An Overseas Traveler's Insurance Guide

By Insurance.com Posted : 03/06/2007

There's nothing like the feeling of excitement when you're going on an overseas vacation. The red X's on the calendar boldly show the countdown to your trip. Your bags are packed, your tickets are ready, your passport is ready for its stamp, and before you know it, you'll be on your way! But what happens when you get to your destination and the unthinkable happens? What if weather makes your trip too treacherous to chance? You end up getting sick? You get pulled over or your baggage is lost? Insurance.com has a few suggestions as to what you can do to make your trip as smooth as possible, even when the unthinkable happens.

What to check before you leave:

Health Insurance: In most cases, health insurance plans do not extend outside of the United States, so it is a good idea to check with your insurance provider and see exactly what your coverage entails.

Car Insurance: If you are going to be renting a car and driving when you go overseas, it is a smart idea to apply for an international driver's license. Be sure to read up on the rules for driving in the country you are going to, because they may differ from the driving laws here in the United States. Lastly, be sure you have adequate car insurance before you leave. Because unless you have a true umbrella policy which covers you worldwide, your personal car insurance policy will not cover you if you are out of the United States. You can do this by contacting your auto insurance company or agent before you leave. If you'd like to learn more about driving overseas or to get information on an international driver's license or traveler's insurance, log on to the AAA website, which offers answers and insights on what you may need when traveling overseas.

Lost Luggage Insurance: Lost luggage insurance is something that would be a good idea to check up on before you leave on your overseas vacation. Though homeowners insurance policies cover theft or destruction of personal property, they only cover the items that are listed in the actual policy. With lost luggage insurance, you get the added protection of knowing that if your bags are lost during your vacation, their contents will be covered.

Trip Interruption Insurance: There's nothing worse than being excited and ready to go on a trip, then it being canceled due to conditions that are out of your control. A newer kind of insurance called "trip interruption insurance" is now available that may help cover all, or part of the expenses you paid in the event the trip is canceled. Examples include if a cruise line you booked on goes out of business before your departure date, or if inclement weather causes a cancellation you will be reimbursed. Another perk of trip interruption insurance is that in some cases, if you must cancel the trip due to sickness or death in the family, you may be covered for the flight and hotel costs.

What's in an overseas insurance pack?
Many insurance companies offer full-overseas insurance packs for the overseas travelers, beginning with a possible seven-day coverage that costs less than $50 per person. Age, number of people in your party, and how long you plan on staying at your destination determines the reimbursement price. Packages generally include:

  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Emergency medical and dental
  • Accidental death and dismemberment
  • Repatriation of remains
  • Visitor to bedside and return of dependent children
  • Pre-existing condition waiver
  • Lost/damaged baggage
  • Rental car protection
  • Trip cancellation/delay/interruption/default


Insurance.com overseas travel tips

  • Do not leave your money in bags you check. Be sure to keep cash, travelers checks, travel documents, valuables and jewelry in your carry-on
  • Add something to your suitcase that makes it easily identifiable-tie a brightly colored ribbon to the handle or mark an "X" on it with duct tape. This will make it easier to identify in the event your luggage is lost
  • Choose a rental car that has a trunk-hatchbacks are a homing beacon for thieves
  • Drink bottled water instead of tap. Though many places have filtered water now, it may still make you ill, which can potentially ruin your vacation
  • Phrase books definitely come in handy when going to a country where the predominant language is one you aren't familiar with. The book may also save you a lot of time and headaches when someone actually knows what you're trying to ask for
  • Travel in the off-season. To save the most money and find the best deals, it's a good idea to plan ahead and look to traveling to your destination at a time that not everyone and their mother is going.


Whether you're preparing for that romantic getaway, an action-packed adventure, or just a trip to new overseas destination, Insurance.com is here to help. If you are interested in receiving a travel insurance quote, log on to Insurance.com. Here you will be able to evaluate multiple rates from best-in-class travel insurance providers - helping you find the best travel insurance coverage to protect you in your overseas travels.

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