Travel Insurance...Do you need it?
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
As I mentioned last week on my Facebook Live, a client had to cancel her cruise that was sailing this week at the last minute due to business commitment. They weren't happy about it but were relieved to know that by purchasing the travel protection they will only be losing out on a minimal amount of their investment.
Most people think that purchasing insurance is a waste of money. Those same people also think that nothing can go wrong before or during their vacation. As with any additional costs when traveling, you must weigh the pros and cons. So, let's look at some of the general things that are covered under a travel protection plan. Keep in mind that there might be some differences in what coverage you will need for cruises versus land vacations, but the general idea is, it doesn't hurt to have it.
What does the insurance cover?
Trip cancellation: This is the base insurance. In most cases you will be able to get your money refunded to you as long as you have the correct proof of the reason you are cancelling.
Pregnancy (Child birth)
Death of you or travel partner
Divorce from your travel partner
Being laid off
Major illness (see note below on pre-existing conditions)
Notice I don't have listed that you will be covered for work related commitments. That is because "I changed my mind or I can't make it" isn't a valid reason to cancel your travel as far as the insurance company is concerned.
Stolen/Lost Luggage: This is pretty self-explanatory and mainly it’s for big electronic items. You get a reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage but don’t expect it to amount to the headache that you would have acquired from the experience.
Trip Interruption: Full or partial reimbursement for a trip you need to cancel prior to departure, a trip that gets cancelled because a tour company or resort goes out of business, or a trip that gets cut short for a wide variety of reasons.
Emergency Medical: This basically covers the medical care you will need if you were to get sick while on travel.
*Side note: While we were in Tennessee last year, my husband ended up in the emergency room the second day we were there. Imagine if we were out of the country and he needed medical care? That cost alone is enough to make you sicker.
Just because you have health insurance at home does not mean that it will cover you on your trip. You need to check the ins and outs of your health insurance policy. It may cover you while you travel, but many do not. In fact, some insurance policies don’t even cover health emergencies experienced on foreign-flagged vessels - which is what most cruise ships are. Check with your provider, ask me for suggestions, and of course direct any insurance-related questions to the provider.
Emergency Evacuation: Imagine you are enjoying an excursion in an exotic location and you hurt yourself. You have to be transported to the nearest facility/town. That, my friends, is where this comes into play. You most likely would not have a say as to which treatment location you are taken to because it’s stipulated by the insurance company, but it will pay the coverage for that transport and to get you home. This is also for disaster, dangerous weather, and political emergency.
Pre-Existing Condition: This isn’t always offered so it’s best to shop around or have me as your agent know ahead of time that this is a concern. If you think you will need care while in a different country, it is important that we make sure you purchase the correct coverage. Don’t assume that you will be covered.
What isn’t covered by insurance?
Please note that there are more things that can be covered by the insurance coverage you decide to purchase, however, note that you cannot claim inconveniences. Things happen when you travel and sometimes, we end up not having a good time. Those are not reason enough to file a claim.
How much does it cost?
That is the first question I get from my clients. I actually will only send quotes with insurance already quoted. I let my clients review the policy and decline if they so desire.
There are several types and levels of insurance. The main items that factor into the price are, the length of the trip, cost of the trip, who is being covered, and which coverage you choose. Third party companies charge roughly between 5% and 7% total cost of your trip. I also advice to purchase it during your booking process. It could make a difference if you don’t qualify for the reasons above if you are able to recoup any money/credit back.
So, you still want to know if you should purchase insurance?
Weigh the cost of the trip with the cost of insurance. If you just bought a $79 ticket for a quick weekend in Chicago - is it worth it? Maybe, maybe not. If, however, you’re headed out on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that you’ve been saving for for months, travel insurance is likely a great idea.
If you’re looking to maximize your fun and minimize your risk, travel insurance might be just the right option for you. Take your time, ask tons of questions, and find what works best for you and your family.
Have questions about insurance – or any other travel-related topic? I’d love to sit down with you in person or over the phone and get to know you and your travel plans better. To get in touch, just click here.