No matter how much time you spend planning the perfect vacation, you can never guarantee that things will go exactly as expected. For instance, things like illnesses, accidents, family emergencies or unexpected life events can all put a dent in your travel plans. Travel insurance can help you minimize the financial loss of a cancelled trip. However, if you don’t purchase travel insurance, you may need to cancel your trip without reimbursement. In such cases, you’ll be forced to pay for a trip that you never had the chance to enjoy.
Moreover, a travel insurance policy benefits you while you’re on vacation as well. For instance, a travel health insurance plan can protect you in the event of an illness or accident while overseas. If you’re in another country and you require immediate medical attention, your international travel insurance plan may reimburse you for these costs. It can also cover common travel issues like theft and lost luggage.
While you can plan the perfect vacation, you can’t plan for the unexpected life events that may get in the way of your travels. This is particularly true if you book your trip more than one year in advance. For instance, if you or your travel companion become ill just before the trip, you may need to cancel or postpone your plans.
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Moreover, family emergencies such as unexpected deaths, illnesses or births could cause you to cancel or delay your trip. You may even lose your job and find yourself in financial peril when your vacation comes around. If you don’t purchase the best travel insurance you can afford, however, you may need to cancel your trip without getting a refund. In many cases, travel insurance reimburses you for your trip if you need to cancel your vacation or cut the trip short.
If you or another traveler acquires an illness or injury while outside of the country, you may be responsible for paying costly medical bills out-of-pocket. In many cases, you may receive little or no reimbursement from your current health insurance provider. Even if your health insurance plan does cover a portion of these medical costs, you will likely be charged for going out-of-network. However, many travel insurance plans will reimburse you for the total amount of your medical treatment, including any costs for emergency transportation services.
If you book a trip with multiple connections, there’s always the chance that you could miss one or more of your connecting flights. You can even miss a flight due to sleeping in or getting caught in traffic. In some cases, you may have to purchase a new ticket in order to continue your trip or find emergency housing. However, many travel insurance plans will cover the cost of missed or canceled flights and additional hotel or transportation expenses.
Most companies have more than one available travel insurance policy to choose from. Therefore, you can purchase a plan that best fits your travel needs. For instance, various types of policies may cover trip cancellation expenses, medical payments, or both. Additionally, many policies cover the following travel expenses:
If someone steals your money or items while you’re on vacation, many travel insurance policies will reimburse you for your loss up to a certain amount. You can be reimbursed for the cost of lost or stolen jewelry, cameras, electronics, furs, sports equipment or other personal belongings commonly brought on vacation. While a travel insurance policy will typically protect you from thefts that occur at the airport, in a hotel, on a bus or in a taxi, specific coverages and exclusions vary by policy.
Some travel insurance policies provide you with 24-hour assistance if you require legal advice, cash transfers, real-time weather reports, medical consulting or concierge services. For instance, insurance companies with 24-hour concierge services can assist you in making hotel or restaurant reservations, booking your transportation, or tracking your baggage.
In some cases, you may not believe that you need travel insurance because your other insurance policies are thorough. For instance, certain credit cards have a built-in travel insurance policy that may cover obvious expenses, such as a cancelled flight. However, there may be gaps in your insurance coverage that you would not expect. For instance, the travel insurance included in credit cards may cover missed flights but not unexpected medical expenses or lost items. Before assuming that your current insurance policies are enough, read the terms and conditions carefully. You may be surprised at what is not included in your current insurance.
If you will be traveling overseas, the U.S. Department of State recommends purchasing travel insurance, as doing so protects you from unexpected medical costs, possible interruptions to your trip, and emergency evacuations. According to the Department of State, the cost of evacuating a crisis area in an emergency can cost more than $100,000 in some cases. However, your travel insurance company can assist you in the event of an overseas crisis, helping you to find safety. A travel insurance policy guarantees that you have a back-up plan in place in a crisis.
After you’ve spent months or years of your hard-earned savings on booking a vacation, the last thing you may want to do is spend more money on insuring your trip. However, many affordable travel insurance policies are available, especially if you purchase a basic cancellation policy without medical coverage.
While the cost of a travel insurance policy will vary depending on the policy type and the value of the trip, you’ll generally need to pay between four and 10 percent of the trip’s total value. If you spent $5,000 on your trip, for instance, you can expect to pay between $250 and $500 on a travel insurance policy.
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