Travel insurance is a subject that seems to divide the vacation crowd into two distinct camps. Some people wouldn’t consider traveling without it, and others don’t really ever seriously consider getting it. This generally has to do with each person’s method for dealing with risks, but even if you are in the ‘no thanks’ category it’s not a bad idea to at least understand what travel insurance consists of and how much it might cost.
There are two major sub-categories of travel insurance, and each is usually available separately so they can be considered separately as well.
Trip Protection Insurance
This type usually costs a small percentage of your overall trip, and will cover most of your non-refundable travel expenses if an unexpected crisis comes up such as: death, sickness, airline strike, travel provider going bankrupt, and many other things as well. This can give most people some much-needed peace of mind to protect the large investment of their big trip.
Spending, say, US$3,000 on a holiday and then having it cut short or canceled, and possibly combined with more big expenses just to get back home can ruin your year, not just your trip. For a small price you’ll know that you’ll be enjoying your holiday, and if something goes wrong you haven’t much else to lose.
Amsterdam isn’t a particularly dangerous place, and most of the companies involved in the travel industry here are fairly stable, but there are plenty of other things that can go wrong which might leave you vulnerable.
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Travel Medical Insurance
This type of insurance is meant to cover any medical expenses you might incur while traveling or living abroad. Health insurance for Americans is a controversial topic, and many are uninsured even at home. Some people’s coverage will handle all possible expenses in cases like this, but many with health insurance at home are still on their own while outside the country. In either case, this insurance will give you some peace of mind knowing a medical emergency won’t wipe you out.
Again, Amsterdam isn’t a dangerous place, but a la carte healthcare in the Netherlands is still quite expensive for travelers, and for many people the small cost of this coverage is well worth it.
Other types of travel insurance
- Flight/Travel Accident – This is for when something terrible happens to your flight.
>>more information on flight/travel accident insurance
- Annual multi-trip insurance – This is good for people who travel often and don’t want to sort out a new policy for each trip.
>>more information on annual multi-trip insurance.
- Global/Expat insurance – This kind is obviously meant for people living abroad for extended periods of time who don’t have other insurance.
>>more information on global/expat insurance.
Many of us will continue to roll the dice and travel without special insurance, but these policies tend to be cheaper than most people expect, so looking into the cost isn’t a bad idea so you at least make your choice with all the facts.
But that said, the type of travel insurance that is meant to cover your backpack or iPod from possible theft probably isn’t worth it. Many people report major hassles when trying to file a claim, and some people are refused outright even when presenting what seems to be a valid claim. If you go for this property protection-type insurance, at least make sure you go with a reputable company, even if it costs a bit more.