AIG Travel plans, for example, include a range of services in addition to emergency medical assistance, such as worldwide travel assistance, security assistance and concierge services.
It’s important to note that benefits do differ by policy and many providers offer additional services as well, says Barto. For example, a travel insurer’s assistance service may be able to help with lost luggage or lost travel documents.
Look for Other Benefits
One component of travel is navigating an unfamiliar destination, and during an emergency this can be especially daunting and emotional for travelers.
Allianz Travel plans, for example, have a team of multilingual staff who solve travel problems.
Daniel Durazo, a spokesperson for Allianz, says travelers typically ask for help finding doctors, hospitals or pharmacies, need help with lost documents including passports, or want to find resources such as ATMs, food delivery or ground transportation.
Another insurer, Trawick International, includes an alert system that provides notifications on new security guidelines, major weather conditions, and political and security warnings before travelers leave for their vacations.
It’s also important to note that 24-hour assistance services are not actually payable coverages, says Bailey Foster, a spokesperson for Trawick International. The 24-hour hotline will coordinate help but the traveler is responsible for payments, like prescription drug replacement or a cash transfer.