FAQ Friday is here!
One of the most frequent questions we get from clients during the planning and booking process is “what does travel insurance cover and do I really need it”.
Travel insurance, like any other type of insurance, is there to cover you for 2 basic things…financial loss and unexpected circumstances. Think about the financial investment you’ve made in your vacation package. Can you afford to lose that amount of money if something happens and prevents you from going? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “oh I don’t need insurance, I’m going on this trip no matter what…”. Well, chances are you probably won’t be going if you’re laid up in the hospital, or a close relative suddenly passes away just before you’re about to depart. If you’ve only purchased a $99 airline ticket on Southwest to visit grandma in Florida, then trip insurance probably wouldn’t be necessary. But if you’ve just dropped three, four, five thousand dollars (or more) on a vacation package, think about the financial ramifications if you suddenly couldn’t go and weren’t able to recoup that money. You may have been scrimping and saving for a year or more to pay for your vacation, and without insurance chances are you’re out that hard-earned money. That’s a big hit!
Unexpected circumstances, well the name says it all. We don’t “expect” to have things happen like being being diagnosed with a blood clot and ending up in the hospital, being diagnosed with cancer or having a loved one suddenly pass away. Yes these are all things we’ve had happen in the past year to clients that have forced them to cancel a planned vacation (thankfully each of them DID purchase trip insurance and they were refunded the amount paid for the vacation by the insurance company). You know the old adage, “life happens”. Many times it happens in ways we don’t expect, but it’s best to be prepared.
A recent real-life (and heartbreaking) example is this story about a mother and son who were cruising when the son suddenly had his appendix burst (who would ever expect that?) and had to have emergency surgery in Mexico. Unfortunately she didn’t purchase travel insurance, and is now faced with thousands of dollars in medical bills while struggling to get them flown back to the US.
Depending on the type of policy purchased (there are many options, which is yet another great reason to work with a travel agent who can cut through the confusion and help you decide which type of policy is best for you) coverage can include:
- Cancel for any reason coverage, where you can cancel right up until your flight departure time and receive a full trip refund (less the cost of the insurance policy of course)
- Medical coverage
- Trip interruption and delay
- Baggage loss and delay
- Emergency evacuation (being flown from your destination back to the US or a more suitable medical facility)
The biggest thing it can provide is peace of mind, knowing your trip investment is covered.
How much does it cost? Policies vary by a number of factors, such as age of the travelers, cost of the trip, where you’re traveling and what type of policy is purchased. On average, travel insurance generally will cost between 4 and 10% of your vacation price (again, depending on those factors previously mentioned). It’s a very small price to pay for the benefits it provides.
Do we recommend the purchase of travel insurance? ABSOLUTELY! And as a side note, yes I personally purchase travel insurance for EVERY single trip I take, because….you never know what life will bring your way.
Have questions about insurance for your next vacation getaway? Call us at 301.884.6041 or email me, I’m happy to help!