10 Reasons to Buy Travel Insurance

If you’ve invested your hard earned savings into a well deserved vacation you would be wise to protect that investment. Here are 10 reasons why.

CANCELLATIONS

1.     You need to cancel your trip. Despite the fact that you’ve been counting down the days to your dream trip there could be any number of unfortunate reasons that you need to cancel. You get sick. Your kid / parent / pet gets sick. Or worse yet, there’s a death in the family. You’re on your way to the airport to catch a flight to a sun filled cruise when you slip on the ice and break your arm. An emergency comes up with a client and you have to stay home to manage the business. Mother Nature wreaked some havoc in your town and you need to repair the damage to your home. We can promise ourselves that nothing will stop us from taking that vacation / cruise / ski trip / African safari / tour of Europe / trip to Graceland / visit to Dollywood. But let’s face it. Shit happens. You can spend years saving for a trip but that investment can be lost in a second when something happens which causes you to cancel your trip. Protect your investment with trip cancellation coverage. Check with your insurance provider for coverage details. In some cases all expenses will be covered, even the lift tickets for your ski vacation. Some providers such as Travel Guard offer coverage for trip cancellation or trip interruption due to conflicts with your job or involuntary job loss. In today’s volatile economy that is rare and valuable coverage.

2.     Your return flight is canceled. If flights are cancelled due to technical problems and you’re bumped to a flight the following day then the airline will usually offer hotel and meal vouchers. However, if the flight is canceled due to weather then you’re on your own for the night (or longer if you’re stuck in a snow storm during a busy holiday weekend). With trip interruption coverage you would be reimbursed for the costs of a hotel stay or the purchase of a new ticket home.

TRIP INTERRUPTIONS

3.     Due to an emergency you need to cut your trip short and return home early. This is another example when you would benefit from trip interruption coverage which would reimburse you for travel expenses that were not used from the missed portion of the trip. You would also be covered for the travel costs to return home or to rejoin the trip at a later date.

 4.     You miss your connecting flight. Missed connections create challenges for all travelers, but perhaps cause the greatest expense to cruise passengers. If you miss your connection and are forced to take a later flight you run the risk of missing the ship. If you arrive at the port after the ship has sailed away then it is your responsibility to purchase a flight or arrange other transport to the next port of call. This expense would be covered by missed connection coverage.

DESTINATION DISASTER

5.     A hurricane strikes your destination and destroys your resort.  With weather/natural disaster coverage you could be reimbursed for any pre-paid travel expenses and receive assistance arranging a new vacation.

6.     A terrorist attack occurs in your destination. Whether the airports are closed in your destination or you’re simply feeling unsafe about the trip you could cancel and be reimbursed for all non-refundable fees with terrorism coverage.

MEDICAL EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE

7.     You become sick or injured during your trip. Even if you have emergency medical coverage in your home country it does not always cover medical care overseas. Additionally if you’re traveling in a country where you don’t speak the language you might need assistance locating the best medical facility and arranging transportation to get there. With travel medical coverage you would receive assistance arranging medical care and the costs of treatment would be covered.

8.     You need to be evacuated for medical reasons. Depending on the destination and severity of the medical condition you might need to be evacuated by air and flown to a medical facility. Medical evacuation coverage allows you to be transported to a medical facility in a medically equipped vehicle (which out of pocket can run into the tens of thousands of dollars).

For Americans who become sick or injured overseas most policies will allow you to be treated and stabilized locally then flown back to theU.S.to a doctor and medical facility which is determined by the insurance provider. However, Travel Guard and Medjet assist offer far superior coverage which includes a medically equipped and staffed jet to fly you to the doctor and medical facility of your choice.

LUGGAGE ASSISTANCE

9.     Your baggage is delayed, lost, stolen or damaged. For delayed bags airlines do not offer reimbursement for necessities until the luggage has been delayed for over 24 hours. With coverage for delayed bags you are usually covered from the time the plane lands and will be reimbursed for the purchase of personal items which are needed to begin your trip.

For lost bags the airlines offer extremely limited reimbursement which is based on the depreciated value of your items while lost baggage coverage provides reimbursement based on the replacement cost of your personal items as well as the luggage itself.

BANKRUPTCY

10.     Your airline, cruise line or tour operator goes bankrupt.  With trip insurance that covers financial default you will be able to recover any prepaid non-refundable expenses.

As bonus coverage most travel insurance plans also include 24-hour travel assistance. This service can be useful in a variety of ways. For example, if your luggage is delayed and you packed your prescription medication in your checked bags you can receive assistance in filling an emergency prescription. If your passport and wallet are lost or stolen you will receive assistance expediting a new passport and an emergency cash advance. Other standard services include multilingual interpreters, medical referrals, emergency transportation reservations and travel arrangements for a family member in the case of medical emergencies. Some providers also offer business assistance and concierge services.

Each of type of coverage listed above can be consolidated into a single Vacation Plan. The coverage can be customized for all types of trip with options including:

  • Trip Cancellation
  • Trip Interruption
  • Trip Delays
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • Lost or Delayed Baggage
  • 24-hour Emergency Assistance
  • 24-hour Travel Assistance

To determine the coverage that is best for you consult your preferred travel insurance provider.

The cost of travel insurance varies but the value of your peace of mind can be priceless.

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