Since the term “travel insurance” consists of two pieces – travel and insurance – the places where you buy travel insurance are the places where you buy travel, plus the places where you buy insurance. This means:
Regulations typically prohibit insurance from being included automatically when you book a cruise or buy an airline ticket; you have to be offered it, and you have to accept the offer.
Or you have to shop for it on your own.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to buy travel insurance. Just understand your options and don’t always settle for the first plan you’re offered.
Basically, you can be offered travel insurance through any of six channels:
This is called “buying direct,” because you’re buying directly from an insurance company.
In the case of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, that’s one of the few ways you can buy.
If you want the revolutionary traditional-insurance-with-flight-protection coverage of ExactCare Extra®, there aren’t many places you can find it outside of BHTP.com.
Buying direct can mean …
If you like keeping things easy and efficient, buying direct is perfect.
Travel insurance aggregators bring together plans from many different travel insurance companies, so you can compare similar plans and choose one with the right amount of coverage and the best rate.
Aggregators are a popular way to buy travel insurance. Here’s why:
Not all companies and/or their products may be listed. Also, if a product doesn’t fit well into a display grid – like ExactCare Extra® or AirCare® – an aggregator may not offer it.
However, for the best selection and the ability to comparison shop, it’s worth the time to check out an aggregator.
Travel professionals have long been the main channel for selling travel insurance, and they’re still some of the best advocates for travel insurance.
They can tell many stories about how travel insurance saved one of their travelers – or how someone opted not to buy travel insurance, and suffered the consequences.
Many travel professionals have their customers do one of two things in regard to travel insurance:
Many travel professionals have been in the business a decade or more, so they understand travel insurance and can do a good job explaining it to their customers.
However, most professionals only work with two or three travel insurance companies; if you want a plan that’s offered by a different company, you either have to buy direct or through an aggregator.
Not many insurance agents sell travel insurance, and if they do, they don’t usually offer traditional types of travel insurance.
Instead, they’ll often offer specialized plans, like:
If you have a complicated trip that requires a lot of specialized coverage, you may wind up working with an insurance agent. Otherwise, the other channels should work fine.
Your tour operator, airline, or cruise line may offer travel insurance as part of your purchase process.
Often these are low cost, low coverage plans. It’s important to read them closely and note:
Buying insurance at the same time you book a flight or cruise online sounds good; make sure the coverage meets your needs.
Travel insurance may be “automatic” when it comes through your credit card.
Often credit cards will extend “automatic” protection to travel expenses purchased through that card. The coverage usually only extends to purchases made on the card, and substantiation is required.
Travel assistance occasionally is offered through credit cards as well.
Credit card travel insurance can be a helpful addition to a travel protection portfolio, but it’s not necessarily a substitute for comprehensive travel insurance for most travelers and common travel scenarios. You should review the policy details to understand what you are being provided and, perhaps more importantly, not provided.
Now that you know where to buy travel insurance, take the next step and get a quote.
As we noted, buying direct is one of the easiest ways to buy travel insurance. Getting a quote is fast, and there’s no obligation.
And should you have problems, we’re right here to help.
The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. Coverage and benefits will vary depending on product and state of residency. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276.