Travel insurance tips for China

Travel insurance is a good idea — most travelers like the peace of mind of having their bases covered in the unlikely event something goes wrong.

As you can imagine, there’s a wide range of options.  You can find any combination of travel insurance plans and providers to cover you for a variety of risks including:

Trip protection or “cancellation coverage,” which reimburses you if you cancel your trip due to illness, death in the family, or some other unforeseen delay or events (e.g., airline strike, Icelandic volcano, etc).

Medical/Emergency coverage: Can include everything from covering hospital/dental bills to emergency evacuation to accidental death and dismemberment policy.

Luggage coverage: Covers you if your baggage/property is stolen or lost.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Before you buy any travel insurance, check to see what you’re covered for under your existing homeowners or medical policy.  For instance, BlueCross BlueShield actually has worldwide network providers in Hong Kong and Beijing. Similarly, credit cards also provide a lot of travel-related services that most travelers don’t know about.
  • Determine your exact needs first.  Travel insurance has gone from one-size-fits-all to a la carte so you’ll have a lot of flexibility to customize your plan.
  • Read the fine print.  For instance, some plans don’t cover high-risk activities such as certain adventure sports & activities (or will charge higher rates to include them). Also, many policies won’t cover you if you did something bone-headed while you were drunk.
  • Consider only “evacuation insurance.”  If you get sick or injured, you’ll be flown home or to the whatever nearby medical facility your insurer deems necessary.  For example, American Express’ Global Travel Shield offers an annual plan at about $60.

In my research of the best travel insurance providers, I found this great site, Travel Insurance Review — an independent, objective blog with reviews and other resources:

Also, I’ve heard many good things about World Nomads:

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