How to choose between short-trip and long-trip travel insurance
Going away to faraway lands? Great! Travelling is awesome whether you just want to hop down to the States for a cool music festival or whether you are seeing the other side of the world for the first time. No matter what you do, you already know you’re going to need travel insurance. But with all sorts of options available, it might be hard to know which policy is right for you.
There are a couple basic flavours of travel coverage, and they’re based on one of the most important factors of your policy: the length of your trip. Short trips are the most common kind of trip people take. Long-term trips represent a whole different ballgame for insurance companies, so do your research and know how to choose between short and long-term coverage.
1. How long are short-term trips vs long-term trips?
Generally speaking, any trip under a month is considered short-term, while long trips typically range from one month to six months. You can actually get travel insurance in Canada to cover you for up to a year or longer if you get backpacking coverage.
2. There are a wide range of perils covered
As you might expect, a two-week trip and a six-month trip are very different in nature. Because of that, your coverage needs are likely to be different.
With short trips, you’re usually safe with basic coverage, such as flight delay, baggage loss, and, of course, medical. Extended trips may require some extended coverage. It isn’t just about the fact that the longer time frame will mean more exposure to risks. Longer-term travel insurance coverage may factor into more issues if you’re working abroad.
A lot can happen on extended trips. If you’re going to go exploring the wilds or doing other adventurous activities, you may not be able to get medical coverage. You may also not plan to do anything adventurous, but end up giving it a shot. Try to let your insurer know ahead of time what activities you might be involved with. You don’t have to have a strict itinerary, but they want to know if there’s any possibility you’ll be trying out shark diving.
What if you plan to visit different countries?
If you fly to London, but also plan to take a few days to visit Amsterdam or Paris, your insurance company needs to know. Even if you’re doing it on a whim, it makes sense to update them. If a medical emergency should befall you while you’re away in that country, your company may not want to cover you because you weren’t where you said you’d be.
That said, if you take a long-term policy and tell the company that you want to travel to various locations over the span of several months, they’ll happily make sure you’re covered so long as you aren’t visiting any countries they’ve excluded on your policy. Such countries would typically be on the government's travel advisories list.
Get the travel insurance policy that fits you
There are many times when the most important factor in a buying decision is the price. Travel insurance isn’t one of them. Communicate exactly what you’re looking for to an insurance professional to get fast advice on what policies could be good for you. Carefully look over the policy and make sure you fully understand it in order to determine if that policy is truly right for you.