What You Need to Know About Travel Insurance

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travel insurance, traveling professor, the three tomatoesOne of the most frequent types of questions The Traveling Professor gets regards travel insurance:

  • Do I Need Travel Insurance?
  • Where Do I Purchase Travel Insurance?
  • What Kind of Travel Insurance Do I Really Need?

Here are some basic answers and some tips you need to know about travel insurance:

What are the basic types of coverage?

  •   Medical Coverage:  This does exactly what the name implies. It covers illness or injury while traveling while not covered by an existing policy. This most frequently applies while traveling overseas. These policies may also include medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. Some policies have deductibles and limits.
  • Trip Interruption/Cancellation: Provides reimbursement for non-refundable trip payments and deposits if you need to cancel your trip for a covered reason such as illness or illness/death of a family member. Some policies provide reimbursement for economic reasons such as loss or change of a job. Trip interruption reimburses the insured for increased transportation costs to return home or continue a trip due to a covered reason. For instance, we had a traveler lose their passport in Peru. They needed to return from Cusco to Lima immediately to replace their passport then re-join the tour. All costs were covered including the cost to replace the passport, flights, special concierge services, and hotels.

What Kind of Insurance Do I Really Need?

I strongly, strongly recommend medical coverage while overseas. Yes, it does happen – people get injured and sick. In my opinion, nothing is more important than your health and it needs to be protected.

As for trip interruption/cancellation insurance, this requires more thought. If you anticipate a reason for possibly cancelling or interrupting a trip (ill family member at home, unstable job situation, traveling during winter weather, etc.) consider purchasing this type of insurance.

The Professor’s Comments

  •  Don’t rely on your credit card company to provide trip insurance. Speak with a representative from the company and get a clear answer as to what is covered and what is not covered.
  •  If making more than 2 international trips per year, consider purchasing a year-long medical coverage policy for the best value.
  •  Most medical policies require travelers to have a primary, permanent health policy in force.
  •  Insurance rules and regulations change from state-to-stat
  •  Most, but not all, policies require purchase to be made within about 2 weeks of making a deposit for a tour

Where to Get Trip Insurance

Try these 2 providers:


Professor Steve Solosky is the author of The Traveling Professor’s Guide to Paris. He leads small group tours to Paris, Italy, Norway, and Peru. His website is www.travelingprofessor.com

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