Should you get Travel Insurance…
Why would you need insurance? As with anything there are no guarantees and there is always a risk something can go wrong.
There are many reasons to get travel insurance but, will you ever use it? Have you had to use car insurance, homeowners, fire, health and even life insurance. That’s a questions everyone ask’s and guess what…no simple answer.
- A flight is or hotel room is cancelled.
- A company you have contracted with goes out of business after you have pre-paid for the service.
- Your luggage or other property is lost.
- Your evacuated out of an area because of a bad weather, terrorism or sudden conflict.
- A medical emergency
- A personal interruption that forces you to cancel part of your trip.
- A car or other accident that creates liability.
Some people think the risk is minimal do not feel the money is well spent and others will pay just to have peace of mind. It can also depend upon your personal circumstances, have you been dealing with personal issues or a family member in poor health lately that could interrupt your trip? You should first check with your insurance carrier and see if you are covered for any situations. Insurance companies are regulated by each state and coverage varies from Maine to Hawaii. Some will cover cost when you directly purchase the services but, not if it is purchased by a travel agent so coverage may vary from state to state. Not all companies are licensed to do business in every state so make sure your company is licensed in your state otherwise you could have difficulty getting a claim.
- Will your home owners or renters policy cover any loss of property?
- You can buy travelers insurance for your flight from most airlines when you book your ticket.
- Does your medical insurance cover international use?
- Chances are your car insurance does not cover you abroad.
- Temporary coverage is available just for the duration of your stay in Europe. Some credit card companies offer a small charge for your next several rentals when you use their card for the rental fee. You can also buy a Collision Damage Waiver of insurance from your car rental company. It will only be applicable for that rental period contract.
Many frequent travelers have never had travelers insurance and have never had to use it. However, there is always that slight chance an emergency arises and then we are looking at some unwanted financial costs. Evaluate your risks, what countries are you visiting and what areas? Is there political unrest, are these usually safe areas to travel in. What activities will you be doing? Accidents could result from hiking in the mountains, skiing, biking and your medical coverage will not be acceptable in another country.
Emergencies like, hotel or plane cancellations that could result in alternate plans and more money. Emergency evacuations, lost baggage, vehicle accidents, health issues that require treatment or hospitalization.
Should you have an elderly family member with serious health issues you may want to consider travel insurance. Should your trip be interrupted by a phone call from home that requires your presence back home immediately. You’ll need to cancel existing reservations you have already paid for and assume additional exchanging fees for re-booking.
Travel Insurance usually breaks down into two components:
- Basic Trip Cancellation Plans… These will cover lost baggage, reimbursements if you miss a connection or refunds for becoming ill or sick.
- Comprehensive Trip Plans…Coverage of those covered on a basic plan as well as medical or dental emergencies, disaster evacuations and even accidental death. These can be looked at as both a travel and medical plan rolled into one.
Cost can run around 5% to 10% of your initial trip cost. If your expenses before traveling are $5,000 your insurance premium could range from $250. to $500. There are many plans with optional coverage for different situations so shop carefully and make sure you are covered for only the things you will be doing.
For an additional cost many airlines offer trip protection when you book your ticket. EU countries require airlines to refund customers on delays and cancellations. See our Airline page for more on passenger rights. Many credit cards offer coverage when you use their card for purchases. See if your cards offer protection.
The following is a list of insurance providers. As with regular travel insurance policies vary from one company to another. Some policies may cover regular coverage for flight cancellations, etc. and health care. Read and compare all policies carefully to make sure you have the coverage you need so you can travel with confidence.
Companies that specialize in Travel Insurance…
Allianz Travel Assistance & Insurance Richmond, VA 866-884-3556
HCC Medical Insurance Services Indianapolis, IN 800-605-2282/ 317-262-2132
Travel Guard Stevens Point, WI 800-826-1300 / 715-345-0505