The Importance of Comprehensive Travel Insurance When Visiting Other Places

A lot of people, when they travel, find themselves tense and worried. While it is it natural to feel excited when leaving home and exploring another destination, it is also a normal feeling to be anxious and thus feel the need to find ways to protect their health and well-being, as well as the act of travelling itself. What if there is a sudden change of plans like an accident or a weather disturbance, or if other unforeseen events occur? Travel plans may have to be postponed, cut short or cancelled altogether.

This is where travel insurance kicks in. Travelers who are not covered by this kind of insurance may have to shoulder significant financial responsibilities such as losing money over unused plane tickets and medical expenses that are not included in typical health insurance policies.

Having a travel insurance policy covers a holder from a lot of unforeseen events. These events include, but not restricted to: sickness, injury or disablement while traveling, flight delays and cancellations, legal issues and accidental death, damage, and theft or lost of personal effects during travel. These events have further causes that may indirectly involve the traveler or not, from the weather, airline employees’ strikes to even political unrest, and these may still be covered by a travel insurance policy.

Some companies that offer holiday insurance may even include a clientele that deliberately put themselves in danger with the activities they conduct when travelling. These are backpackers insurance policies for those who want to explore their destinations in a less luxurious setting. There are also insurance policies for those who go to some places just to engage in extreme activities like scuba diving, sky diving, and skiing. Considering that there are a lot of weather and geological disturbances that have been happening all across the world like earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, landslides and hurricanes, it is really wise to take advantage of travelers’ insurance.

Travel insurance is usually classified into two: medical and disability cover for medical and hospital expenses that may be incurred by the traveler overseas, as well as income loss because of injury, illness, disability or death and non-medical cover which includes cancelled or delayed flights and stolen, lost or damage baggage.

For those who want to be covered on all bases, comprehensive travel insurance with both medical and non-medical cover would be the best choice. This should also be ideal for travelers who do not hold any medical insurance policy in their respective homes. Travelers who are away from their homes for a long time without health coverage and those who are not in their country of permanent residence should have this kind of insurance with them. The assistance this kind of insurance will extend would prove invaluable, including medical assistance in the local destination, hospitalization, emergency medical mode of transport, emergency treatment, consultation, repatriation of the body should the traveler pass away and escorting of immediate family members, among other benefits. The comprehensiveness of this type of travel insurance should put any traveler’s mind at ease.

There is a range of comprehensive travel insurance and annual travel insurance policies for EU residents for any type of journey and age group (up to 84 for single trip and up to 74 for multi trip coverage) available with Globelink International Ltd. Globelink provide cover for virtually any of your requirements. This includes a list of different types of policies giving you an option to select either a policy with a comprehensive or basic cover; an option to extend your policy to provide an extra cover for hazardous sports/activities, baggage, golfer’s cover, excess waiver, event cancellation, wedding cover, and much more.

A Travel Insurance Primer

Purchasing travel insurance can be so overwhelming at times that some travelers don’t even want to bother thinking about it. However unpleasant the task may be, ignoring it is a risk that’s not worth taking. A little effort to get coverage can be a life-saver if something goes wrong during your trip. You can easily find a policy that fits your needs and your budget.

Policies generally cover financial losses you may incur while travelling, and also your medical expenses. Trip cancellation or Trip delay insurance is the most widely-bought travel coverage. This policy will cover you and your co-traveler if you had to cancel or delay your trip. Insurance companies differ on what an acceptable reason for cancellation is, so make sure that you know what’s accepted and what’s not. Some generally accepted reasons for trip cancellation are business conflicts, delay in processing your visa or passport, sudden illness, injury and weather related issues.

Flight cancellations have become so frequent these days that some domestic frequent travelers prefer to have travel insurance at all times. If your flight is cancelled or delayed, your travel insurance may cover your expenses not covered by the airlines, like cab fares or hotel costs. It’s not a bad idea to buy a travel insurance policy that offers medical coverage of up to 1 million and cover you for illness, medical assistance or flight accidents. Try to keep your deductibles low while buying travel insurance as this will be the amount you pay out of your pocket before the insurance kicks in. Double-check that your insurance policy covers you for repatriation to your home country. If you are travelling to different countries then make sure that your insurance policy covers all the stops on your itinerary.

Travel insurance comes in many forms and sizes. You can purchase it for a single trip or multiple trips, or maybe even take an annual policy. It all depends on the frequency of your travel. Check with your insurance provider to find out how you need to claim the expenses. Find out if the insurance company will pay the providers directly or if they want you to pay for the expenses and redeem the money later. If you have to submit your claims later, then you need to record all your expenses and keep all expense related documents.

One important thing most travelers overlook is pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition then make sure that you let your insurance provider know the complete details of it. Don’t try to cut the cost of your insurance by hiding your condition; it defeats the whole purpose of purchasing the insurance. Always purchase a policy that gives you the flexibility to extend your trip. Get in touch with your credit card company before purchasing your insurance as some credit companies offer free travel benefits such as insurance on lost or damaged luggage. If you already have a health insurance, check with your provider to find out what their policy is with regard to travel.

It’s quite possible that you may never use your travel insurance, but having yourself covered will at least let you be at peace while travelling.

Everything You Need to Know About Travel Insurance on Your Credit Cards


Whether you’re planning to take your family to meet Cinderella at Disney World, or do so some serious mountain biking with your buddies in the Sierra Madre Mountains, flight cancellations or hospital visits are never on the itinerary. Travel insurance can deliver piece of mind both while enjoying your trip, and if you’re in a seemingly desperate situation. Not all trips are alike, but they may share some familiar headaches:

    • Pre-destination: travel cancellation (e.g. flight, hotel, tours, etc.) due to unforeseen circumstances
    • Travel Transportation: missed, canceled or delayed flights; lost, stolen, or delayed baggage; accidents while on common carriers (e.g. planes, trains, busses, boats); rental car damages and disablement (e.g. towing, delivery of gas, etc.)
    • Non-medical Issues Abroad: all types of liability (i.e. you damaged something or injured someone); legal costs; hotel burglary; robbery; stolen documents; travel interruption due to unexpected, urgent, or emergency situations
  • Medical Issues Abroad: general medical emergencies; sports and leisure injuries; visit to a local doctor; getting prescription medicines; medical transportation or evacuation; dental problems; insect bites etc

Without even knowing it, you may already have some travel protection. This can come from a variety of places. It’s important to read and understand your policies before you travel to make sure you know the extent of your coverage. Print out the details, and take a copy of it with you in your carry-on.


Not all credit cards offer the same bundle of protection features, but in general there are some similarities between them:

    • No-Fee Credit Cards ($0 per year): Normally you won’t find any travel insurance with these basic cards
    • Mid-Range Credit Cards ($1-99 per year): May offer some elements of travel insurance such as flight delays, baggage loss or delay, common carrier accidents, or trip interruption. Sometimes includes basic medical insurance. Certain cards may include car rental insurance (Collision Damage Waiver). None cover travel cancellation or hotel burglary
  • Hi-End Credit Cards ($99+): Typically include trip interruption, flight delays, baggage loss or delay, common carrier accidents, travel medical protection, and rental car protection. May offer trip cancellation and hotel burglary

As much as we love to generalize, there is no escaping the fine print. There are certain conditions that apply, especially for medical insurance (e.g. amount covered, length of trip covered, age of traveler, coverage of spouse and children, and exceptions). Some cards include exceptions for rental car insurance in the case of vehicles over a value of $65,000.


The obvious benefit of being a CAA member is the automobile services they offer if traveling by car. In case you purchased your travel tickets through CAA, you automatically receive Travel Trip Insurance ($100,000 maximum for basic CAA members and $500,000 for CAA Plus and Plus RV Coverage members).

There is always the option of purchasing additional insurance outside of your membership fees, which will provide you with an extensive travel protection plan.


Look in any direction, and you’re certain to find some kind of club that wants you as a member, be it an airline or a hotel chain. These memberships may come with extra perks like travel insurance. The Hilton Honors program offered by Hilton Hotels for example, provides a Collision Damage Waiver when you rent a car through their partner, Sixt. Or maybe you are already a member?


Ever think that an insurance policy could have you covered if you break a whole stand of Swarovski crystals? Think of umbrella insurance as additional liability protection on top of your other insurances. It may protect you against many types of accidents while on vacation such as bodily injury to others as a result of a car or skiing accident, or paying legal expenses for a court abroad. Check to see if you have such coverage, and the extent to which you are protected.


As a proud Canadian citizen, you can count on the government to bail you out in an emergency if you’re traveling through Siberia, right? Not so fast. Medical treatment abroad can get very expensive, costing several thousands of dollars. Although your provincial health plan may have you covered when you fall off a ladder in your backyard, it is very limited as soon as you cross the border. Take Ontario and Quebec as examples:

    • Ontario Health Insurance Plan pays up to $200 per day for inpatient general services and up to $400 for such inpatient services as operating room or intensive care
  • Regie de l’assurance maladie in Quebec pays up to $100 per day for hospitalization

These amounts clearly are not going to pay thousands of dollars per day that you may be charged in U.S. for staying in a hospital


When it comes to visiting the hospital while abroad, make sure stress and regret isn’t what you’ll ultimately be treated for. Without coverage from credit cards and limited protection from the government, you’ll most likely require additional medical protection for you and your family. If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably be doing some rock climbing, downhill skiing, scuba diving or hot air ballooning while on your adventure, which are not necessarily covered. Make sure that your medical coverage does not exclude the activity you plan to be enjoying, whether you’re a professional or just do it for recreation.

For some extra peace of mind, review what you are protected against by your current sources. If there is an important type of coverage that you do not have, strongly consider purchasing a more extensive plan for the duration of the trip. In an unfortunate situation, you’ll know you can keep calm and carry on. Travel insurance is provided today by many insurance companies (e.g. Manulife, Co-operators) and multiple banks in Canada (e.g. TD, RBC), just check their web pages.


    • Review your home policy, as some insurance providers require arranged supervision (e.g. checking every 7 days) while you’re away to cover any damages that occurred in your absence (e.g. breakage of plumbing due to freezing)
    • Read, understand, photocopy, and carry your insurance policies in your carry-on luggage. Some countries explicitly demand that you demonstrate insurance protection while entering the country
    • Some providers may refuse coverage if you are going to “unstable” parts of the world. The list varies from one provider to the next, and changes with time, so explicitly ask if you’re destinations are covered. Some providers use a list from the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
  • Get vaccinated if necessary and talk to your doctor. You will need to start dealing with vaccination 4-8 weeks before departure. To see which vaccinations you may require, check out the web site from the World Health Organization

Buying Travel Insurance? Then Read This Article

Travel insurance is not normally top of the priority list when planning holidays but it should be. Tour companies know that, and that’s why they normally insist travellers have insurance. Travel insurance typically covers cancellation and curtailment, personal liability, personal possessions, injury & illness and emergency assistance.

The most significant insured risk is the medical one. If you have a serious medical emergency whilst abroad, valid travel insurance could literally be the difference between life & death, and will cover the assistance costs – an air ambulance back to the UK from the East Coast of the USA could set you back £50,000 otherwise. Without travel insurance and faced with an emergency, your only option would be to contact the nearest UK consulate or embassy who will no doubt help as best they can, but will not pay for assistance.

Like most things in life you tend to get what you pay for with travel insurance, and the low cost options sometimes have limitations. Apart from the specifics of the cover, the variables that determine the price are the number of days and geography covered, the number of people on the policy and their age.

Some basics to consider when buying a policy….

Travel insurance is sold as an annual policy or single trip. If you are going abroad more than once a year then an annual policy may work out cheaper. If you insure a single trip, take the policy out as soon as you have committed to the cost so that you have cancellation cover immediately.

Typically three options are offered for geographic cover: Europe, Worldwide excluding USA & Canada, and Worldwide including USA & Canada, the latter, with widest coverage, being the most expensive. Remember though, the further away from home you are, the more expensive emergency costs are likely to be, so the more important it is to have travel insurance.

Individual, couples and family policies are normally offered as standard. Couples and family policies will normally be cheaper on a per head basis. Family policies typically cover two adults and their children, but they do not normally provide cover for minors travelling on their own.

The cost of travel insurance increases with age. Standard travel insurance policies would typically have an age cap of between 70 & 80, but it would be unusual for the older traveller not to be able to get insurance if they shop around. There are a number of insurers who offer travel insurance for the older travellers at a price that reflects the increased risk. That said, travel insurance for the older traveller with significant pre-existing medical conditions can get very expensive.

Always consider the policy exclusions. Cover for skiing is normally an extra. Standard annual policies typically provide a limited number of days cover in a year – if you need more, there are specialist policies that provide this. Undeclared pre-existing medical conditions are not normally covered, neither are alcohol or drug related medical costs.

And when you travel…..

Take a copy of your policy certificate with you and the travel insurer telephone numbers. The insurer may have three different numbers for customer services, claims and 24 hour assistance. If your travelling in Europe take your EHIC card.

In the event of a medical emergency, contact the 24 hour assistance number who will advise on a course of action. If you act unilaterally and without insurer authorisation, the assistance costs incurred may not be insured. In cases of theft, always report it to the local police and get a crime reference number or equivalent and call the insurer claims number as soon as possible. As a general rule, inform the insurer as soon as possible in the event of any potential claim to confirm cover and give the insurer the opportunity to mitigate the costs of the claim.

Travel Insurance for Older Travellers and Pre-Existing Conditions

Young people seeking to purchase travel insurance do not have the worry of increased premiums that face many older travellers. Unfortunately, it is an unavoidable fact of life that many older travellers have pre-existing medical conditions, and consequently have to pay more for travel insurance.

The need for higher premiums is not because insurers have anything against older people, but because the reality is that older travellers are more likely to make claims on their travel insurance for health-related problems.

There are several factors at work:

Older people tend to have more disposal income and free time and therefore can afford to take more trips and holidays. Unfortunately, this translates to more claims for emergency medical care for accidents and illnesses abroad.

A larger number of older people than ever before are travelling long distances. They are statistically more likely to claim on their travel insurance for emergency medical care – and the costs can be astronomical. This is particularly true if medical problems arise in destinations like the United States where medical treatment is extremely expensive. Consequently, insurers have to make up for the losses, and it inevitably means higher premiums for everyone – but especially for older people travelling to the U.S.

The cost of repatriating someone by air ambulance from far-flung destinations such as Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Canada and the United States is extremely costly (up to £50,000 or more).

In remote destinations of the world the medical facilities may not be adequate to treat serious illnesses or injuries,making it necessary to transport the patient to a neighbouring country for treatment before repatriation. Again, all very costly.

Frequent travellers who faithfully renew their travel insurance policy with the same company each year may find there is a sudden jump in the premium. They may have crossed an age threshold that they were not aware was imminent and have to decide whether to stay loyal to their trusted company, or shop around elsewhere to find a better deal.

Insurance premiums for older travellers vary from company to company, as far as age ranges and premiums. If pre-existing medical conditions are an issue there may be an additional charge to cover a certain condition, or the insurance may be issued to exclude any claims related to that condition. Some may have specific cut-off ages for any type of travel insurance and some may increase the premium and/or excess for certain age groups.

Comparison sites may be a way for an older traveller to search for a cheaper quote, but remember that not all insurers choose to be listed on the comparison sites and you may find a cheaper price by checking elsewhere. If you do opt for a cheap policy on one of these sites, always check the levels of cover – especially for medical care. A very cheap quote may mean that the levels of cover have been cut, or the excess (the amount you pay towards a claim) has been raised to compensate for the low price

If you are one out of the five people in the UK that does not purchase travel insurance, consider whether you are in denial about the potential financial ruin you – or your family – could face. This is especially true if injury or illness should strike when you are halfway round the world. Contrary to the mistaken belief held by many, your consulate or embassy does not cover these costs and, without insurance, it is up to the affected person or their nearest and dearest to come up with the money!

Many travellers are under the impression that insurers try to wriggle out of paying claims and so it is not worth having insurance. This is a very unwise attitude as insurance policies need to have sensible terms and conditions. Ultimately it is up to the purchaser to ensure they purchase the right insurance for their needs, and also understand what is and is not covered. The truth is that insurers pay out huge amounts in claims – and the higher the claims the more the premiums are inevitably pushed up for travellers in all age groups.

Parents with grown children leaving on round-the-world trips or gap year adventures could save themselves a headache by purchasing travel insurance as a leaving gift, to ensure that these vulnerable young people are covered. A Backpacker or long-stay policy is very affordable for a young person and most provide basic cover for the very important medical, liability and legal costs. Check that cover is included for all their planned activities. If there is any possibility they may participate in skiing or snowboarding or other winter sports why not pay a bit extra to have this added to the policy, just in case.

(For those who think that cheap Backpacker policies are only available to teenagers or those in their twenties, it may be a revelation to know that many companies offer policies that are valid for travellers up to their late forties in age).

For travellers within the EU it is important to obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), as this will pick up most of the cost of emergency medical care in participating countries. However, it is important to also have travel insurance to pick up costs that are not covered under the EHIC – including very expensive medical repatriation, if this becomes necessary.

When purchasing insurance it is important to check that the policy includes adequate cover for emergency medical care and medical repatriation. It is widely believed that the minimum should be £2,000,000, but obviously higher levels are better – especially for Worldwide travel. Medical cover up to £5,000,000 or even £10,000,000 would be preferable – especially for Worldwide cover – and should be enough to cover just about any serious medical problem.

Paying a higher premium for travel insurance because you are in an older age group is an unfortunate fact of life. However, the extra cost is worth it for the peace of mind it provides. No matter what age you are, the important thing is that you feel free to enjoy foreign travel for as long as you want to and are able to!