What travel insurance should a student have?
Parents and students alike may need clarification on whether travel insurance is necessary for studying abroad. If the university requires travel insurance for a semester abroad, faculty members or staff in charge of the program should notify the students of the policy requirements.
If travel insurance is optional, study abroad program participants should at least know which options to consider. Whether it’s to provide health insurance coverage that your normal U.S. insurance policy doesn’t cover or to cover en-route travel challenges, such as lost baggage, you should be familiar with how additional insurance can help.
Even if you’re staying in your home country — such as a student from the mainland United States enrolling in a semester in Alaska, Hawaii, or one of the U.S. territories — lost luggage, flight delays, and cancellations caused by a natural disaster could all occur.
Travel medical insurance
Travel medical insurance typically pays for medical services you receive outside your home country, such as a routine service like a doctor visit for a prescription or a vaccination, as well as an emergency service suddenly required during your study trip. Travel medical insurance plans differ with each travel insurance company, so compare policies accordingly.
Baggage insurance covers your luggage if you lose it in transit. For example: Suppose you checked a bag at an airport in your home country, changed planes in a layover airport, and arrived at your destination only to discover that you no longer have your baggage. In this instance, baggage insurance would pay for the cost of your lost luggage.
This insurance might not be an important consideration for students using only carry-on luggage.
Travel insurance works on a case-by-case basis, and covered information-specific events are outlined in your policy. It’s important to remember that trip cancellation differs from a trip delay. Basic travel insurance covers some long delays that result in you missing a significant amount of your trip; additional delay insurance can potentially cover you for smaller delays, such as long flight delays or transportation strikes.
Trip cancellation insurance is an important consideration, even if you believe you don’t need baggage insurance or delay insurance. Cancellation insurance protects your financial investment in a single trip by reimbursing you for canceled cruises, flights, train tickets, and more.
For instance, if your host country suddenly changes its entry requirements or your home country suddenly sets new travel restrictions, cancellation insurance may cover these events.
Mental health coverage
Travel can include moments of stress, anxiety, and loneliness. Some policies allow you to purchase additional insurance related to mental health coverage.
If you currently receive mental health services through your university, talk to your study abroad office about how you can ensure your unique psychological needs are covered abroad through mental health travel insurance.
Travel evacuation insurance
There’s medical evacuation insurance that helps in the event of things like accidental death or dismemberment, but there’s also evacuation insurance unrelated to you sustaining a serious medical emergency, like injuries, accidents, or illnesses. Travel evacuation insurance removes you from the host country if military action or political unrest breaks out.