Travel insurance, like any other type of insurance, is there to cover you from two basic things: financial loss and unexpected circumstances. Think about the financial investment you’ve made into your vacation package. Can you afford to lose that amount of money if something happens that prevents you from going? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I don’t need insurance, I’m going on this trip no matter what”. Well, chances are you won’t be going if you’re severely ill, there’s a death in the family or a hurricane strikes your vacation destination (just look at the damage caused this year by multiple storms).
If you’ve purchased an inexpensive airline ticket to visit grandma in the states, then trip insurance probably wouldn’t be necessary. But if you’ve just dropped thousands on a vacation package, think about the financial ramifications if you suddenly couldn’t go and weren’t able to recoup that money. You may have been saving for a year or more to pay for the trip, and without insurance chances are you’re out of that hard-earned money. That’s a big hit!
Unexpected circumstances…the name says it all. We don’t “expect” to have things happen like being hospitalized with a life-threatening blood clot, tripping and breaking a leg, having a loved one suddenly pass away or getting stuck in another country for days due to a lightening strike at the airport control tower. Yes these are all things that have happened in the past year to clients that have forced them to cancel a planned vacation (thankfully each of them DID purchase trip insurance and were refunded by the insurance company). You know the old adage, “life happens”. Many times it happens in ways we don’t expect, so it’s best to be prepared.
A recent real-life, and heartbreaking, example is the story about a mother and son who were cruising when the son suddenly had his appendix burst (who would ever expect that?) and had to have emergency surgery in Mexico. She had no travel insurance and was faced with thousands of dollars in medical bills while struggling to get him flown back to the US.
Depending on the type of policy purchased, coverage can include:
- Cancel for any reason coverage, where you can cancel right up until your flight departure time and receive a full trip refund
- Medical coverage
- Trip interruption and delay
- Baggage loss and delay
- Emergency evacuation (being flown from your destination back to the US or more suitable medical facility)
The biggest thing it can provide is peace of mind, knowing your trip investment is covered.
A knowledgeable travel agent can help you decide which type of policy is best for you.
How much does it cost? Price varies by a number of factors, such as age of travelers, cost of trip, where you are traveling and what type of policy is purchased. On average, travel insurance generally will cost between 4 and 10% of your package cost. It’s a very small price to pay for the benefits it provides. Like any other insurance, you hope you never need it. But when you do need it, it’s priceless.
Do I recommend the purchase of travel insurance? ABSOLUTELY! And as a side note, I personally purchase travel insurance for EVERY single trip I take, because….you never know what life will bring your way.