Travel insurance comes in two parts: travel health insurance and trip cancellation insurance. Travel health insurance assures that any medical expenses if you become sick or injured abroad will be covered. This covers minor illnesses to serious injuries or illnesses that require potential evacuation. It will also, if necessary, cover expatriation of remains in case of a death. It is highly recommended that everyone obtains travel insurance while they are abroad. Some domestic insurance coverages will cover international travel, but it is not nearly as convenient.
Trip cancellation insurance is insurance that will pay you a percentage of the trip costs if, for some reason, you have to cancel the trip. This can be due to illness, a crisis in the country you are visiting, or other event that may cause cancellation of the entire trip.
The fee for our trip includes travel health insurance for the entire duration of the trip. This is very convenient, much more convenient than dealing with domestic health insurance. Often times, if you call the insurance company prior to visiting the clinic or hospital, the company will deal with all the payments and paperwork, so that you don’t have to pay anything. They will also help you find medical attention, and if necessary, arrange for medical evacuation. They’ll even pay for family member travel to you if you cannot be evacuated due to medical reasons. At the very least, if you pay your own medical costs, the insurance company will reimburse you if you turn in paperwork and receipts after your trip.
For those of you staying beyond the official trip, you will need to obtain your own travel health insurance (you don’t need trip cancellation insurance). The College will cover your travel health insurance until June 11, after which you will have to be covered under your own. I HIGHLY recommend that you purchase travel health insurance for the duration of your trip. Make sure you are covered until you are back in the US. Luckily, it isn’t terribly expensive.
Although you can shop for travel insurance through individual company sites or through travel agents, the best way to shop is through a comparison site such as insuremytrip.com. This site is reputable, and will give you a list of insurance companies, their coverages, and prices. They give your pricing from large, reputable insurance companies, such as Travelex, Allianz Global, and AIG. You can compare policies and purchase it right on the website. The pricing depends on the level of coverage that you want, coverage limits, the length of coverage, the countries you plan on visiting, and any extras you decide on (such as trip cancellation insurance). At the very least, get some basic coverage, but if you want peace of mind, better coverage isn’t all that much more expensive.
If you have any questions about travel insurance, please let me know!