Travel Insurance Guide

Little world globe in the hand.

Last updated on July 25th, 2021 at 09:32 am

Dear Reader
My name is Frank and I run a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia. Have fun while reading!

In addition to new experiences and hopefully a lot of fun, traveling also involves risks. Be it an accident, illness, loss or theft of objects, with the right insurance you travel more relaxed.

What is travel insurance?

Simply put, travel insurance is your guardian angel protecting you from unforeseen events on a trip. These policies offer you protection and support in the event of unforeseen events, such as: Illness or loss of your luggage so that you can travel with peace of mind. Travel insurance is tailored to your needs. There are those who specialize in health or those who cover accidents due to the practice of certain sports.

You can take out travel insurance that will protect you for a period of time. There are also insurance policies that are not limited in time.

What types of travel insurance are there?

A common misconception about travel insurance is that it simply protects you against medical contingencies. The truth is that there are a multitude of insurances with different benefits and prices. It is therefore always advisable to look at and compare different insurance companies.

Types of travel insurance are:

International travel insurance

This is traditional travel insurance and its function is to provide medical protection abroad in the event of an emergency. This insurance is ideal for short trips. Contrary to the cliché, there are also policies of this type that are designed for babies and seniors.

Travel insurance for families

This type of insurance is ideal for those traveling with young children. These policies not only guarantee medical care for any type of accident, but also provide priority and pediatric care for young children.

Foreign health insurance

This type of insurance is ideal for long-term trips and guarantees specialized medical care (medical examinations, routine appointments, etc.) for the entire time you are in a foreign country.

Lost Baggage Insurance

This type of insurance provides protection against the loss or theft of your luggage. It is ideal for people who travel with expensive items.

Travel insurance for backpackers / adventurers

This type of insurance is ideal for people who enjoy extreme sports or risky activities, as these activities are usually not covered by traditional policies.

Accidental death and disability insurance

These insurances provide compensation in the event that an accident causes the death or disability of a traveler.

Recommended insurance to buy

Below we have analyzed what we believe to be the best travel insurance providers.

International travel insurance

In Europe it is compulsory to be insured in certain countries, but it is also essential to have coverage in North America, Latin America, Asia or whatever your travel destination is.

Website: https://safetywing.com/

This insurer got the best reviews in 2020 and is an excellent option for long-term travel and ideal for digital nomads (people who work with new technologies and are constantly on the move).

Some of the benefits Safety Wing can offer you are:

Very affordable prices compared to other insurances and can be renewed monthly.

  • Medical expenses up to USD 250,000
  • Dental emergencies up to USD 1,000
  • Treatments up to USD 50 per day.
  • You can take out insurance even if you are already on the way.
  • Two children up to the age of 10 years can be co-insured free of charge per family (specifically per parent).
  • Refunds for lost or stolen baggage.
  • Assistance with flight problems

Disadvantages: No treatment for cancer and diseases that were known before the insurance was taken out.

Safety Wing prices (2021)

The prices for this insurance for 4 weeks are:

  • 0 to 9 years: Free (only applies to two children per family).
  • From 10 to 39 years old: USD 40
  • 40 to 49 years old: USD 65
  • From 50 to 59 years old: USD 100
  • From 60 to 69 years old: USD 138

If you are planning a trip to the United States, prices increase as follows:

  • 0 to 9 years: Free (only applies to two children per family)
  • 10 to 39 years old: USD 73
  • From 40 to 49 years old: USD 120
  • 50 to 59 years old: USD 198
  • From 60 to 69 years old: USD 270

IATI

Website: https://www.iatiseguros.com/

Regarded by many as the best insurer, IATI stands out for the fact that it offers a wide variety of tariffs to suit customers’ needs. IATI has plans that are ideal for short and long trips, backpackers, adventurers, families and so on.

If you are interested in a short trip (maximum 30 days), you can choose the basic tariff, which includes some services, such as:

  • Medical help up to 50,000 euros.
  • Emergency dental care up to 100 euros.
  • Emergency protection in the event of chronic, pre-existing or congenital diseases.
  • Shielding against COVID-19
  • Medical protection in the event of accidents that occur in a motor vehicle.
  • Insurance protection against damage or theft of luggage up to 500 euros.
  • Assistance with flight problems.

IATI also offers a plan called “Annual Multi-Trip” that allows you to make multiple trips and be protected, although it only covers you for 90 days a year.

So if you travel a lot, be it for business or pleasure, this is a great option. This plan includes:

  • Medical help up to 200,000 euros.
  • Emergency dental care up to 350 euros.
  • Emergency protection in the event of chronic, pre-existing or congenital diseases.
  • Cover against COVID-19.
  • Medical insurance coverage in the event of an accident with a motor vehicle.
  • Insurance cover against damage or theft of luggage up to 1200 euros.
  • Insurance coverage for extreme sports.
  • Assistance with flight problems.

If you are interested in a longer trip or need a specific service, you can check out the other plans on their website.

As for prices, they vary depending on the plan chosen and the length of the trip. For example, if I were to travel from Colombia to Germany for 30 days (with the base rate), I would be charged around 70 euros. Please note that these prices are valid for the year 2021.

Mondo

Website: https://heymondo.com/

Another insurer is Mondo. This company is known for offering cheap insurance for a single trip or for multiple trips a year.

If you choose the annual plan, you are covered for 90 days, spread over the various trips. Some of the benefits one gets:

  • Medical aid up to $ 2,000,000 USD.
  • COVID-19 coverage.
  • Dental emergency up to 120 euros.
  • Medical insurance cover for accidents that occur in a motor vehicle.
  • Access to the Heymondo app for 24/7 medical chat and help for any incident on your trip.
  • Insurance cover against damage or theft of luggage up to 1,500 euros.
  • Assistance with flight problems.

Family travel insurance

One of the biggest worries when traveling as a family is that young children will get sick or have an accident. That is why there is family travel insurance. Additionally, getting individual insurance for each family member can be very expensive, so family insurance is a good option.

Some good family insurances are:

IATI

Website: https://www.iatiseguros.com/

IATI also offers a good family plan. This is characterized by pediatric telephone support and immediate emergency treatment for minors.

Other benefits that this plan offers are:

  • Medical help up to 200,000 euros
  • COVID-19 coverage
  • Dental emergencies up to 350 euros
  • Insurance coverage in the event of an accident with a motor vehicle
  • Protection against hospitalization due to chronic, congenital and pre-existing diseases
  • Cover for damage or theft of luggage up to 1,000 euros.

Note: At least one member of the family must be under 18 years of age to take out this insurance.

Intermundial

Website: https://www.intermundial.es/

As mentioned, Intermundial is ideal for backpackers or adventurers, but it also offers an interesting family plan that includes:

  • Medical care in the event of illness
  • Worldwide coverage
  • Shielding against COVID-19
  • Insurance cover against damage or loss of luggage up to 2,100 euros

Safety Wing

Website: https://safetywing.com/

Again, the excellent price-performance ratio of Safety Wing is ideal for families. As already mentioned, in a family, for every parent who takes out this insurance, one of their children under 10 years of age is also insured free of charge.

This is only possible with two children (one for each parent).

Travel insurance for babies

Remember that babies can get sick or something can happen to them too. For this reason, insurance for the little ones is essential, because in the event of an emergency, you will undoubtedly want your child to be well looked after at an affordable price.

As mentioned above, some great options for babies and toddlers are Safety Wing and IATI.

Travel insurance for seniors

Insurers operate on the same logic, which is why many of these companies do not sell travel insurance to seniors, as this section of the population is most at risk of falling ill or mishap while visiting another country.

However, that does not mean that it is impossible to take out insurance for the elderly. Every day there are more and more companies offering these services to seniors, some examples are:

Assistcard

Website: https://www.assistcard.com/

The Swiss company, which offers various types of life insurance, is currently represented in several countries in America, Europe, Asia and Africa. This company offers plans for people up to 74 years of age. The tariffs may vary depending on the country of origin.

For example, if a person who is over 70 years old travels from Colombia to Europe for 15 days, they will be charged about 830,000 pesos (about $ 220 USD). These prices are valid for the year 2021.

Europ Assistance

Website: https://www.europ-assistance.com/

This company is present in different parts of the world and has exclusive plans for people over 74 years of age.

The prices also vary depending on the country of origin and destination, but as an example: If today (2021) a 75-year-old person travels from Colombia to Europe, they would have to pay between 130,000 and 650,000 pesos (35 to 175 USD) depending on the tariff chosen. You can get an estimate from their website.

Protege tu viaje

Website: https://www.protegetuviaje.com/

With a presence in more than 200 countries, this insurer offers special tariffs for people between 76 and 99 years of age. Prices start from USD 155 (2021).

Foreign health insurance

When you take out travel insurance, it protects you against possible unexpected accidents or illnesses. However, this protection is only temporary. This means that if you have an accident or, for example, suffer from appendicitis, travel insurance ensures that you are cared for and looked after. This with the aim that you can travel back to your home country. As soon as you are in your home country, your insurance cover ends.

Some travelers are abroad for long periods of time for personal or professional reasons. Traditional travel insurance then offers insufficient protection. This is where foreign health insurance comes into play.

The international health insurance has long-term coverage, i.e. you have advantages such as:

  • Access to routine medical appointments.
  • Cover for previous illnesses (partially).
  • Care for chronic illnesses.
  • Selection of doctors.

Before taking out health insurance abroad, however, you should check whether you are insured in your home country. This can change in the case of longer stays abroad. Some international health insurers offer coverage in your home country for a limited time.

Some international health insurances that we can recommend are:

Safety Wing

Website: https://safetywing.com/

One advantage of Safety Wing is that for every 90 days you are abroad, you get 30 days of health insurance in your home country. This is one of the reasons Safety Wing is recommended for digital nomads.

Foyer Global Health

Website: https://www.foyerglobalhealth.com/

Foyer Global Health is an insurance company specializing in providing the best medical care around the world. This insurer has 3 plans to protect you at all times. The plans are:

Essential

Ideal for people who seek the best medical care but do not consider dentistry and motherhood a priority. Some of the benefits of this plan are:

In the case of hospitalization, you have access to a private or semi-private room.

  • hospital costs
  • Access to medical consultations
  • Covers exams such as CT scans or MRI scans.
  • Covers surgery and anesthesia
  • Covers medication
  • Congenital diseases up to 100,000 euros
  • Cancer treatment
Special

This tariff is ideal for everyone who wants both good medical care and extensive dental insurance. Some of the benefits included in this plan are:

In the case of hospitalization, you have access to a private or semi-private room.

  • hospital costs
  • Access to medical consultations
  • Covers exams such as CT scans or MRI scans
  • Covers surgery and anesthesia
  • Covers medication
  • Congenital diseases up to 150,000 euros.
  • Cancer treatment
  • Maternity provision and childbirth up to 5,000 euros.
  • Organ transplants up to 200,000 euros
  • 2 dental check-ups per year
  • Insurance coverage for dental emergencies
  • Dental implants
  • Orthodontic treatment
Exclusive

This plan is ideal for those who want the best, most exclusive medical care possible.

In the case of hospitalization, you have access to a private or semi-private room.

  • hospital costs
  • Access to medical consultations
  • Covers exams such as CT scans or MRI scans
  • Covers surgery and anesthesia
  • Covers medication
  • Congenital diseases up to 200,000 euros
  • Cancer treatment
  • Maternity and childbirth care up to 20,000 euros
  • Organ transplants with no money limit
  • 2 dental check-ups per year
  • Insurance coverage for dental emergencies
  • Dental implants
  • Orthodontic treatment

Remarks:

  • Please note that prices vary according to age.
  • Payments are made on a monthly basis.

Globality Health

Website: https://www.globality-health.com/

This Germany-based insurer is also a great option for those who want quality medical treatment. The services include:

  • Single or double room in case of hospitalization.
  • Diagnostic services and examinations such as x-rays, CT scans, etc.
  • hospital costs
  • medication
  • Covers congenital diseases
  • Cancer treatment
  • Covers organ transplants

Globality Health has 4 tariffs, the most expensive of which guarantees good dental and maternity care.

Lost Baggage Insurance

Conventional policies usually have coverage for lost items, but mostly only for small amounts. If you are traveling with expensive items, we recommend that you take out baggage loss insurance.

Some recommended insurance are:

Assistcard

Website: https://www.assistcard.com/

Total baggage service

The coverage includes:

  • Compensation of USD 200 while searching for luggage.
  • If lost, you will receive compensation of up to USD 3,000.
  • Guarantee of a 96 hour search for luggage. If this is not found within this time, compensation will be paid.

Mondo

Website: https://heymondo.com/

Mondo insures luggage against theft or loss. In addition, electronic devices (tablet, laptop, cameras, etc.) can be included.

This coverage includes:

  • Cover of up to 750 or 1500 euros (you decide how much) for theft, loss or damage or damage caused by a robbery abroad.

Travel insurance for backpackers / adventurers

Many traditional travel insurance policies exclude risk sports. For example, if you come to Colombia to dive and an unforeseen event occurs, it is possible that traditional insurance could provide assistance.

Some recommended backpacker insurances are:

IATI

Website: https://www.iatiseguros.com/

IATI offers an exclusive plan for the adventurous, the IATI Backpacker. This plan includes coverage for sports such as athletics, hiking, kayaking, swimming, trekking up to 5,400 meters, diving up to 20 meters, and other activities.

The IATI Backpacker includes:

  • Medical help up to 250,000 euros
  • Dental emergencies up to 350 euros
  • Insurance coverage in the event of an accident with a motor vehicle
  • Protection against hospitalization due to chronic, congenital and pre-existing diseases
  • Cover for damage or theft of luggage up to 1,500 euros.

The prices vary depending on the duration of the insurance.

Note: This insurance cannot be taken out by people over 70 years of age.

Intermundial

Website: https://www.intermundial.es/

Intermundial is considered one of the best options for backpackers and offers insurance coverage for almost any sport or extreme activity (100+ sports). The total sports tariff, the most extensive tariff, offers insurance cover for sports and activities such as diving, surfing, skiing, freestyle snowboarding, paragliding, etc.

In addition to exercising, this plan gives you the following benefits:

  • Medical care in the event of illness
  • Worldwide coverage
  • Medical care in the event of sports accidents
  • Shielding against COVID-19
  • Insurance coverage in the event of damage or loss of luggage
  • Insurance coverage for rehabilitation measures in the event of an injury caused by a sport that was played while traveling.

The annual price of the total sports tariff in the “worldwide” mode is 223 euros (2021).

Accidental death and disability insurance

Many traditional insurance policies include some form of accidental death and disability compensation. However, the amounts are usually small. This type of insurance has very clear regulations, e.g. B. These policies typically do not cover injuries caused by the same person.

Some recommended insurance are:

Mondo

Website: https://heymondo.com/

The company’s traditional travel insurance offers protection for a wide variety of events, including high levels of accidental death or accident compensation.

Mondo travel insurance offers:

  • Medical assistance up to $ 5,000,000.
  • Accident Compensation up to $ 50,000. This section covers accidents, death and disability.
  • If you have an accident on public transport, the amount of compensation may be higher.
  • Access to the Heymondo app for 24/7 medical chat and help for any incident on the trip.
  • Insurance cover against damage or theft of luggage up to 2,500 euros.
  • Assistance with flight problems.

If you are planning several trips a year, the Mondo annual rate also offers accident or death insurance and other benefits such as:

  • Medical aid up to $ 2,000,000 USD.
  • COVID-19 coverage.
  • Accident Compensation up to $ 20,000 USD. This section covers accidents, death and disability.
  • In the event of an accident in public transport, the amount of compensation may be higher.
  • Emergency dental care up to 120 euros.
  • Medical protection in the event of accidents that occur in a motor vehicle.
  • Access to the Heymondo app for 24/7 medical chat and help for any incident on your trip.
  • Insurance cover against damage or theft of luggage up to 1,500 euros.
  • Assistance with flight problems.

IATI

Website: https://www.iatiseguros.com/

With the Estrella tariff, IATI offers a wide range of coverage, including substantial compensation in the event of an accident or death. Some of the benefits offered are:

  • Medical help up to 1,000,000 euros.
  • Compensation in the event of an accident or permanent, complete or partial disability due to a travel-related event up to EUR 18,000.
  • Compensation in the event of accidental death up to 4,000 euros
  • Dental emergencies up to 500 euros
  • Insurance coverage for accidents that occur in a motor vehicle
  • Protection against hospitalization due to chronic, congenital and pre-existing diseases
  • Insurance cover for damage or theft of luggage up to 2,500 euros

Why is it important to get insurance for your next trip?

Something can always go wrong while traveling. You can have an accident, you can get sick, or you can lose your luggage. When you take out travel insurance, you are prepared for eventualities.

The home country may have an excellent health system that works cheaply and efficiently. However, other nations, such as the United States, are known for their high healthcare costs. Below are some examples and countries where treatment costs can be extremely expensive:

Costs for a day in the hospital

  • United States: $ 800
  • New Zealand: € 220.
  • Australia: € 170
  • Argentina: € 627
  • Spain: € 430

Medical consultation costs

  • United States: General Practitioner: € 83 – Specialist: € 112
  • UK: General Practitioner: € 71 – Specialist: € 135
  • Australia: General Practitioner: € 51 – Specialist: € 78
  • Switzerland: General practitioners: € 46 – Specialists: € 76
  • Mexico: General Practitioner: € 43 – Specialist: € 65

Tomography

  • United States: $ 800
  • New Zealand: € 653
  • Australia: € 446
  • Switzerland: € 386
  • Netherlands: € 250

Appendicitis

  • United States: € 430
  • Switzerland: € 800
  • New Zealand: € 938
  • Australia: € 626
  • Netherlands: € 464

Broken ankle

  • Canada: € 662
  • Italy: € 150
  • Hong Kong: € 6900

Myths About Travel Insurance

Some misconceptions about travel insurance are:

Travel insurance is not mandatory

Some travelers believe that taking out travel insurance is optional. However, there are several countries that require an insurance policy as a condition of entry.

For example, if you enter Cuba without travel insurance, you may be asked to take out a local policy upon arrival. The Schengen area in Europe consists of the countries Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Anyone entering the Schengen area must have insurance that covers the following requirements:

  • The insurance must cover all Schengen member states.
  • It must have a minimum cover of EUR 30,000 (approx. USD 36,000).
  • It must cover any incident that involves repatriation, urgent medical care, hospital treatment, or death (source).

Due to COVID-19, more and more countries are requiring health insurance. Due to the pandemic, countries like Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Jordan, Oman, Australia, New Zealand and other nations have started to require health insurance.

Travel insurance is only good for long trips

Another common misconception is that there is no need to spend money on travel insurance for a short trip. One should keep in mind that there are certain risks involved even on a short trip.

How do I choose my travel insurance?

Before traveling, you should always think carefully about what type of insurance you need. You should read through the services and prices of different providers carefully and compare them. As a guide, the following points are of great importance:

Good medical care

Travel insurance protects you up to a certain amount of money. If you travel to a country with high medical costs, you should bear this in mind.

Repatriation coverage

Does the insurance cover repatriation to your home country?

This type of service guarantees that, if necessary, you will be transported to your home country by regular or medical aircraft (depending on the severity of the situation). Depending on the degree of protection, you will be accompanied by a doctor or a nurse.

Some insurances also include the travel of family members.

Check whether the insurance company has the option to withdraw

An illness or an unforeseen event can mean that you have to cancel or postpone your trip. This is why many insurances include the option of refunding money in the event of cancellation.

Insurance coverage for lost luggage

One should always make sure that one is insured against the loss of an item. While there is a chance that lost or damaged items could be reimbursed by the airline (if it is their fault that they were lost or damaged), this can lead to other problems such as: B .:

  • Long waiting time
  • Excluded Articles
  • No cash refunds
  • No refunds for the item’s original value
  • Delayed payment

For all of these reasons, when traveling with expensive items, we recommend that you always check whether your insurance will cover the loss or damage.

24/7 support

Some insurers have earned a bad reputation for being slow and inconvenient to respond to customer inquiries. Many insurers have apps with 24/7 advice. Review portals offer testimonials from other insured persons.

Tips for getting good travel insurance

Some things to consider when choosing travel insurance:

Keep an eye on your needs

Insurers offer a variety of services and tariffs. Think about what you need effectively.

Find out about the benefits of your travel insurance

Also read the fine print!

Look around

Don’t buy the first offer. Compare services and tariffs.

Read reviews from other users

The internet is a wonderful tool that enables us to shop better. Read other users’ experiences.

Buy insurance that speaks your language

It may sound obvious, but if you take out insurance based solely on the insurer’s reputation and you don’t make sure they speak the same language as you, you may or may not be understood when contacting the assistance service in an emergency get the right service.

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