Do I really need travel insurance?
Expect the unexpected
You find yourself fantasizing about a fun-filled, care-free getaway and the last thing on you mind is something going wrong. But in reality, there are hundreds of circumstances that could cause you to cancel your trip, return home early or force you to seek emergency medical treatment while traveling. Travel insurance provides peace of mind even if you never have to use it.
What could possibly go wrong?
- It’s 10 p.m. and you and your family arrive at the airport for a connecting flight, only to find that your flight is cancelled. Who can help you with finding new flights to get everyone home?
- Your can’t find your bag containing your insulin? You need help to locate your bag as soon as possible and have your emergency prescription filled. Who do you call?
- Your first visit to Europe, and your passport and wallet are stolen. Where do you turn for help in getting emergency cash, and how will you get your passport replaced?
- You’re tour van is in an accident while in Jamaica. Adequate medical treatment is not available. Who will help coordinate a medical evacuation?
- If your sister-in-law becomes seriously ill and you must cancel your trip, what happens to your non-refundable deposits or pre-payments?
- You arrive in Orlando and your luggage doesn’t. Who will help you find it? It might just be delayed, but who will reimburse you for covered necessities? If it’s stolen, who will reimburse you for its contents?
- You’re traveling to Vancouver to embark on an Alaskan cruise of a lifetime and the airline cancels your connecting flight. You can’t get another flight that will get you there on time to board the ship. What will you do?
- You’re walking down a street in Cancun and twist your ankle. Who is able to assist you in finding an English-speaking physician?
- Three weeks before your scheduled arrival, a terrorist incident occurs in the city to which you are planning to visit. Who will reimburse you if you want to cancel your trip?
- You are at a beach resort in North Carolina, and you must evacuate due to a hurricane which has made your resort uninhabitable. Who can help you evacuate safely? Who will reimburse you for your lost vacation investment?
Whether you are flying or driving, traveling solo or with family, travel insurance coverage should travel with you. Programs are available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But sorting through the sea of policies and fine print can be overwhelming. The best advice is to seek advice. As an experienced travel professional, my job is to help you help you choose a policy that’s right for you.
First of all, assess your risk
If an illness, accident or sudden change of plans forces you to cancel or interrupt your travel plans, you face two financial losses:
- Money you have invested in nonrefundable prepayments and deposits
- Medical expenses not covered by your own health insurance provider
What’s the benefit?
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re already protected from another source. What you may not know is that travel insurance protects you and your investment by providing added benefits not covered by your health insurance provider, homeowner’s insurance or credit card company. For example, most health insurance policies will not cover medical expenses that occur outside of their standard coverage area. And don’t for get to read the fine print or call your bank to learn exactly what benefits you have through your credit card account. It usually doesn’t cover as much as you think.
Even the very basic travel insurance policy will protect you where the others leave off, like in the event of trip cancellation/ interruption, emergency medical expenses, and protection against damage, theft and loss of personal property.
Still unsure if it’s worth the investment? Ask yourself these questions:
- Can you afford to miss your trip and lose your investment too?
- Can you afford to pay to return home if you suddenly have to end your trip?
- Does you medical insurance cover you wherever and whenever you travel?
- Can you afford to purchase clothing and other necessities if your luggage is lost or stolen?
- Would you know what to do or where to go if an emergency situation or evacuation occurred while you are in a foreign country?
- Can you afford to pay high deductibles and co-pays when you are outside of the standard coverage area?
How much does travel insurance cost?
The cost of your policy is based on the overall cost of your trip. If you are traveling as a family, most providers offer affordable plans designed to cover your family trip investment, and include free coverage for children under the age of 18 as long as they are traveling with an adult.
Most insurance companies also allow you to customize a plan that works best for you. This means that you can purchase a basic comprehensive plan that includes coverage for trip cancellation/ trip delay, emergency medical, baggage protection and 24 hour assistance; and then you have the option to add only the additional coverage that you need. For example, you can add on protection for car rental damage, or coverage that will reimburse you if you have to cancel for a work related reason.
Want an estimate?
Simply give us the date-of-birth for everyone in your party, the state in which you reside, your destination and travel dates, and estimated cost of travel and we can provide you with an estimate within minutes.
It’s important to plan ahead. Most insurance providers require you purchase travel insurance within 2-3 weeks of the time you put a deposit on your trip. Travel insurance offers peace of mind. Do you need it? We hope not. But why not leave your worries behind knowing your family is protected.
Have more questions about protecting your travel investment? Contact me for a detailed explanation and free no obligation estimate.