Before you purchase a separate policy, check with your existing health insurance provider. Some domestic health insurance policies, including some Medicare supplement policies,5 offer worldwide emergency care. If yours doesn't, or the coverages and limits aren't enough, consider filling the gap with a stand-alone policy.
Accidental death and dismemberment
Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) travel insurance is similar to life insurance. If you have an accident during your trip that results in death or the loss of one or more limbs, the insurance company pays a designated amount to you or your beneficiary.
These policies differ from life insurance because they pay a benefit if you suffer dismemberment, paralysis, or loss of eyesight or hearing. Life insurance, on the other hand, only pays out if you die.
You may not need AD&D travel insurance if you have life insurance, but it can be a good complement to it.
The cost depends on how much coverage you purchase and whether you add on any special riders, such as a Hazardous Activities rider7 that covers accidents while participating in a sport or other activity excluded by most travel insurance policies. For example, many AD&D policies don't cover accidents while participating in sporting events or recreational activities like skydiving, bungee jumping, or car racing.8
Before purchasing a separate policy, check to see whether you have coverage elsewhere. Many comprehensive trip insurance or travel medical insurance policies include AD&D coverage or allow you to add it for a small fee.
Rental car insurance
If you rent a car while traveling, you'll likely be offered rental car insurance. There are four main types of coverage the rental agent might offer:
- Liability insurance covers damage to other people and property due to an accident where you're at fault
- Loss-damage waiver coverage waives your responsibility to pay for damage or theft to the rental vehicle
- Personal accident coverage pays the medical bills of you and your passengers if you're involved in an accident, regardless of who is at fault
- Personal effects coverage pays for personal items stolen from a rental car
If you have an auto insurance policy on a vehicle you own, buying insurance from the rental car company might not be necessary. In most cases, the liability, medical payments, and comprehensive and collision coverage on your existing policy extends to a rental.9 Plus, your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy may cover personal items stolen from a rental car.10
There are some exceptions. For example, if you're renting a car while traveling abroad or for business, your existing auto insurance policy might not cover the claim. Contact your insurance provider to ensure you're covered before visiting the rental counter.
Keep in mind that some credit cards, including the Synovus Travel Rewards Visa Credit Card, include travel insurance and car rental coverage benefits when you book your trip using the card. So check out your card benefits. If you do decide to buy stand-alone travel insurance, be sure to read the fine print. This ensures you get the coverage you want without wasting money on a plan that doesn't cover everything you expect.