For example, in addition to emergency medical assistance, AIG travel plans include a range of services such as global travel assistance, security assistance and concierge services.

It’s important to note that the benefits vary by policy, and many providers also offer additional services, says Barto. For example, the assistance service of a travel insurer can help with lost luggage or lost travel documents.

Look for other benefits

One component of traveling is navigating an unknown destination. In an emergency, this can be especially daunting and emotional for travelers.

Allianz Travel, for example, is planning a team of multilingual employees to solve travel problems.

Daniel Durazo, an alliance spokesman, says travelers usually seek help finding a doctor, hospitals or pharmacy, need help with lost documents including passports, or seek resources like ATMs, grocery deliveries or ground transportation.

Another insurer, Trawick International, has an alert system that provides notifications of new safety guidelines, critical weather conditions, and political and safety warnings before travelers go on vacation.

It’s also important to note that 24-hour emergency services aren’t actually payable coverage, says Bailey Foster, a spokesman for Trawick International. The 24-hour hotline coordinates assistance, but the traveler is responsible for payments such as prescription drug replacement or a bank transfer.