Car insurance, medical insurance and even life insurance are all part of everyday life for most people. What about travel insurance? What is it and do you really need it? Is travel insurance only for big overseas trips or does it cover domestic family excursions as well?
Everyone has seen cancelled flights on the news and heard the stories of lost luggage at the airport, but most people don’t think about whether or not a situation like this is covered by insurance. Travel insurance is actually designed to cover many things that can happen before or during your trip, and the main purpose is to give you peace of mind while you are away from home.
The most common type of travel insurance is for trip cancellation. This will reimburse you if you have to cancel your trip due to certain covered reasons like adverse weather, illness, or flight cancellations. There is also insurance for an interrupted trip. This will reimburse you if you can’t continue your trip, and some plans will even provide for transportation back to your home or to rejoin your group later if that is possible.
There are lots of different types of travel insurance and lots of different add ons available depending on your needs. Not only can you get coverage for a cancelled trip or lost baggage, but you can also get coverage for damaged and delayed baggage, medical and dental, emergency assistance and transportation. You can even get concierge and ID theft resolution services. These services not only protect you, in some cases, it gives you access to real time help and services during your trip.
It works like any other insurance. You pay your premium and then should something happen, such as your flight gets cancelled, you would file a claim with your insurance company. The insurance company would then reimburse you for the nonrefundable aspects of the trip that you had already paid for.
Travel insurance is pretty straightforward and easy to use. It is recommended that you take a physical copy of the insurance with you, just in case you end up in a situation where you might need it and not have access to the internet. It is also important that you read the fine print on insurance forms. It is sometimes better to buy insurance through a reputable company than through the event you are partaking in. Occasionally a cruise or show will offer credits towards future events rather than a full monetary reimbursement for an event that is cancelled or otherwise missed.
It is best to buy insurance at the same time you purchase tickets or other trip itinerary, after all, insurance only works if you purchase it before something goes astray!
Top Reasons To Purchase Travel Insurance
There are so many times and places where travel insurance can come in handy! Here is a look at the top ten most common reasons that someone might need travel insurance.
- You need to cancel your trip.
Life happens. People get sick, plans change, you could even have a work incident arise. Whatever the case may be, if you need to cancel your trip, travel insurance will reimburse you for your losses.
- You miss your flight.
It can happen for so many reasons. Maybe you overslept or got stuck in traffic. Perhaps there was a local weather event that prevented your flight from leaving on time. Once the flight is missed, there is no recovering and you aren’t going to make the trip. You will need travel insurance to recoup any losses.
- Your destination is destroyed by a weather event.
Suppose there are tornados or a hurricane that damages your trip destination. Maybe the hotel won’t even be a viable option for a place to stay. Travel insurance can cover your prepaid costs so you aren’t left out in the cold.
- You get hurt or sick on the trip.
There are so many fun activities on vacation such as swimming, skiing and hiking. Unfortunately, just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you are immune from accidents. Should you need medical help, you can get travel medical coverage, which will not only cover your bill, but in some cases can help provide you with an interpreter and help you find medical help in the area you are in.
- You lose your luggage or it gets delayed.
If you lose your luggage or it gets delayed, it can put you in a real bind, but you can get travel insurance that covers that. You will be reimbursed for items and clothing that you have to replace. In most cases you will even be reimbursed for the luggage itself.
- You lose your passport.
Some travel insurance can help you get a replacement passport and even cover the cost if yours is lost.
- You suddenly need emergency medical evacuation.
It’s a worst case scenario that no one wants to think of, but that is exactly what insurance is for. Should you have a sudden medical emergency and you are travelling in a remote location, travel insurance that covers such a scenario could be more than cost effective, it could be life saving!
- A terrorist event occurs.
You may have been planning a religious pilgrimage for years, but in this global climate anything can happen. There is special travel insurance that does cover cancellation in the case of events of terrorism, allowing you to recover otherwise non-refundable travel fees when it would be unwise or forbidden to travel.
- Your travel agency closes down.
Sadly, this has happened to a lot of people. You purchase a trip, but before you ever board your flight, the agency you have booked through has closed its doors. A good travel insurance will have you covered.
- You need emergency assistance.
Good insurance coverage will give you emergency assistance. Sometimes it isn’t a need for reimbursement. Sometimes, as a traveller, you may need help finding transportation, a place to stay or navigating an otherwise unfamiliar situation. Emergency assistance provided by travel insurance can help you in these situations.
When planning a trip it might seem to be tempting to cut corners by excluding travel insurance, but it really isn’t something you can afford to be caught without. Should you need travel insurance and be caught without it, the cost could easily be astronomical. If your trip is overseas or to a remote location and something goes wrong, without insurance it is possible you may even be stuck in a disastrous situation that you can not even buy your way out of. It is too late to consider once a medical emergency or natural disaster has occurred while you are thousands of miles from home. It’s not worth the risk. If the trip is worth taking then it is worth insuring.