As travel is beginning to resume, you may be planning your own trip in the coming weeks and months, and wondering whether you should get travel insurance. With everything that has been going on, travel insurance is becoming more important to business travelers and vacationers.
Should you get it? What kind? What will it cover? Here are a few thoughts about travel insurance for future trips, no matter where you go.
CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
If you have to cancel a trip for any reason, or if the airline cancels a flight on their own, you would no doubt like to get a refund for your ticket. If the airline cancels the flight, you will get a refund or voucher for your canceled flight. But if you personally have to cancel the flight due to illness or a schedule change, that’s a different matter.
Without travel insurance, you are less likely to get any kind of refund from the airline, especially if you got a nonrefundable ticket. But your insurance may cost as little as $10 per ticket, and you’ll be able to get most, if not all, of your money back.
This could also come in handy if you were traveling overseas, and a particular country decided to close their borders or have visitors stay in a temporary quarantine, such as the United Kingdom’s 2-week quarantine for most incoming travelers.
Do you know you can lose more than 50 percent of the cost of a cruise or other travel costs (other than airlines) when you don’t have travel insurance and can’t go on your trip? With travel insurance, that percentage is much lower.
For example, if you’re supposed to go on a $10,000 cruise, you could lose at least $5,000 if you had to cancel because of an illness or other extenuating circumstance. But your insurance will be a small fraction of that amount. While it may seem unnecessary, or you think it’s too much for a “just in case,” you should ask yourself if you can afford the 50% loss instead.
To find out how much travel insurance will cost for a particular trip, talk to a travel insurance specialist for rates. Also, consider speaking to an independent agent, rather than buying the insurance offered by the travel provider. You may be able to get a better price and better coverage.
TYPE OF INSURANCE
You can get Package insurance, which covers your entire travel package. Also called trip insurance, vacation insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and so on, it covers cruises and general vacations, and both domestic and foreign travel.
Travel medical covers medical costs related to medical emergencies, accidents, evacuations, and even repatriation. It’s ideal for any kind of travel overseas.
You can even get annual plans for frequent travelers, which means you don’t have to buy insurance with every trip you take. It’s always in effect whenever you travel.
There are other types of coverage, including travel interruption, baggage, pre-existing conditions, and even travel delays.
Again, be sure to speak to a travel insurance professional to find out what kinds of insurance you will need.
TRAVEL INSURANCE AND YOUR CREDIT CARDS
Depending on your credit card, you may even get some insurance coverage for your tickets and rental cars. For example, American Express Gold will provide insurance on your rental car. Other cards may provide you with trip cancellation insurance for flights and hotels.
Of course, you have to purchase your tickets and rent your car with that card to get the coverage. If you’re not sure of what kind of coverage, call your credit card’s customer service line before you buy or rent anything.
Finally, keep in mind that travel insurance may not cover you if you decide to not go on a trip because you’re afraid you might get sick. They’ll cover you if you do get sick or if a family member dies, but they could require a doctor’s note or a death notice to confirm it.
Do you buy travel insurance for your vacations and business travel? Have you ever needed it? Share your stories on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.
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