Travel insurance. It’s one of those things that you second guess. “Do I really need travel insurance?” “It’s a waste of money.” “I have never needed it before.”
These things may be running through your mind when your Travel Advisor suggests that you purchase Travel Insurance. You may be thinking that it’s a scam.
Let us ease your mind. Below are a few reasons why travel insurance is a good idea!
The Unexpected Can Happen
Even the most well thought out plans can go awry. Travel insurance helps protect your valuable trip investment, providing many important benefits that are not covered by your health, homeowner’s or credit card insurance programs. It even protects you more than the travel protection offered by the carriers themselves. Here are just a few of the possible things that can go wrong on vacation:
- A family member falls ill.
- A hurricane cancels your cruise.
- You are sick or injured on your trip and need medical care, and emergency transportation return home.
- You drop your camera in the pool.
- Your bags are delayed.
- There’s a family emergency at home.
No one wants to think about the worst case scenario. But it’s is ALWAYS better to plan ahead!
Case in point. Some clients of ours planned a trip to Europe. Everything was set, a wonderful river cruise down the Danube, flights, a rail trip and excursions. Then, in a horrible turn of events, a relative had an accident. It was a situation where immediate surgery was needed, followed by days in the hospital and weeks of rehabilitation.
Because the accident happened a couple of days before they were set to leave, it was too late to cancel many of the arrangements. Enter travel insurance. With doctor’s notes, receipts and proofs of payment for the flights, hotels, train trips and excursions, the trip was reimbursed. Without the insurance, they would have been out the money with no recourse.
Or take this scenario for instance. While on a train trip in Europe, a couple’s train is delayed. This results in the travelers having to stay at a different hotel from the one that they booked. However, their original hotel has a non-refundable policy. Again, enter Travelers Insurance. With receipts from the hotel, a written explanation and note of the delay from Rail Europe train company, they were able to get a refund for the missed hotel stay.
You just never know what can happen. Travel insurance can give you peace of mind.
Lost or Damaged Baggage
Back in 2015, we took a family trip to Puerto Rico. While we were in Puerto Rico, my parents luggage went somewhere else!! Has this ever happened to you? It’s more common of a situation than you’d think.
You have 90 days to claim your lost baggage. After that, it’s sold to a third-party seller! Seriously, did you know there’s a store in Alabama called Unclaimed Baggage? They sell everything from clothing to electronics that have been found in lost and unclaimed baggage.
Lost or delayed luggage isn’t the only mishap that’s possible. What if your bags are stolen, crushed, damaged in an accident or dropped in the ocean? Travel insurance can help! Baggage coverage provides replacement value for the items inside your baggage, as well as the baggage itself. No, it won’t get you your favorite pair of jeans back, but it can buy you a new pair.
Many plans also offer baggage delay coverage. So, they’ll reimburse you for having to purchase new pj’s and toiletries to get you through until you get your bags back.
Travel Insurance picks up what others leave off
Many credit cards offer “Travel and Emergency Services” coverage. Although it is helpful in some situations, you’ll find that the costs associated with that help are your responsibility. Below is a comparison chart of what a credit card travel emergency services plan offers versus what travel insurance can do:
|Credit Card Travel and Emergency Services Coverage||Travel Insurance Coverage|
|Medical Referral Assistance may be provided, which is medical referral, monitoring and follow up. They can help you find English-speaking doctors when you are in a foreign country and help you keep in contact with your family in case of a medical emergency. However, all costs are your responsibility.||Travel insurance companies offer 24/7 assistance services that can help you find and obtain medical help, as well as cover medical expenses, up to a certain dollar amount (based on the policy)|
|Emergency Transportation Assistance can help you make all the necessary arrangements for emergency transportation to the nearest medical facility or back home. However, all costs are your responsibility.||Most travel insurance plans cover medical transportation and the costs associated with it. This includes special medical evacuations.|
|Lost Luggage Assistance can arrange shipment of replacement items if an airline or common carrier loses your luggage. Again, you are responsible for the cost of any replacement items shipped to you.||Travel insurance reimburses you for your lost luggage and also cover losses for anything you need to purchase to make up for having your luggage lost or stolen.|
What about your health insurance coverage? Does it cover you no matter where you are in the world? If you are outside your coverage area, copays are much higher than they are where you live. Also, there’s the deductible to think about. If you are currently on Medicare, it will never cover you outside of the United States.
Travel insurance covers you for medical emergencies on your vacation. This can literally save you thousands of dollars, in the event of an emergency. Unexpected evacuation from a foreign country could cost upwards of $50,000! Don’t leave unprotected!
My cruise company offers a travel proteciton plan
Many times upon booking a cruise, the cruise line will offer some type of protection plan. The fact is though, that the travel protection offered by cruise lines only provide limited coverage and will likely have many more restrictions compared to independent travel insurance.
Travel insurance will give you actual money back for your losses, whereas a cruise company will usually pay you in vouchers for partial credits. What if you were very unhappy with your cruise? Then vouchers will do you little good.
Travel insurance will also cover your non-refundable pre-paid travel costs, such as any flights you purchased or excursions you’ve paid for. If you didn’t purchase these through the cruise company, they will not pay for them should an emergency happen.
Travel Insurance can protect you against the financial default of a supplier
Surprisingly enough, travel suppliers, i.e., cruise companies, airlines, etc., though appearing like thriving companies can go “belly-up” without any prior notice.
What if you have already paid for a cruise, then the cruise line goes bankrupt and ceases all operations? Travel insurance can reimburse you for what you’ve already paid.
Or if an airline goes into financial default but you can find another flight for $100 more, that extra $100 may be covered by travel insurance. If you can’t find another flight, travel insurance will still protect that investment by refunding your trip.
It’s not your fault that a cruise company or airline is having financial difficulty. So make sure you’re not the one paying for it!
Travel Insurance Protects You!
Of course, this isn’t a complete list of everything that travel insurance covers. The coverage varies depending on the company and depending on the plan.
Travel insurance isn’t even as expensive as one might think! Plan on paying only about 4% – 12% of your total trip cost, depending on what plan you choose.
Yes, it is true that you may go your entire trip with everything working out perfectly and not needing the coverage at all. But, will you have the peace of mind that having a safety net provides? Most of us purchase homeowners insurance, car insurance and health insurance. This protects our finances in case of an emergency. Travel insurance is no different.
Can you afford to lose all the money you’ve invested in your vacation? You shouldn’t have to!
The Team at Wander The World can help fit you with a plan that’s just right for you and your trip. We are trained to help you choose a plan to fit your needs. We want to help you protect your investment! Just call us at any time (833) 292-6337 and we’d be more than happy to help you check out your options!
The Team at Wander The World