With many insurances, the same protection does not apply abroad as in Germany. For this reason, there are so-called travel insurances that offer additional protection either on a vacation or on a business trip. However, not all travel insurances offered are useful for every consumer. How to distinguish between sensible and dispensable variants, you will learn in our article.
What is travel insurance?
In general, the term travel insurance is a generic term for various insurance variants that offer special protection abroad, i.e. while traveling. Accordingly, such travel insurances make sense if you travel frequently for private or professional reasons. The basis for all travel insurance is that other standard insurance policies more often do not have equivalent protection abroad. In addition, there are special risks that are actually only present because you are on a trip.
What travel insurance is available?
So that you can judge later, which travel insurances are meaningful for you and which seem dispensable, you must naturally first the most frequently used travel insurances 1 travel health insurance, travel resignation insurance – https://www.test.en/topic/travel-insurance/ – retrieved on 18.11.22 know. Primarily, it is the following types of insurance that fall under the heading of foreign or travel insurance:
- Health insurance abroad
- Travel liability insurance
- Travel accident insurance
- Travel legal protection insurance
- Travel cancellation insurance
- Travel interruption insurance
- Travel luggage insurance
- Foreign Assistance / Travel Protection
We would like to take a closer look at these individual travel insurances and, above all, address the question of for whom which insurances can be useful and for which variants it is rather a travel insurance that can be dispensed with.
International health insurance: very important outside the EU
As the name already indicates, the foreign health insurance is a travel insurance, where there is a special protection abroad. Often referred to alternatively as travel health insurance. The background to this is that, although statutory health insurance in Germany also applies abroad in principle. However, it is necessary to distinguish in which country you are, for example, if a necessary treatment is to be carried out by a doctor.
You have the fewest problems within the EU and other countries that have a social security agreement with Germany. Then it is that the medical expenses are usually covered by the statutory health insurance in Germany. However, there is one restriction, namely that the costs are usually only reimbursed up to the amount that is also customary for the corresponding treatment in Germany.
Nevertheless, even within the EU it may happen that some doctors bill privately and therefore the statutory health insurance will not reimburse you. Especially important is the foreign health insurance outside the European Union, because there you are almost always self-payer. Therefore the travel health insurance is recommendable for all persons, who stay abroad frequently for professional and private reasons.
Travel liability insurance: Worldwide protection in case of liability damages
With personal liability insurance, it is the case that it is not always automatically valid worldwide. Some insurers limit the scope of benefits only to Europe or the EU, so that for example in the United States no protection would exist. Then it would make sense for you to find out more about the topic of travel liability insurance. Of course, this only applies on the condition that you often stay in countries where your own liability insurance does not cover you.
By design, travel liability insurance usually includes the same benefits as ordinary personal liability insurance that you may have been using for years. This means that the travel liability insurance settles damages that you culpably cause to other persons or property (abroad). These are usually everyday damages, which are due to likewise everyday risks.
Travel accident insurance: Same principle as for travel liability insurance
With the travel accident insurance applies in so far in the comparison the principle as with the travel liability insurance, as it can be a supplementary insurance, if you either no private accident insurance possesses or this is limited to certain regions and countries. However, it is usually the case with private accident insurance that it applies worldwide. As a result, travel accident insurance is particularly interesting for people who do not yet have private accident insurance. When traveling, there is a statistically increased risk of accidents, especially since services such as rescue or repatriation after an accident can lead to costs in the higher four- to five-digit range.
Travel legal protection insurance: optional supplement to private legal protection insurance
In the case of private legal protection insurance, the situation is similar to that of private liability insurance, namely that more often the corresponding protection only exists in Germany or within the EU. Of course, legal protection insurers sometimes shy away from the costs if a legal dispute should take place, for example, in a non-European foreign country. Therefore, the worldwide protection is often excluded in the case of ordinary legal protection insurance. Then it can make sense to take out a special giant legal protection insurance, which is also valid in other countries and mostly worldwide.
For a certain protection abroad you often do not have to take out a separate travel insurance at all. Instead, it may be an option to extend your protection within the standard insurance you use anyway, so that the insurance is valid worldwide. Mostly this is at the cost of a premium surcharge monthly.
Travel cancellation and trip interruption insurance: individual insurances when traveling
Real individual insurances, which fall under the category of travel insurances, are on the one hand the travel cancellation insurance and on the other hand the travel interruption insurance. The travel cancellation insurance is often offered by tour operators and agencies, namely in connection with the booking of a vacation trip.
The main benefit of a travel cancellation insurance is that it covers the cancellation costs for a trip that you cannot take due to health reasons. Within the travel cancellation insurance you must pay attention above all to the conditions, i.e. when the case of damage occurred. In most cases, the travel cancellation insurance will cover the cancellation costs if the following situations exist:
- You fall ill and cannot start the trip
- Travel partner (family member) falls ill and is unable to travel
- child falls ill and you cannot start the trip
- Death of a close relative
- you do not receive the promised vacation (from the employer)
Sometimes you can start a trip, but have to – for example, for health reasons – break off the already started vacation prematurely. In this case, a so-called travel interruption insurance would be useful. This covers certain costs arising from the fact that you have to interrupt the trip you have already started. Mostly, however, reimbursement of the costs only takes place if less than half of the planned trip has elapsed.
Baggage insurance: Often superfluous protection
Among the insurances that are basically rather dispensable – not only in the area of travel insurances – is, among others, the luggage insurance. This insurance covers the costs of stolen or damaged luggage. The luggage insurance is therefore often dispensable and is even considered superfluous by some experts, because with regard to loss or damage to the luggage there is often already another protection, namely that on the part of the transport company. For example, if you are traveling by air and your luggage is lost, the airline is responsible for compensation.
International assistance or. Reise-Schutzbrief: Various services and assistance
The foreign assistance or also travel protection letter is basically a further travel insurance. Here are included above all services, if abroad an unpleasant situation arises. Depending on the design, such assistance insurance in the form of a travel protection policy more often includes the following benefits:
- Mediation between the family doctor and the treating hospital
- Apply for documents
- Financial assistance
- Advance payment for inpatient hospital costs
- Settlement with third parties
Alternative: Pay attention to foreign protection with own standard insurance
Most of the presented travel insurances are quite reasonable and worth considering in the respective situation. Instead of some travel insurances it is alternatively possible to include an additional protection into the anyway existing standard insurance. This applies in particular to the following types of insurance:
- Travel liability insurance
- Travel accident insurance
- Travel legal protection insurance
If the protection in these insurances should exist for example only in Germany or within the EU, you speak simply with your insurer. In most cases, protection abroad can also be integrated, albeit at the cost of a somewhat higher premium. Then, however, you can alternatively do without a single travel insurance, such as travel accident insurance.
Tip: Travel insurance is often included in credit cards
You do not have to take out a separate travel insurance policy if you have a credit card. In fact, many credit cards include various travel insurance policies, particularly travel cancellation insurance, travel liability insurance and also travel accident insurance.
This is especially true for the so-called premium credit cards, i.e. gold and platinum cards. So before you decide to buy individual travel insurance policies, check your credit card terms and conditions to see if the use of your credit card doesn't already provide you with the same protection when you travel, and therefore when you're abroad.