travel insurance

Travel Insurance | What You Need to Know Before Buying a Policy

If you are traveling this summer, then you most likely have everything booked from your flight to the fun excursions you can’t wait to do. What about travel insurance? For some people, it may not make sense to purchase travel insurance while others may want to consider purchasing travel insurance based on their destination. There are a number of reasons you should consider travel insurance including: accidents, illness, missed flights, lost baggage, theft, emergency evacuations and many more. Before purchasing travel insurance, consider where you are traveling to, what you are traveling for and what you will be doing once you arrive. Then ask yourself, “do I need travel insurance?”.

What does travel insurance cover? Generally speaking there are two main types of coverage. There is the basic trip cancellation protection which covers lost baggage, a refund if you can’t travel due to an illness or injury, and reimbursement if you miss a connecting flight. The other option is comprehensive travel insurance. Companies such as Travelex and Travel Guard cover everything the basic trip cancellation protection policy does, but also includes coverage for any expenses towards medical or dental emergencies, disaster evacuations, or costs associated with accidental deaths. Consider your vacation as an investment. If something were to happen, would you be okay losing that money? That can help guide your decision on if you need travel insurance. 

Next we will go over the reasons why you do and don’t need travel insurance.

Reasons You Do

  1. International Trips – international travel requires planning months in advance and could be very costly. Most people end up paying 70-80% of their trip upfront and because of this, it’s important to consider travel insurance to cover your finances should anything go wrong. 
  2. Medical Emergencies – having medical insurance can help you avoid out-of-pocket expenses should anything happen during your trip. A majority of medical insurance plans will cover “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad, especially if you are in a major city like Paris or London. However if you run into a serious issue, your medical bills can become costly and may not be covered under your personal policy. For example, a medical evacuation, depending on your location and how serious your injury is, can cost up to $50,000 according to the U.S. State Department.  
  3. Cruises – Cruises hit all the major areas where comprehensive insurance is recommended, especially for those who have booked cruises during hurricane season. Going on a cruise during hurricane season will surely get you some great deals, however you want to make sure you purchase travel insurance the same time you book your cruise. If the hurricane is spotted and named beforehand, you will no longer be able to purchase coverage. 

Reasons You Don’t

  1. U.S. Travel – Typically, people traveling within the U.S. don’t spend as much money on their vacation as those travleing abroad. It also doesn’t really require as much planning in advance as international travel does. Plus, if you have medical insurance, you would be covered by your existing insurance plan should anything occur during your trip. 
  2. If Your Credit Card Offers It – Some credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, offer travel insurance as a perk for being a member. For example, they offer built-in trip interruption insurance that reimburses you up to $10,000 per person if your trip is interrupted for any reason such as illness or weather. The Citi Prestige and Citi Thank You Premier credit cards also offer baggage and trip cancellation protection. 
  3. Your Flight – if you are looking to just insure your flight with basic coverage, it is most likely not worth the extra cost. Let’s say for example your flight is cancelled. If you are aware of your rights as a passenger, then you would know that you are entitled to have the next available seat on the next available flight going to your destination. Whether or not you have travel insurance doesn’t make a difference in this scenario.

Travel insurance is a good way of protecting your investments and making sure that if things do go wrong, you have the protection you need. Be sure to have all necessary documentation on hand in case of emergencies. Need a copy of a birth certificateVitalChek offers fast and secure services for all your official document needs. Safe travels!

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