Do I need to buy travel insurance?
That is the big question among many travelers these days. You hear the warnings and most travel agents these days recommend travel insurance for ANY vacation. Is it really necessary?
We believe it is…..in many cases.
There are a number of unexpected circumstances that could arise prior to your trip that would make travel insurance vital to you getting your money back. Travel insurance was created to act as a saving grace to people whose trips become cancelled due to these circumstances.
Whether the airline unexpectedly goes out of business a week before your trip or you become ill and are unable to travel, travel insurance ensures that your money will be refunded if the travel plans are not carried out as planned. Did you hear about the family that had the unfortunate news of finding out their son has cancer weeks before a scheduled cruise?
I feel badly for the family, I can’t even imagine getting that diagnosis but I also don’t know that the cruise line should be held responsible. The family didn’t buy any insurance (silly if you ask me for a vacation investment of over $4,000 from what I understand). We all have to make the choice to buy travel insurance or not. If you choose not to, then you have to take responsibility for that. Period.
Although I have never been on a cruise, Norwegian Cruise Lines did say they would help the family when they were ready to re book their cruise. I believe they would have truly helped them figure it out.
There are a number of areas where travel insurance can help you out while on vacation.
If you are traveling abroad you might want to look into your regular insurance plan to make sure it would cover you in a foreign country. Some insurance plans will not cover medical expenses in other countries or are not accepted in other countries. If this is true of your insurance then any medical expenses or emergencies that may arise while you are away will not be covered. By purchasing travel insurance, you are guaranteed to be covered in any medical situation that may arise.
Make sure the medical coverage part of the insurance policy is well stipulated and be sure you understand it well and know what is and is not included. If the policy is for the whole family, make sure all members of the family are included. Some insurance policies limit to a certain number of persons.
Here’s something interesting…. if a terrorist act suddenly breaks out in an area that you have booked a flight to, the airline is not required to provide you with a refund if you choose not to travel to the area because of terrorism – that is, unless you have travel insurance. Given the unpredictability of these events in today’s world, you never know where or when a troubling situation may arise.
Flights can be cancelled at any time for a number of reasons, closing of the airline, inclement weather conditions, and a number of other factors that can not be controlled. In some circumstances flights are not rescheduled and refunds are not given, which means you not only lose your flight but also the amount of money you spent to purchase the ticket. Travel insurance insures your ticket so that no matter what the reason is, for the flight not taking off, you receive your money back.
We purchased insurance for our upcoming flights to Roatan AND for the house rental as well. All bases are covered thankfully. With a couple hundred out of pocket, I feel good that we decided to buy travel insurance.
Have you ever lost your luggage?
In many cases airlines find and return the missing baggage but in some cases the luggage is never found. Sometimes it’s discovered that items have been taken from luggage. In this case, travel insurance acts to insure whatever items are lost or stolen so you are able to replace your belongings. Be sure you know how much the company will pay for the lost items. Will they pay in full? Although we don’t recommend bringing valuables on the trip, should you decide to do so, be sure those are covered as well.
Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of travel insurance is that it protects you from any unforeseen circumstances in your life that may prohibit you from flying. If, for any reason from sickness to a death in the family, you are unable to travel as scheduled, your money will be refunded.
If you do decide to purchase a travel insurance plan, it is important that you research a number of travel insurance companies and plans before deciding on one. Travel insurance is not only a good idea for people traveling by plane, but also on cruise lines as you can see with that family I mentioned above. Be sure that the company and plan you choose is the one that best suits you and the travel plans you have made.
If you travel frequently, you may want to consider a long term travel insurance policy. Year long insurance policies are available from a number of travel insurance companies. This provides frequent travelers with constant coverage, rather than having to purchase travel insurance every time they travel. Make sure to cover all the bases and ask plenty of questions when purchasing your travel insurance. Make sure you know that your policy will cover all unforeseen circumstances and you do not end up with a limited insurance plan.
Now go buy travel insurance!