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Travel Insurance Tips You Need to Know Before Buying

family loading car for a trip
Allianz - family loading car for a trip

Maybe you’ve never purchased travel insurance. Or perhaps it’s been several years and a couple suitcases ago.

And you’d like a bit of guidance before deciding the right plan for your itinerary, budget, and a host of other factors. We get it; that’s why we’re here to help by sharing essential travel insurance tips and tricks to know before buying.

Travel insurance plans can be complex.  And while travel insurance plans from Allianz Global Assistance are designed to be user-friendly for all travelers, it’s common to have questions. We have the travel insurance tips and  answers you need to confidently start the journey before your journey: buying a travel insurance plan.

When Should I Buy Travel Insurance?

Let’s start here: when is the worst time to buy travel insurance?

It’s right after you see your baggage plunge into the harbor as it’s being transported to the cruise ship. Or after you get in a 15-car fender bender on your way to the airport — and when you were already running late.

When it comes to sharing travel insurance tips regarding when to buy a travel insurance plan, here’s our best advice: buy right after you book your trip. This is especially true if you’re buying a plan including a Trip Cancellation benefit. That’s because Trip Cancellation benefits start on the same date as your travel insurance plan’s effective date. In other words, if you purchase a plan two months before your trip, certain events that take place between that effective date and your departure — for example, being laid off from your job at no fault of your own — may activate your benefit.

There’s another, perhaps more obvious reason to buy your plan right after you book your trip: because forgetting is human nature. We get busy and distracted, and before we know it, we’re boarding the plane wishing we bought a travel insurance plan (and hoping our lucky travel pillow does the trick of keeping our travel plans moving smoothly).1, 2

There’s one more deadline you should be aware of if you’re purchasing a travel insurance plan from Allianz Global Assistance and have a pre-existing condition — the 14-day countdown. While travel insurance plans may limit eligibility for those with pre-existing conditions, travelers may earn a pre-existing condition exclusion. And one of the conditions that needs to be met is purchasing the travel insurance plan within 14 days of making your first trip payment or deposit. Be sure to check your plan for other eligibility requirements.3

Single Trip Plans Vs. Annual Plans: Which Type of Plan is Right for Me?

Are you lucky to take one trip the entire calendar year or are you here today, gone tomorrow?

This is an important question to answer as you choose between a one-time travel insurance plan, which Allianz Global Assistance calls OneTrip plans, vs. annual travel insurance plans, or AllTrips plans.

Before you answer this question, know that you don’t need to be a digital nomad who spends more days on the road than at home to reap benefits of an AllTrips plan. In fact, of all the travel insurance tips we’re sharing in this article, this may be the biggest no-brainer: if you’re taking three or more trips in a year — or even if you think you might — choose an AllTrips plan.

We’ve crunched the numbers and “3” is the magic number when purchasing an AllTrips plan becomes more cost-effective than purchasing three separate OneTrip plans.

And cost isn’t the only consideration here. Just imagine the time you’ll save by purchasing one plan vs. multiple plans. Then there’s the convenience of only having to keep track of one plan’s benefits and other details — a task that the handy TravelSmart app further simplifies.4

How Much Travel Insurance Do I Need?

We’re not here to tell you how much to spend on travel insurance, but we’d like you to consider some travel insurance tips that may seem counterintuitive on the surface.

Here’s one: if you’re traveling on a budget, buy more travel insurance.

Right now you may be shouting at your screen, “But I just said I’m on a budget!”

We know, we get it. However, traveling on a budget likely means that some of the more  costly mishaps and unexpected events that travel insurance can help with could be a lot more problematic for your bottom line. In other words, in addition to considering what you can afford to pay, also think about how much you can afford to lose. While losing a bag of T-shirts and Old Navy jeans might not break the bank, the cost of emergency medical transportation can easily cost more than $100,000.5, 6

It’s important to add up your trip costs when weighing different travel insurance plans, right-sizing your selection to meet your itinerary. Odds are a weekend trip to Nashville isn’t going to need the same benefit limits as a two-week safari taken first class all the way. Allianz Global Assistance’s single-trip plans max out between $5,000 and $100,000 for Trip Cancellation benefits, so find your sweet spot and enjoy the peace of mind that all is not lost if you need to cancel your trip for a covered reason. (And in the event that your trip cost eclipses that $100,000 mark, give us a call and we can help.)7

We’ve all been there — traversing the learning curve of travel insurance while buying our first plan (or just our first plan in a while).

By doing your research, you can avoid being that traveler who didn’t know their health plan probably won’t work abroad (and won’t cover prescriptions, either.)8 You also understand that Trip Cancellation isn’t a guarantee, but rather needs to meet a covered reason, which we’ve spelled out clearly and carefully for travelers.9 And now you know that if you’re traveling to certain countries, you’re actually required to have travel insurance.10

We think you’re ready to get begin shopping for a travel insurance plan. Start here — and happy trails!

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