What is travel assistance coverage and what insurances include it?

With the increase in trips abroad, many people have begun to notice the need to travel safely and with certain economic and physical guarantees. Travel insurance is the traditional way of obtaining these guarantees, but not the only one. Did you know that there are other policies with travel assistance coverage that can also help you?

Travel assistance coverage is simply protection offered by different insurances and covers different types of incidents that may occur during a trip. From there, each type of insurance will focus on one or another unforeseen event. After all, the focus of car insurance is not the same as that of home insurance, to give two examples.

What is travel assistance?

The operation of travel assistance coverage is very simple and similar to that of any other coverage. When you have an incident, travel assistance is activated and the insurance you have contracted takes care of you.

These are two examples of how to use travel assistance coverage in two different ways:

  • If you are traveling and the car breaks down halfway: The insurance will take care of sending a tow truck to pick up the vehicle. Depending on the extent of coverage, they may also offer you the option of a ride to your destination or a paid hotel if you prefer to wait until your vehicle is repaired.
  • If you are traveling abroad and fall ill: The insurance will cover medical expenses like eye meds up to the limits set by the policy.

The first examples of travel assistance insurance are types of car insurance, while the second can be included in other types of policies such as travel insurance, but also in health insurance and even home insurance.

When do we need to hire travel assistance?

In the last nine years, Spanish tourism abroad has doubled the number of trips, exceeding 12.1 million per year and 109 million overnight stays, nights staying away from home, with an average of 9 days per trip. This change in habits is also noticeable in the contracting of products such as travel assistance insurance that is often offered by our agency or tour operator when contracting the trip.

Are these insurances profitable? Of course, having additional coverage for loss of luggage or a flight is always positive, but often we are paying more for certain benefits, such as contingencies that may occur in the event of illness or hospitalization, which are better and more economically covered by a product as important as health insurance.

Below we analyze how the different types of insurance cover travel assistance, and what we must take into account when choosing one or the other and not paying more.

What should we consider?

Before starting the trip we have to analyze very well what our health insurance covers and value them with respect to a specific trip. We have to bear in mind that the cheapest travel policies have very limited coverage and the price skyrockets if we seek greater benefits.

If we are frequent travelers, the cost of repeated travel assistance insurance will skyrocket our budget. Against this, health insurance provides us with coverage for any medical mishap when in many countries health care is often only available in private medical centers, which are generally very expensive.

Due to price and benefits, health insurance is a fundamental help when undertaking a trip and only worrying about enjoying it.

What insurances include travel assistance

The list of insurances that have coverage for travel assistance or care abroad are:

  • Ride
  • Car
  • Home
  • Health

Each of these types of insurance deals with travel assistance coverage in a different way, focusing on a specific aspect of the security you need when traveling.

Travel assistance coverage in car insurance

It is one of the added value elements in this type of policy. In fact, when talking about travel assistance, it is often done referring to these insurances.

The road and travel assistance in these insurances begin with the collection of the car (the crane, as it is also known) and continues with a host of additional benefits for the occupants of the vehicle. That is where hotel nights come in, repatriation, hospital assistance in the event of an accident abroad, transfer of family members… The most complete travel assistance within car insurance even adds the claim for loss of luggage when flying.

Travel assistance coverage in travel insurance

Travel insurance is specifically designed to cover problems when traveling. Many people still hire them thinking mainly of coverage for trip cancellation, when in reality the most interesting thing is the health coverage they offer when traveling.

In fact, health care coverage is what can make a difference financially. To help you understand it better, getting your money back for your trip, solving problems with your luggage, compensating you for delays, or paying for your return trip home if you need it is all very well. However, we are talking about hundreds of euros in most cases.

With healthcare, the difference between having it and not having it can be tens of thousands of euros. Something as simple as falling in the bathtub and hurting yourself can add up to a massive medical bill if it happens to you in the United States or any country outside the European Union.

The limitations of travel insurance

As we said,  travel insurance offers a series of coverages that can mitigate different unforeseen events that usually arise during the trip. But if we analyze these coverages carefully, we see some important limitations.

  • In the first place, a good part of these coverages is focused on means of collective transport or hotel packages (delays, loss of luggage, cancellation of reservations, etc.), which makes them more suitable for part of the trips – mainly abroad – which are not the majority of the trips of the Spaniards, who are nationals and in their vehicle.
  • Secondly, the limitations of this coverage, since the insurance has its origin and its end in the trip, a few days. The result is that its cost, apparently low, is not so low, since it has very limited coverage over time.
  • Thirdly, within the priority of the different types of coverage, health coverage, which is precisely the one that should have the greatest importance due to the consequences that it may bring, often occupies a very marginal position, in its type and amount.

Travel assistance coverage in health insurance

More than travel assistance, what health insurance provides is medical assistance in Spain and anywhere in the world, depending on the policy you have contracted.

Travel assistance coverage is one of the most important of our health insurance and does not require any additional cost, since they are included in the periodic payment that we make of our premium.

Types of coverage

As an example,  health insurance with travel assistance includes:

  • Transport or repatriation:  Both of the wounded and sick and of all accompanying insured persons.
  • Early return due to a serious problem:  Both due to the death of a family member or due to fire or accident at your home.
  • Transfer of your relatives and care of the sick:  If you have a mishap abroad, you are not alone, your travel assistance will pay the return ticket for a relative and hotel expenses. It will also cover the costs of extending a stay in a hotel abroad, sending documents, information about the trip and the destination country, and transmission of messages.
  • Additional medical coverage:  In addition to medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, and hospitalization expenses abroad, it also covers emergency dental treatment abroad or shipment of medicines abroad.
  • Coverage in case of death:  Both the transport or repatriation of the deceased and the companion.
  • Travel contingencies:  The most common and also covered by our health insurance. The unforeseen travel insurance covers baggage delay, up to 120.20 euros from the sixth hour, and travel delay for reasons beyond its control, with 60.10 euros for each fraction of 6 hours with a maximum of 180,30 euros.
  • Medical and surgical costs and fees.
  • Pharmaceutical expenses prescribed by a doctor.
  • Hospitalization
  • Round trip ticket for a family member and hotel expenses.
  • Medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, and hospitalization expenses abroad.
  • Expenses for emergency dental treatment abroad.
  • Sending medicines abroad.
  • Etc.

Medical insurance with travel assistance Aegon

For all this, your health insurance, such as  Full Health, is your answer. On the one hand, you have all the security of having the most complete health coverage in Spain, which is where we travel the most. Specifically, more than 50,000 doctors and more than 1,000 clinics throughout the national territory, which includes the most renowned medical centers.

But also, with your health insurance,  this coverage is extended when you travel outside our borders. Specifically, it covers all medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, and hospitalization expenses that you may have up to a maximum of 15,000 euros.

All this without having to pay more, or worry about taking out insurance every time you go on a trip. Thus, not only do you cover your day-to-day prevention and health care needs, but it also allows you to travel with the utmost peace of mind of having the best coverage for your most precious items.

Travel assistance coverage in home insurance

Actually, more than travel assistance, what many home insurances include are coverages that also protect you outside the home and they do so with family civil liability coverage.

This guarantee is the one that covers you for damages that you may cause to third parties and is mandatory in policies such as car insurance (hence the mandatory insurance is called third-party insurance). This guarantee can be useful if you cause damage, but it will not specifically help you on your travels.

In addition to this coverage outside the home, there are others such as robbery, robbery, or theft on the street, which can be useful, and some specific to travel assistance, such as travel and hospitalization expenses or loss of luggage. However, this level of coverage is much less common and is only included in the most comprehensive multi-risk home insurance policies.

What to do before traveling

Before traveling, analyzing our health policy should always be our first step, and for this, it is very helpful to contact and inform us about our company.

It is important that we keep all the updated data, not only our insured card but also the contact telephone number, without forgetting that the “900” customer service telephone numbers are not valid outside our borders and therefore we must write down what corresponds for assistance abroad, therefore carrying a copy of our policy is always of great help.

If necessary, we must communicate this incident as soon as possible and our company will indicate the steps to follow as well as the benefits to which we are entitled.

Now that you know how it works and what the coverage includes, it is easy for you to have guessed that the best way to save with travel assistance is to know what you need to hire and in what cases.

By Cary Grant

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