An Overseas Travel Insurance Guide for First Time Travelers

During the initial stages of planning a trip, the thought that crosses the mind of most first-time travelers is, “Do I need travel insurance or not?”

It is true that most people who travel within the United States do so without travel insurance because chances are that they may already have out-of-state coverage. However, traveling overseas requires a lot more safety precautions. So, why should you be investing in travel insurance as a first-time traveler?

Let us answer this question with another question. What if you or your travel companion get injured and need medical assistance? Can you imagine the medical bill that you will receive? It's the "what ifs" and the "just in case" that should help you make up your mind about getting travel insurance. For first-time travelers thinking about applying for travel insurance, this guide will steer you in the right direction..

Your travel should include the following types of travel protection:


Emergency or accidental medical insurance is vital to have, as you never know what can happen during the trip. You are also not familiar with the emergency protocol in other countries. With proper travel insurance, you will have the guidance to help you seek medical attention in an appropriate time frame. Most importantly, it is in your best interest to be covered for all the medical expenses incurred in a foreign country.

Stolen or Lost Baggage

The first rule of going abroad is to keep your personal belongings close to you. However, an unexpected crises may occur - like the loss of your luggage upon arrival due to the lack of dependability of the common carrier you have chosen to travel with . A good travel insurance policy understands that this is completely out of your control and will address the situation immediately. You can receive reimbursement for full or half of the value of your possessions.

Trip Cancellation

Should you need to cancel your trip for some reason, do you really want to lose all of your hard earned money? Medical emergencies don't announce themselves before arriving, they always happen when you least expect it. Trip cancellation coverage could provide you with reimbursement for up to 100% of the insured trip cost. When booking your travel insurance policy, make sure to provide the most accurate trip cost (air, accommodations, event tickets, etc.) for proper reimbursement in case an unforeseen event occurs resulting in the cancellation of your insured trip.

Tips to Making a Claim

After you have acquired the three types of coverages, you'll have to learn how to make a claim if something happens. Here are some tips to make a claim:

You should carry the assistance phone number of the travel insurance company and the policy number with you at all times. If you're injured, tell a family member to carry these numbers with them so they make the claim on your behalf.
Don't wait until you're admitted to the hospital to open a case, be sure to do it as soon as you sustain an injury, if possible.
Before you open a case to file for reimbursement, you should have all the necessary documents with you.

Reduce the Risks Aboard

Before you go on your extravagant trip abroad, you need to take steps to reduce the risks of getting ill, becoming a victim of robbery, and having a backup plan in the event your personal belongings get lost:

  • Visit a doctor to get vaccinated
  • Renew all your prescriptions
  • Make copies of your passport to bring with you
  • Register with your country's embassy
  • Make certain the country accepts your credit card
  • Convert your cash to local cash
  • Pack a carry-on with extra clothes

By following this guide and investing in travel insurance, you can enjoy your trip without stressing the emergencies and ensure your travels are safe.

Date of publication March 9, 2015

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