You may be wondering why you should spend the extra money on travel insurance when you just spent so much money on your vacation. Ironically, that reason you question buying travel insurance is the exact reason you should purchase it. You should protect the money you have spent on your trip because things can and sometimes do go wrong. Always be prepared for the unexpected.
There are many reasons to buy travel insurance, but this list article concentrates on the top four.
- Medical & Evacuation Coverage
- Trip Cancellation & Interruption Coverage
- Supplier Default Coverage
- Baggage Delay, Loss, or Theft
Please note that this discussion is regarding third-party travel insurance, not buying travel insurance from an airline or hotel.
Why is it recommended to buy third party travel insurance? Because it is more comprehensive than through a travel supplier. Third-party travel insurance can be purchased directly from the insurance company or from your travel advisor at the same price.
Medical & Evacuation Coverage
There is a misconception that your health insurance will cover you while traveling. Some health insurance policies provide no coverage internationally. Many policies do not cover you overseas unless it is an emergency, which is defined by the insurance company. There is a distinct difference between emergency care and urgent care.
If an illness was serious enough to be considered an emergency, you would be covered, but there is an important consideration. Even if your insurance does cover the emergency visit, once someone is stabilized and in need for transport back to the USA, the services are viewed as out of network. As you know, these out of network deductibles are huge.
Medical Evacuation Transport
Being evacuated via plane or helicopter is expensive. If you are on a cruise ship or in a remote area, this is a very real possibility that is very costly. Travel insurance will cover you in this situation.
Guaranteeing a Medical Bill
Many foreign hospitals will insist on prepayment before beginning life-saving procedures. Meaning, you would have to prove that you can pay $25,000 for surgery before the hospital will start operating. Do not get caught in this situation. Imagine trying to prove your financials or find someone to guarantee your bill when you or a loved one is suffering. Travel insurance will immediately guarantee payment.
Additional Costs Due To Medical Emergency
Not only are there hospital costs during an emergency, but the costs of those in your family needing a hotel near the hospital, to stay longer before returning home, and to change flights. Travel insurance covers the cost to upgrade to a first-class seat so that you can lay down on the way home if the doctor orders this. Travel insurance will even pay for a travel nurse to accompany you home if necessary. You will also be reimbursed for any parts of your trip that you and your travel companions were forced to miss as a result of your medical emergency.
Most people think that there is no way they would not go on a trip, but we all know that some things are unplanned. Accidents happen. You need to be prepared in case an accident happens to you.
Reasons People Cancel or Shorten Trips
- Your Health
Nobody expects to wake up one morning unable to walk.
- Someone Else’s Health
Nobody expects to get the call that your mom has been diagnosed with brain cancer and only has six weeks to live.
- Natural Disasters
Hurricanes. Fires. Floods. Volcanos. These things happen and can affect your trip. Believe it or not, it is not as easy to rebook with a supplier due to a natural disaster as you think it should be.
- Jury Duty or Required To Appear In Court
If you are unable to leave for a trip because of legal reasons, you are covered as long as you had the plan before you were notified.
- Terrorist Action
Unfortunately, in today’s world, terrorist action could interrupt your travel.
You watch the news, you know these things occur. Any cancellations or costs associated with interruption would be covered by travel insurance.
Thomas Cook and WOW Airlines are two recent travel supplier defaults that gained a lot of media attention. Imagine if you had traveled to Europe on WOW air and were stuck in Europe once WOW ceased operations. There was no warning. If you had travel insurance, you would be reimbursed for all expenses associated with your new route home.
Baggage Delay, Loss & Theft
If you have traveled via airplane often, you most likely have experienced baggage delay. Some airlines provide an allowance per day, but it is often not enough. Having travel insurance covers you quickly and ensures an easier claim process.
Sometimes your bag never arrives. Or it arrives once you return home. Travel insurance will cover your new bags, toiletries, and clothes.
- You leave all your bags in your car for an hour while you go to take a quick few shots of The Leaning Tower of Pisa. You return to your car and everything has been stolen, including your passports.
- You get pickpocketed on a subway.
- Your backpack full of camera gear is cut off your back.
If anything like this happens to you, travel insurance has you covered.
If your travel insurance policy is purchased within 14-21 days of the initial deposit for the trip (depending on the insurance company) and as long as you are cleared to travel at the time of purchase, pre-existing conditions are covered. If you have a pre-existing condition, it is very important that you keep those deadlines in mind.
Travel is an investment, so protect your investment and purchase travel insurance. The average cost of travel insurance is 4-8% of your total trip cost per person and many policies do not charge for your children. If you travel often, you can even buy an annual plan. Buying travel insurance makes so much sense, so make sure you purchase it before your next trip.
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