Travel insurance is not included in program fees, but is highly recommended. Benefits typically include:
- Medical protection. Most medical providers do not cover you outside the United States. Be sure to check with your own provider first.
- Baggage protection including delay, theft or loss
- Trip cancellation or interruption. Depending on the policy, coverage may include injury, sickness or death to you or an immediate family member; damage to your home by fire or flood; jury duty; and cancellation of public transport due to a strike.
- Emergency evacuation.
A good place to start is with your current insurance providers. Your homeowner’s insurance may coverage baggage theft, and your medical insurance may cover you for illness overseas. If not, attaching a rider to a current policy may be the least expensive option.
Next, check your credit card’s travel benefits. Some credit card companies offer insurance on baggage loss, travel accidents, trip cancellation and medical and/or legal assistance when the travel is purchased with that credit card.
Another option is the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT). IAMAT benefits include access to “competent medical care available to travellers by western-trained doctors who speak English besides their mother tongue.” Membership is free, though donations are requested.
Finally, consider purchasing insurance from a travel insurance provider. The following list was compiled from the Internet, suggestions from Study Travel participants and travel magazine listings. It is offered without endorsement by St. Olaf College. Other options are available.
Or you can compare policies at insuremytrip.com or squaremouth.com.
If you wish to purchase travel insurance that covers all pre-existing conditions without question, the time required to do so is often within seven to 10 days after making a deposit on the program, depending upon the policy. If this coverage is important to you, please investigate options carefully and make your decision quickly. Most policies will cover pre-existing conditions no matter when you take out the insurance, as long as the condition has been under a doctor’s care and is a controlled condition.
Some insurance providers will not refund your premium if St. Olaf cancels the program, but will apply it to future travel.
We encourage you to question insurance providers on these issues and ask for thorough explanations.