abroad.
Doing such a deep-dive analysis isn’t likely when you’re clicking a yes/no box after buying a plane ticket, says Heller, who notes that online travel websites often steer customers to a particular insurance plan and policy. “It’s bought without shopping most of the time,” he says. “The reason those companies get on the website for Expedia is they’re paying—call it ‘commissions’ or ‘kickbacks.’”
Read the full National Geographic article online here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/2020/03/how-and-why-to-buy-travel-insurance/