If you've been following me for a while, you know that I prefer to travel with most of my expenses paid, with cash, prior to boarding my flight. If I used a credit card to purchase flights, to book a hotel, or arrange a tour; I try and make sure that the bill has been paid in full prior to departure. The worse thing (for me) is to come home from an amazing trip, and remember that I still have to PAY for said amazing trip.
That will bring me down -- quickly.
Travel is an investment. Most of us work, save, and plan for our travels months in advance. No one I know can afford to loose the money spent on an upcoming vacation. Or spend additional money on a trip if things go awry.
And that is when an insurance policy comes in handy. Travel insurance can help out in a few different circumstances.
#1: Medical Emergencies: Most foreign medical facilities and providers require that you pay for ALL services up front via cash/credit card. U.S. insurance plans are not excepted. With travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, losses that occur during your trip could be covered. Additionally, emergency transportation benefits could pay for transportation to medical facilities or the cost of getting you back home after an injury or illness.
#2: Non-Refundable Deposits/Payments: Most times, deposits/payments to tour companies or even hotels are non-refundable. OR they are refundable up to a certain point. But what if you have an unexpected emergency the week prior to traveling? Or if your traveling partner has an accident the day before you are scheduled to leave? If your travel insurance has trip cancellation benefits, you can get reimbursed for prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs when you cancel for a covered reason, which can include:
- serious illness or injury to the insured person, a travel companion or a family member
- the death of the insured traveler, traveling companion or a family member
- a natural disaster or other event that renders your destination uninhabitable
#3: Things Out of Your Control: Things such as cancelled flights, missed connections, lost luggage, weather delays, etc. can happen. These things can really put a damper on a well planned vacation. Travel delay benefits may reimburse you for any additional costs/expenses you incur. This includes lost prepaid expenses due to a departure delay (six hours or more). If your policy has baggage delay benefits, you can be reimbursed for the purchase of essential items if your bag is delayed for 24 hours or more.
#4: Affordable: Travel Insurance is more affordable than you think. You can typically get insurance for ONE trip that includes trip cancellation, trip interruption and trip delay benefits for less than $50. Travel insurance is typically offered on sites such Orbitz and Travelocity after you purchase a flight or make other arrangements. If you take more than TWO trips per year, a yearly policy that will cover all of your trips for 365-days is your best bet. Use a comparison website such as Travel Insurance to find a policy that meets your needs.
I thank the Travel Gods that I have never had to utilize my insurance policy. But it's always good to know that it's there if I need it!
Travel Safe my Friends.....