Travel insurance is often underestimated. Anyone staying within the European Union is protected by the social security agreement. However, the situation is different in non-European countries. Diseases can become a financial disaster here. We will inform you about the most important aspects of travel insurance.
10 valuable tips on travel insurance
When it comes to travel insurance, most consumers think of travel health insurance. This is not surprising since this policy is most widely advertised. This component is rightly the most important by far.
However, travel insurance also includes
- Cancellation insurance
- Interruption insurance
- Luggage insurance
- Delayed flight compensation
- Foreign liability insurance
- Accident insurance when using public transport
- Mallorcapolice for rental cars
It is of course questionable whether all of these insurance policies really make sense or whether one or the other policy is rather superfluous. In the following, we therefore examine the actual usefulness of the insurance in detail.
Definitely take out travel health insurance
Long-distance travel has been popular among German holidaymakers for years. Thailand, Africa, the Dominican Republic or the USA are very popular. When planning such a trip, think of enough batteries for the camera or a credit card with which you can withdraw cash free of charge worldwide. The risk of illness or an accident and the associated costs hardly play a role in travel planning.
The USA is the birthplace of the skateboard. So why not test the nimble board on wheels? However, if you dare to do too much at the same time, you risk an accident and possibly a broken arm and thus unforeseen costs for the treatment. Travelers to the USA keep telling us that hospitals and medical practices have been chaotic so far.Treatment pricing depends on the doctor or hospital. Treatment in the emergency room can add up to a five-digit amount. The cost of treatment for a broken arm with one night in the hospital can well be $ 18,000.
It can happen that a tourist or business traveler abroad becomes so ill that a return transport to Germany is necessary. The costs for this transport depend, among other things, on whether a normal scheduled flight is sufficient or whether a special machine with appropriate medical equipment is necessary. For return transport from Thailand, the patient has to expect 80,000 euros, from Mallorca it will be significantly cheaper at 12,000 euros.
Regardless of whether it is medical treatment on-site or a flight due to illness, without travel insurance, the patient can incur massive costs. In France, the European social security agreement applies – actually. French doctors unfortunately have a reputation for treating patients from other European countries as private patients only for cash. Travel health insurance also applies in this case and pays significantly higher costs.
However, there is no entitlement to benefits if the stay abroad serves to treat an existing clinical picture. There are also benefit restrictions if there is a possibility that the delivery will fall within the travel time during pregnancy. Some insurers exclude childbirth coverage from the eighth month of pregnancy.
Note the requirements of travel insurance
Travel health insurance is essential. This applies regardless of whether it is a day trip to Strasbourg or a four-week round trip through North America. Illnesses and accidents do not wait until the person concerned is on German soil.
When choosing the right insurer, the distance to your place of residence may be decisive. Some insurers define a trip 50 kilometers from where they live, others consider crossing the border as a prerequisite for compulsory benefits.
Define the duration of travel insurance
Annual policies are usually cheaper. Travel health insurance is possible both for a single trip and in the form of an annual contract. Even for a family of four, the premium for an annual policy is marginal compared to travel expenses. However, it is important to note how long the insurance cover for the individual trip is valid for an annual contract. In most cases, it is limited to 42 days. However, there are also providers who guarantee significantly longer protection.
Special policies are available for people who stay abroad for longer periods – more than 42 days or even a year or more. These are particularly necessary if both insurances in the host country and maintenance of health insurance in Germany are not possible or not desired.
Take out cancellation insurance for early bookings
Long-term bookings of the vacation are common today. This does not only apply to package tourists who want to secure an early bird discount. Campers also book early to secure the most beautiful pitches. And if you fly on your own, you know that the farther the departure date is in the distance, the cheaper the price.
The risk that arises, in this case, is that an unforeseen event may make it impossible to start the trip. Such an event can be due to illness, for example, but also to loss a job and the need to look for a job.
Children, especially small children, get sick more easily than adults. A strong feverish cold can well be the reason that a trip is not started. Parents should consider this risk and include travel cancellation insurance in the policy.
The services for the cancellation fees are based on the period between the cancellation and the travel date, which decreases the closer the departure date is.
However, this judgment is not the rule, rather the insurance conditions for all providers see the death of a traveler as a reason for performance.
When is it useful to have travel cancellation insurance?
Travel cancellation insurance is a bit more exotic. Among other things, it comes into play when the vacationer due to
- An unexpected serious illness
- Serious accident injury
- Serious damage to domestic property from fire, broken water pipe or natural event
must end prematurely.
Some insurers are still expanding the range of benefits. Suppose a student has to retake an exam and cancel the vacation. In this case, the policy applies, just as in the case that an unemployed person receives the invitation to an interview during the vacation and also has to drive home early. Be reimbursed:
- Unused travel services and additional return travel costs for one of the reasons mentioned above.
- Unused travel services due to interruption due to inpatient hospitalization in the event of illness or accident.
- Costs for a rental car or additional travel expenses if the motor vehicle used by the policyholder becomes unsuitable for the journey and he is, therefore, unable to continue the journey as planned.
- Cost of organizing the unscheduled return trip.
Taking out travel cancellation insurance only covers the costs up to a certain point in time. This time has passed when the traveler
- Have passed the check-in at the airport.
- Have boarded the train or bus planned for the trip.
- Arrived at your holiday destination with your own vehicle.
Travel cancellation insurance contributions
The travel cancellation insurance should also include the travel cancellation insurance, since the boundaries between cancellation and cancellation are often only one step apart, for example, check-in at the airport.
The contributions for travel cancellation insurance and travel interruption insurance are based on the price of the trip. Depending on the insurer, the costs are maximized to EUR 10,000 or EUR 15,000. The age of policyholders also plays a role. The reason is that the risk of having to cancel a trip for health reasons is greater for older people than for younger holidaymakers.
Both policies are available for a one-time trip or as an annual policy for an unlimited number of trips. However, with an annual contract, insurers limit the length of travel per trip, usually to 42 or 56 days.
Compensation for flight delays recommended for frequent flyers
At first glance, such a component in travel insurance sounds rather absurd. Air travelers are entitled to compensation on the part of the airline from a delay of three hours. A look at the departure boards of Frankfurt Airport shows an almost unbelievable number of late departures or arrivals even on a normal working day. One could almost believe that this situation is becoming the norm.
Private insurance for flight delays usually covers a delay of two hours. This could be a nice compensation for the passenger if he flew exactly five minutes before the three-hour period expired and the airline was « off the hook ». The usefulness of such a policy increases with the number of flights that a traveler completes in the course of a year, but also depends on the airport. What may be valid for Frankfurt, for example, does not necessarily have to be the case in Cologne / Bonn.
Take out foreign liability and international accident insurance privately
Both policies only apply abroad if the policyholder causes damage abroad or suffers an accident when using public transport. Against this background, one can argue about the meaning of these two policies. Private liability insurance and private accident insurance are much more sensible. Both contracts usually apply worldwide. Accident insurance has no restrictions regarding the location or cause of the accident. In addition, the insurance sums of liability insurance and accident insurance are significantly higher than those of travel policies.
Mallorcapolice recommended for rental cars
Although this is a « travel insurance », it is not a classic component of travel insurance in the traditional sense. The Mallorcan policy is usually integrated into the motor vehicle liability insurance without additional contribution. It assumes the difference up to the amount of liability here if the policyholder causes damage abroad with a rental car and the damage claims of the injured party exceed the sum insured for the liability insurance of the rental car. However, this only applies to liability insurance.
With regard to fully comprehensive insurance, it depends on the car rental company which risks and to what extent are included in the vehicle rental. There are always discussions with the low-cost providers because they insist on taking out comprehensive coverage, even if the broker already states this in the contract.
Take out travel insurance for foreign guests in Germany early
Anyone wishing to employ an au pair as a family must also deal with this topic. Proof of health insurance during your stay in Germany is a prerequisite for obtaining a visa. The same applies to students from non-European countries. Before enrollment, confirmation of travel health insurance for Germany must be submitted to the German embassy or consulate in order to obtain a visa. Travel insurance for foreign guests is not only provided by traditional travel insurers, but also by niche providers.
Credit card travel insurance alone is not enough
Numerous credit cards offer « extensive » insurance packages as free added value. It sounds nice at first that these packages are included in the annual fee if there is one. On the other hand, it is easy to understand that, especially with free credit cards, the insurance packages can never be as extensive as real travel insurance as a « stand-alone solution ».
The differences are particularly noticeable in international health insurance. This topic is not to be trifled with, and it certainly does not represent any potential savings. The phrase « what costs nothing is also worthless » may not be necessary elsewhere, here it fits.
Limitation of benefits is usually common for credit card travel insurance. Against the background of the sometimes insane costs that a serious illness brings with it abroad, neither vacationers nor business travelers should save in the wrong place. Business travelers may still be covered by their employer, vacationers are completely on their own.
Travel insurance for all-round protection
Travel insurance covers a whole range of risks. It is not always conclusive whether insurance coverage is really necessary in all areas. However, it is undisputed that travel health insurance is more important in the luggage than the hairdryer. Illnesses, especially outside of Europe, can bring a vacationer to the limits of ruin. To put it bluntly: Anyone who does not use this policy is grossly negligent.
Travel cancellation insurance and travel interruption insurance are particularly useful if the booking was made well in advance, or in relation to cancellation if possible uncertainties during the holiday could be possible in advance. Private liability insurance with worldwide coverage is definitely a much more sensible solution compared to liability insurance abroad, which is often found in credit card packages.