I travel a lot for both business and pleasure. Prior to opening a Travel Agency, I worked for 30 years for the Government where travel was a required necessity of the job. While in the Government I did not need travel insurance because employees were fully covered. On our family/friends vacations, I never purchased trip insurance because I thought it was a waste of money or we could not afford it at the time.
This all changed when I was in my early 40s and I slipped on the ice about a month before an expensive cruise vacation. I broke my leg and the doctor would not clear me to travel the following month because of the possibility of blood clots. My husband and daughter weren’t able to go because they needed to stay home to care for me. So all 3 of us lost our entire $7,000. cruise payment. Up until this time, I never thought something would happen to me because we were active and healthy, but it did. I now never book any type of trip without travel insurance.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about trip or travel insurance:
I spend a lot of time in Spain and my personal health insurance does not cover many important traveler problems such as medical evacuations. Medical evacuation coverage is the coordination and payment of medical transportation while traveling. It pays for the expense of getting the sick traveler back home. It is recommended that each traveler heading to Europe have $50,000 to $100,000 in trip insurance medical evacuation coverage. If you decide to purchase airline offered insurance while buying flights online make sure to scrutinize what is covered in the policy because if the medical health and evacuation coverage is not included this might not be the best interest of you or your family.
If you have a pre-existing condition and you want your condition to be covered by travel insurance, you must purchase trip insurance within 14 days of the booking /deposit. If you are healthy you can buy your trip insurance right up to departure. This is a valuable option but it also has risks. If you should fall or get sick prior to the insurance purchase your illness might not be covered. Also, if the National Weather Service declares a major weather event such as a hurricane or blizzard and you still haven’t purchased the policy once the announcement has been made, even if the blizzard is a week or two away, you might not be covered if the flights are canceled or delays. An example would be you book a cruise in June for September without insurance, you decide in August you want to buy insurance for the cruise, but before you pay for the policy the National Weather Service announces that Hurricane Ashley is in the Tropics, at this time you would probably be too late to be covered for trip delay or cancellation if the hurricane causes travel delays. You need to buy the policy before the weather event is announced or new medical issue surfaces.
Also, consider your travel companions and family. The entire family needs to be jointly covered in case there is a medical issue overseas or one member needs to end the trip early, cancel completely, or if there is an airplane delay or cancellation because of weather.
There is one trip insurance company called Travel Guard, which is highly respected and I often recommend, that lets you add your children to the policy for free. This can save families a tremendous amount of money when they are traveling as a family by adding the kids to the parent’s travel policy without additional costs.
I now sell Travel Guard Trip Insurance as part of my travel business, Sailor’s Delight Travel, and proudly endorse this insurance. See my website for a quote or additional information.
I have copied the below 10 Reasons from the Travel Guard website. I especially think number 4, 5 and 9 are vital.
10 Reasons Travel Insurance Is A Pretty Smart:
When you travel, things happen. They just do. But we’re here, ready to be a fantastic travel companion day or night, rain or shine. Here are 10 situations that really happen. And when they do, you’ll be quite happy we have your back.
- It’s 10PM. You’ve just landed at the airport to catch your connected home. Your family is tired and wants their own beds. But now, you just found out your flight has been canceled. This isn’t fun. So, who will find you a flight home?
- You’ve lost your bag. And your bag had your meds. So you need to find your bag ASAP. Who can help you find that bag or refill your emergency prescription?
- Ah, Europe. You’ve waited to take in all the grandeur new and old. But someone not very nice just stole your passport and wallet. Yikes! You need emergency cash. You need a new passport. You need someone who can get things done fast. Who is that someone?
- Uh oh. You’re in an accident and the medical treatment you need is not happening way out there. That means a medical evacuation. Are you going to coordinate all of that alone after you’ve been in an accident?
- Your extended family has been planning the annual reunion for months. But hours before you take off, your sister-in-law gets too sick to go. So everyone decides to cancel. What happens to your non-refundable deposits or pre-payments? Who can help with reimbursement?
- You arrive in Jamaica, but your luggage doesn’t. Who will find it? Who will pay for your travel necessities until you are reunited with your beloved bag? And if it is gone for good (we’re sorry), who will cover all the stuff you just lost?
- The trip sounded amazing, so you booked it. But then your cruise line, airline or tour operator goes bankrupt. Yes, it happens. So what about the non-refundable expenses? And who can get you to your destination now?
- You’re walking down a historic old street in Rio. It’s amazing. Then suddenly, ouch, you twist your ankle big time. You need a doctor, but not just any doctor. One who preferably understands English. Okay, how will you find this doctor in a city of 6.5 million people?
- A reality is that terror can strike anywhere. Three weeks before your trip, an incident occurs where you are headed. Maybe you still go. Or maybe you decide to cancel your trip. If you do, who is going to get your money back?
- Sun. Sand. Water. There’s nothing like the serenity of a beach resort. Unless a hurricane blows through and spoils the fun. Now, you can’t stay in the resort and need to be evacuated out. Who gets you out? Who reimburses you for the lost beach days?