If you’re planning a trip, at some point you should give some thought to travel insurance. There are more than a few scenarios that might prevent or interrupt your trip, and most tour operators, airlines, and many online booking sites won’t issue you a refund if you or someone close to you becomes ill or dies, forcing you to stay home. Of course you want to protect your travel investment, but just how much insurance is necessary?
Before you buy more insurance than you need, check your homeowner, auto, life, and health insurance policies to see what coverage you already have. Then consider your risks, and shop accordingly to fill in the gaps. Keep in mind that you should purchase travel insurance as soon as you make your initial deposit because some carriers may offer you additional coverage such as Cancellation for Any Reason, at no additional cost. At the least, you’ll be covered for any of life’s unexpected calamities that may railroad your travel plans. You should expect to spend 5-7% of the total cost of your trip on an insurance policy, depending on your age, health, and the level of coverage you want.
Here are the basic types of coverage and where to shop for it:
- Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption. Check for a policy that protects you in the event you have a medical emergency or a death in the family that will prevent you from taking the trip. Some policies will allow you to cancel for any reason, others will compensate you for travel delays that include reimbursement for expenses related to flight delays (for any reason) such as lost or stolen luggage, and missed connections.
- Emergency Medical Care. It’s wise to have coverage for this on any trip but particularly if you are taking an active vacation. You’re probably at greater risk of injury on a bicycle tour than on an over-the-road motor coach tour but you could trip and fall on the walk from the rest stop to the bus so, protect yourself no matter what you’re doing on your trip! If you are covered at home through a HMO or a network provider plan, you may not be covered if you become sick or injured in another state or country and receive medical care outside your network.
- Medical Evacuation. If you sustain a serious injury that requires transport to a hospital by ambulance (or helicopter) and eventual evacuation back home, that can cost upwards of $100,000. It may be worth it to insure yourself and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are covered for the worst case scenario.
Stephanie is now a licensed home-based travel agent who can assist you with travel insurance. Contact her at StephanieVentures.com to discuss your situation and she will be happy to prepare a quote that meets your particular needs.