Travel Insurance For A Multi-Destination Vacation – Forbes

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Multi-destination vacations are exciting because you can check multiple places off your bucket list over the course of one trip.

Maybe you’ve mapped out your own multi-destination trip, or maybe you’ve booked an organized tour package. Visiting multiple places usually means lots of additional planning, including picking the right travel insurance.

“Being constantly on the go can produce a number of risks and challenges, and you’ll want to consider travel insurance to help you on every leg of your journey,” says Lisa Cheng, a spokesperson with World Nomads, a travel insurance provider.

The Importance of Travel Medical Insurance

Travel medical insurance is an important component of a travel insurance policy. It pays for medical expenses that happen when you’re traveling.

“Your policy could cover unexpected accidents, injuries or sickness and could include expenses such as doctor’s visits, prescription medication, diagnostic tests, X-rays and hospital stays,” says Cheng.

It’s meant for unexpected medical bills during a trip.

“This type of coverage doesn’t include preventative or routine care—for example, prescription glasses or annual physicals,” she says.

When you purchase a travel insurance plan, Cheng points out you also get access to an emergency assistance provider. The emergency assistance team can help you navigate the destination’s health care system, such as providing physician referrals, monitoring your care in a hospital, and transferring your medical records to your treating physician back home.

Pick a Plan with an Emergency Evacuation Benefit

Emergency medical evacuation coverage is a benefit in a travel plan that allows you to get transferred to another hospital or repatriated back home, usually as a result of an unexpected sickness or injury. Some travel insurance plans also cover non-medical evacuation, which can be used in situations like a natural disaster or security or political situations, says Cheng.

It’s important to carefully read your policy for the rules for medical evacuation coverage. It typically requires a recommendation from a physician and should be pre-approved by your travel insurance company.

Other Trip Hassles

Cheng says since you’re on the move between places in a multi-destination trip, having a robust travel insurance plan with benefits that account for extra flight costs or personal essentials is important. Consider a travel insurance plan that includes these additional coverage types:

Trip delay coverage reimburses you for expenses you have to pay during a delay that’s at least the minimum number of hours specified in your policy. For example, your incoming flight could be delayed by inclement weather, and you might have to spend several hours waiting.

A trip delay benefit could cover things like a night at a hotel, meals during the wait, transportation and necessities such as toiletries

Trip interruption coverage helps if you have to cut your trip short and return home early. Look at your policy to see what qualifies as a covered reason. “This could be anything from an accidental injury to a work emergency,” Cheng says. “You could be covered for the unused portions of your trip that you prepaid and a one-way economy class fare home.”

Baggage coverage is especially important when your baggage is going to be in transit often. If your luggage or personal belongings are stolen or damaged, or lost by an airline or other common carrier, a baggage benefit may be able to reimburse you for the loss, Cheng says.

Here are some baggage tips for multi-destination trips.

1. Keep essentials close. You should pack your most important belongings in your carry-ons or day packs such as toiletries, medications, money, chargers and any other necessities in the event you may need to go a few hours without the rest of your luggage, says says Melissa DaSilva, U.S. president of Trafalgar Tours.

2. Reach out for help. DaSilva says tour guests should lean on their travel directors if anything goes wrong during their trip. They will work with you to iron out any mishaps, Da Silva says.

3. Take an inventory of what you have before you depart. If you are bringing cameras, binoculars, jewelry or electronic devices, take photos of them before you depart on the trip. If anything gets lost, stolen or damaged the photos will make your claim process a little easier.

4. Don’t overpack. Don’t bring valuables and try to pack light. The less you bring, the less you have to worry about.

Do You Need a “Cancel for Any Reason” Upgrade?

The standard trip cancellation coverage within a travel insurance policy is extremely valuable for a multi-destination trip if you have made large, non-refundable deposits. If you have to cancel the trip for a reason listed in the policy, you can get back 100% of these trip costs.

“Cancel for any reason” (CFAR) insurance is an optional upgrade that allows you to cancel for a broader range of reasons than specified in the base policy. Not all insurers offer CFAR.

If you develop a fear of travel, for example, the trip cancellation benefits of a standard policy won’t apply. But if you have “cancel for any reason” coverage and develop a fear of traveling, you can get some reimbursement after canceling.

CFAR coverage will add about 40% to your travel insurance cost and CFAR reimbursement is generally 50% or 75% of your trip cost. Check the rules for canceling a trip under a CFAR claim: You may need to cancel at least two days before your departure date.