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Travel Insurance: when to get, skip

August 18, 2009

A lot of people travel around the world with full insurance coverage or none. Some countries require you to purchase travel insurance – for example travel to any Schengen country requires you to show the proof of travel insurance when you go for a visa.

The costs for travel insurance varies for the destination country which may determine the ‘category’ of travel – adventure, family, sports, medical etc. And some insurance companies will ask for your purpose of travel, based on which the costs may be higher or lower.

There are cases where one may need travel insurance, whereas sometimes you can do away with it.

Pre-9/11, it was estimated that only eight to nine percent of leisure travelers in the United States purchased some type of travel insurance. Today, it’s closer to 30 percent. Trip cancellation/interruption represents 90 percent of coverage.

Traditional distribution channels such as travel agencies and travel suppliers such as cruise lines and tour operators are responsible for three-quarters of the market, but other channels such as online agencies, airlines, brokers, internet sites, and direct to consumer sales are growing steadily.

Travel medical and medical evacuation-only policies only cover a fraction of the total market, at 5.5 percent of travel insurance sales, but has increased by about 33 percent since 2006.

Travel guru Peter Greenberg appeared on CBS Early Show, with some advice on when to get travel insurance and when to skip it, what you need and some scams to watch out for.

Some of the questions answered by Peter are:

  • Why do you need travel insurance?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Where do you buy the insurance, and from whom?
  • What are the two primary reasons to purchase travel insurance?
  • What are plans available?
  • What are some things you need to be careful of?
  • What is the difference between medical insurance and medical evacuation coverage?
  • What are some tips on purchasing insurance?

Read more at Travel Insurance: When to Get, Skip



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