You’ve just finished consulting with your travel advisor, and gone ahead and placed a deposit on your trip, or you’ve gone online and booked a trip yourself. Travel insurance, that niggling option that comes up after your dream vacation is purchased now is the next step in the travel planning process. If you purchase your trip through a trusted travel advisor, they always ask if you’d like to insure your trip. Every single time. Even the big online travel booking sites offer travel insurance every single time. Just when you thought you had your costs figured out, this adds to your total costs. And I know a lot of you get annoyed with it, thinking perhaps it’s just a way for the online travel company or the travel advisor to grab more money from you.
If you need to cancel your trip because you’re sick, can’t travel due to bad weather, or lose your job suddenly, or any number of other reasons, you don’t want to be out your hard earned money. You’ve invested hundreds or thousands of dollars to take that dream trip, or even to visit Aunt Louise in Sandusky, and you want to be able to recoup all of your costs of traveling. That’s where travel insurance comes in.
I’ve heard of many horror stories of people without travel insurance being hurt overseas, having to scramble to find money to pay in advance to even be treated in a foreign hospital. They’ve had to call family or friends to ask for help. Or have to use their life savings to pay for medical care. Worse yet, imagine not being able to be admitted to the hospital because you can’t find the funds anywhere. That is a dire situation you just don’t want to happen. Unfortunately it does.
Why buy travel insurance? Because you don’t want to lose all of your money if you become ill or injured. Accidents can and do happen while traveling. Did you know that your health insurance probably won’t be accepted overseas. Foreign hospitals and medical facilities expect cash payment up front. And that includes Medicare, which is not covered internationally. If you get badly hurt or extremely sick, and you have to be airlifted back to the US to the nearest high-quality hospital, the costs can be prohibitive, in the six figure area, and that does not include your costs to get you back home.
Other reasons include flight delays, which happen often, as 80% of US flights are delayed, another nearly 3% are cancellations. Insurance that includes travel delay coverage will reimburse you the cost of overnight accommodations, meals, travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a covered departure delay.
What happens when your luggage gets lost? Without insurance, that can ruin your trip. Baggage delay benefits can reimburse you for purchase of essential items during your trip if your baggage is lost or delayed for 24 hours or longer.
One of the best reasons to buy travel insurance is the peace of mind you get from knowing help’s just a phone call away. When you face a crisis while traveling — a medical emergency, a lost passport, a stolen wallet, a natural disaster, etc., help is a phone call away to your travel advisor or the travel insurer directly.
Travel insurance isn’t just for expensive vacations. Travel insurance isn’t just for trips overseas. And travel insurance isn’t just for long journeys. It’s essential to buy travel insurance for every trip, because you never know what might happen when you’re far from home!