Travel insurance is often times overlooked by many travelers when planning their vacations until it is too late. Read on to learn the pros and cons of purchasing travel insurance
The Pros and Cons of Purchasing Travel Insurance
According to a study done by the United States Travel Insurance Association, 60% of Americans are concerned about the safety and security of their overseas travel destinations. This ranks higher than concerns about health or automobile accidents. With so many worried about personal and financial well-being when travelling, some think purchasing travel insurance is a no-brainer. Learn the benefits and disadvantages of buying traveler’s insurance for your next trip.
Insurance can benefit you in a number of ways. No matter your age, the size of your travelling group or destination, you can find a variety of plans to suit your needs. While the primary benefit of travel insurance is to protect against unforeseen circumstances, there are a number of other reason to purchase travel insurance for your next trip.
Benefits the Elderly and the Young
Travel insurance can literally save your child or aging relative’s life. If you travel with either of these age groups you run the increased risk of a medical emergency or issue. This is especially compounded when travelling abroad. Many policies include these following options:
- Medical Treatment –Covers the cost of treating an emergency in or out of a hospital.
- Medical Assistance and Evacuation –Covers the costs of taking an individual to a hospital.
- Hospital Coverage –Limited coverage provided to take care of in-patient treatments in a foreign hospital. Usually a small amount is provided for each day spent in the hospital.
- Personal Accident –An option to allow you to purchase a small amount of life insurance coverage on a person, in the event of death or permanent disability.
These options should be considered for anyone who is planning a trip involving a high amount of activity or danger. Backpacking in a jungle, travelling through a country with political unrest or other adventure-themed trips can become significantly safer with the proper amount of coverage.
Insurance Covers More than Canceled Trip Fare
As mentioned above, travel insurance plans can be purchased to cover medical aid in addition to air fare. Insurance can cover even more issues that crop up during a trip. Look at some of the other situations that your travel policy can cover.
- Trip Cancellation – from weather issues, to personal health, travel insurance plans cover common cancellation reasons up to 100% of the cost.
- Trip Interruption or Delay –some plans will offer more than 100% of the trip’s worth because of unforeseen circumstances
- Missed Connections –coverage if you miss a flight, train, boat or other mode of transportation.
- Auto Rental Collision Coverage –a good idea for anyone getting a rental car for long term use.
- Airline Accident Coverage –protects you in case of a flight crash. Some credit cards such as American Express Platinum card provides travel accident insurance as part of their travel benefits.
- Baggage –some policies will cover the cost of your baggage if it goes missing or money and other property stolen while you are on a trip.
If you spent thousands of dollars on a dream trip to Costa Rica, or have planned the perfect honeymoon or other getaway that costs you both time and money, travel insurance can help put the stressful mind at rest. Insuring your expensive trip will help you avoid losing your money and your sanity. Especially if you trip is intended as a time for relaxation and recuperation from the everyday grind, travel insurance will help instill peace of mind.
While freedom from financial worry may mean more to you than any amount of money, for some, the price of insurance may be too costly to afford. Figure out what the pitfalls of purchasing travel insurance are.
It Will Cost You
Yep, about 5% to 15% of your trip. So if you bought a cruise and destination package to the Bahamas for $5,000, a comprehensive policy could range around $250 to $750. In addition some plans will not offer the type of coverage you are looking for, which will force you to purchase additional expenditures with piece-meal policy additions.
It Does Not Cover Everything
If it rained the first three days of your honeymoon vacation, don’t think about calling your insurance company and asking for money. Your policy may cover you if you have to cancel a flight due to the hurricane-like forces outside, but if it rains on your parade, and you can’t swim with the dolphins, you are out of luck. Other things travel insurance may not cover includes:
- Itinerary Changes –if you add to or change your itinerary you insurance coverage may not protect you.
- After the Fact Policy –don’t try to purchase travel insurance after your flight was canceled. It is already too late.
- Certain Cancellation Restrictions –if you cancel your trip other than the reasons outlined in your policy. For instance if a member in your family falls ill and you decide to stay and take care of him or her, you will not be reimbursed.
You Have to Shop Around
To get the best value for your money, you have to be willing to shop around to get the best coverage. Check out these travel insurance comparison sites to help jump-start your research.
- Ustia.org – The United States Travel Insurance Association
Buy your travel insurance policy when you make your initial trip deposit. Read the terms carefully and look at the conditions and exclusions the policy does not cover. A wary examination will protect you from spending additional money for insurance and then not getting receiving the coverage you need when an emergency arises.
Ashyia Hill is a social media advocate with CreditDonkey where she helps families find the best airline rewards credit card this summer. Remember, the choice to buy or not to buy travel insurance depends on many factors, including your personal circumstances.