What is Travel insurance

February 2021 | Updated: August 2023

Travel insurance is a type of insurance designed to cover various losses that may occur during a trip. It is intended to provide protection against a wide range of unforeseen risks and accidental losses that may influence the traveler himself, his travel companions or travel plans.

Some of the most common types of coverage in travel policies:

It's important to understand that not all travel insurance policies are created equal and may not cover everything problems. For example, not all policies allow to cover the expenses for the aggravation of a previously known illness during the trip during or the expenses of injuries incurred while practicing extreme sports, if this has not been agreed before the trip in the policy. Also some destinations may be excluded from the scope of the policy, so this should always be clarified before the trip.

As with any insurance policy, it is very important to read carefully before purchasing travel insurance terms and understand exactly what is covered, what are the policy limits, deductibles and what exclusions are mentioned in the rules. When choosing a policy, always consider your personal needs, travel plans and your risk tolerance.

Travel insurance is usually purchased before the trip begins , and policy premiums are usually based on the chosen coverage and limits.

What does travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance usually offers a wide range of insured risks, which can also be customized for the type of trip, taking into account the activities to be engaged in, as well as there are many other factors that can affect travel policy coverage. Typical coverage includes trip cancellations or changes due to unforeseen circumstances, medical emergencies including hospital and doctor costs, emergency evacuation (e.g. from remote islands after a natural disaster or an accident in the mountains), loss, damage or delay of luggage during the flight.

Some policies also cover legal expenses, civil liability, cash insurance, telephone costs and many other risks that can be added to your travel policy or by choosing one of the different ones travel insurance programs, which tend to vary depending on the chosen insurance company. Polish the offers are different, so it is important to choose the one that most precisely matches your travel needs.

Do I really need travel insurance?

Although travel insurance is not a mandatory requirement, it acts as a safety net against the financial risks involved with travel. Of course, insurance cannot protect you from risks, but it can protect you from the unexpected expenses that may arise after the occurrence of these risks. Consider a scenario where you have to cancel a non-refundable trip due to illness or having to expect unexpected medical expenses or operations, which are often common abroad much more expensive than in Latvia. For example, cruciate ligament surgery in Latvia can cost around 3,000 euros, but, for example, In Italy, the cost of such an operation can be as much as five times higher.

Without an insurance policy, such unexpected costs can be as unpleasant as the very fact of surgery at all is necessary. Evaluating your tolerance for risk, your health and the nature of the trip (e.g. adventure travel vs. a weekend by the pool), you can decide if you need insurance.

How much does travel insurance cost?

Standard travel insurance without active recreation and extreme sports risks usually costs approx 1.50 euros per day. It should be noted that it is impossible to say the price of a travel policy unambiguously, because the price (or premium) is formed under the influence of various factors, for example, depending on the chosen destination, duration, insured age, transport type (air or land). For example, a policy for elderly people traveling to remote or higher risk destinations country, may be more expensive than a policy for a young adult visiting a neighboring country.

How to choose the right travel policy?

In order to choose the right or most suitable policy for your trip, you need to carefully analyze your specific needs and possible risks that may occur during the trip. Are you worried about medical coverage, certain activities (e.g. skiing, snowboarding), trip cancellation or check-in baggage delay. Compare different The offers of Latvia's largest insurers, taking into account such aspects as customer service, consideration of compensation and policy customization flexibility. Searching for customer reviews and consulting with a travel insurance specialist can give you an insight into whether the particular insurer and the solutions they offer meet exactly your needs.

What is the claim submission process?

Applying for insurance compensation is a methodical process that begins with immediately informing the insurer about the occurrence of an accident or any unforeseen event during or before the trip. Inform the insurer is recommended as soon as possible and ideally before receiving any services or documents signatures. After that, you will have to fill in the compensation application form by phone, e-mail, on the insurer's website or in person at one of the customer service centers of the particular insurer. You will definitely have a reward application all documents, checks, receipts, application or extract related to the accident or the service received must be attached copies. For example, if you are going to file a compensation claim for stolen luggage, you will need a police report report and purchase receipts for lost items.

What are the exclusions in travel policies?

Any insurance policy, including travel, has its own exclusions and there are specific cases or circumstances, to which are not covered by a specific cover included in the policy. Common examples are high-risk sports (e.g. skydiving) if they are not covered by the policy before the trip, when the policy is issued, traveling to countries that is not included in the specific area of operation of the policy territory, or losses caused by drunkenness or illegal activities because of.

In the terms of each insurer, each policy, you can find a section of exceptional cases asr which you can already familiarize yourself before purchasing the policy. Generally, the terms and exclusions of any type of insurance are available for each on the insurer's website.

Can I cancel my travel insurance if my trip is cancelled?

Cancellation conditions may vary. Some policies offer "cancellation for any reason" by providing policies cancellation flexibility, while others may refund only part of the premium already paid or ensure that the paid money can be deferred to another policy. Usually, when canceling a policy, the insurer deducts an administration fee, for example 10% of the policy premium. For example, if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly for any reason and the policy provides for "cancellation of the policy for any reason", then the insurer will usually let you get everything back or a partial refund.

Does travel insurance cover Covid-19 or other pandemics?

As global pandemics grow, for example COVID-19, many insurers have adjusted their policies. In some cases now include coverage for Covid-related medical expenses or trip cancellations, for example, if a traveler receives a positive infection test result shortly before departure. On the other hand, other policies the effects of any pandemic risks can be strictly excluded.

For example, if you contract Covid-19 while abroad, a policy that covers pandemic-related medical expenses, will provide financial protection for treatment and possible quarantine costs.

How does travel insurance work in different countries?

Travel insurance is often global but may exclude certain countries or regions politically due to instability, natural disasters or other circumstances. Generally, travel polsies are divided into such activities in territories like, Europe + CIS countries, Whole world except certain countries and other types of territories that can differ from the selected insurer. Insurance companies in Latvia usually offer detailed information about him the geographic coverage of the policy and consulting with your specialist can ensure that policy gaps do not occur unexpected surprises. If you bought the policy online, be sure to carefully follow the choices you make would calculate the policy premium and buy the policy.

What if I participate in high-risk activities such as skiing or diving?

Engaging in higher risk sports such as skiing or diving or going on adventures such as safaris trips or rafting, policies often require specialized coverage to cover the potential risks of such activities insured.

Standard policies will most often not cover such risks, which means that if you do not include them in your travel insurance policy, as a result of the accident, you may have to cover all expenses yourself. For example, if you are planning a snowboarding holiday in the Alps, you you will definitely want your policy to cover not only the medical costs of possible injuries, but also possible related ones costs, for example, getting you from the mountain to the hospital by helicopter, because no other transport will be able to get there possible.

What is the difference between single and multi-trip policies?

One-trip or short-term policies refer to one specific trip, while multi-trip policies or long-term travel policies cover an unlimited number of trips within a specified period of time.

In Latvian insurance, short-term travel policies can be valid for a maximum of 30 or 45 days, for example. It is depends on the chosen insurance company. Long term policies will be valid for up to one year.

If you travel often, a multi-trip or long-term policy can provide significant savings and convenience, as you will have enough tiaki with one policy for the whole year, regardless of the number of trips.

Can I buy travel insurance after booking a trip?

Although travel insurance can usually be purchased at any time before you travel, it can often be beneficial buy the policy early, because then you won't have to make a hasty decision about choosing a policy, which you can at other times result in the fact that you have purchased incomplete or inadequate insurance coverage for your trip. As well as by taking out the policy on time, you will definitely have the opportunity to make some changes or additions to the policy or to cancel it at all.

Where to buy travel insurance

It is most convenient to buy travel insurance online, because it can be done quickly from a mobile phone on the way to the airport at any time of the day and the policy will be valid immediately. The advantage of buying a policy online is a convenient review and comparison of insurance programs and covered risks. All the largest insurers in Latvia have made sure that the purchase of travel insurance is convenient and easy to understand, without contacting a specialist, but using their websites. In contrast, there are people who prefer to purchase a policy by contacting their insurance specialist by phone.

To make it easier to decide which insurer to entrust your long-awaited travel insurance to, we regularly review insurers' offers and compare them once a week. Find out where to buy the best travel insurance in our section Compare Travel insurance policies online.

Can I buy travel insurance for all travel companions together or do I have to do it separately

Yes, it is possible if the duration and purpose of the trip are the same for all members, because when buying a policy together, all travelers will have the same travel insurance conditions.

What to do if an insured event occurred during the trip

What is the home country

The country of residence is the country that has issued you citizenship and the country you returned to after the trip.

Do I also have to buy travel insurance if I have an EHIC

EHIC ensures the receipt of emergency medical assistance in medical treatment institutions that provide state-guaranteed health care. However, this card does not cover the patient's costs of receiving these services, nor does it cover travel and transportation costs. In contrast, travel insurance will reimburse your expenses in the event of an injury or serious illness.

In short, travel insurance and EHIC complement each other so that you receive the best possible care during the trip, as well as receive compensation for the costs incurred. Even if you choose not to purchase travel insurance, we definitely recommend that you get the EHIC. It is free and will be valid for 3 years.

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