Taking a vacation can be a great way to have fun and make some unforgettable memories. However, a vacation can also be the source of a lot of headaches and financial turmoil if you are not insured. Travel insurance is a special kind of insurance that protects you from unforeseen circumstances that can affect your travel plans. Travel insurance can also assist with problems that can arise during your vacation. While travel insurance covers a multitude of situations, here are a few of the most common reasons to secure coverage. By getting travel insurance as you plan your trip, you can avoid these problems and the financial issues they can cause.
Your Trip is Canceled
Airlines often have to cancel flights due to weather problems, particularly around the holidays. If your flight gets cancelled, having travel insurance can cover this so you can go on your trip when weather permits. If the U.S. Department of State issues a travel warning, having travel insurance that covers terrorism threats will allow you to take your trip when the restrictions are lifted.
A Personal Crisis
If something happens in your personal life that could hinder you from going on your trip, you will be thankful that you invested in travel insurance. Unplanned occurrences such as a death in the family, jury duty, emergency military deployment, and personal illness are just a few of the situations that can cause you to have to cancel your trip, often without getting your money back. Travel insurance ensures that you get back the money you spent.
Airline or Cruise Line Files Bankruptcy
Believe it or not, some airlines or cruise lines go bankrupt without cancelling and refunding money to passengers. If you have travel insurance, you can get a plan that will ensure that you are refunded any of your ticket price and additional expenses you paid out to your airline or cruise line in the wake of their bankruptcy. While this is not as common as some other scenarios, it does happen, particularly with smaller companies.
Sickness or Injury during Your Trip
If you become ill or have an injury that prompts you to seek medical care in a foreign country, you should be thankful you have travel insurance. Many people mistakenly believe that countries with universal healthcare or a lower cost of living will allow travelers to pay lower rates for their medical services. While you may not pay as much as you would in the United States, you will definitely still have to pay a sizeable sum if you are uninsured. Universal healthcare does not necessarily extend to tourists, and you will need to have some sort of policy to back you up, especially if you require hospitalization or emergency medical services. Think of travel insurance like you would think of health insurance in the U.S. You wouldn’t go without health insurance, and if you are paying to go on a trip, you should invest in your health as a precaution.
Lost or Stolen Valuables
Some travel insurance policies do cover lost or stolen items. These policies require you to get police documentation of the theft, even if it is unlikely that they will do anything about it. Each company has their own definition of what constitutes “theft” and some will only pay for items of a certain value or if there was a forced theft involved. Be sure to discuss what your insurance provider is willing to pay for before you purchase your policy. This is definitely a necessity for the traveler with expensive equipment, such as cameras, video recorders, and laptops.
These are just some of the scenarios that can arise during a trip abroad or domestically. While travel insurance is typically a short term plan, if you travel for business or fun regularly, you may want to consider taking out a monthly premium, much like you do with your existing health insurance policy. These recurring costs are overall much less expensive than situational travel insurance, and they often provide more thorough benefits.
As you plan your trip, be sure to factor the cost of travel insurance into your budget. These plans cover anything from a death in the family, to a bankrupt airline, to breaking a leg during a hike in a foreign country. Treat travel insurance as you would with any other kind of insurance, and shop around for the best policy. Compare rates and coverage, and ask your provider what they have to offer that is different from their competition. Treat travel insurance as a vital expense in your budget, and you will not have to worry about getting caught off guard while you should be enjoying yourself. Remember that the whole point of a vacation is to have a good time, even if that means being overly cautious.