Do I Really Need Travel Insurance?

So you are about to head out on that trip of a lifetime with everything planned to the last detail. Pets are cared for, house sitter arranged, contingency plans are set at work for your absence, every last detail addressed – or is it? What about travel insurance? You have insurance for health, auto, home, renters and possibly even pets, so why not travel insurance? Is this the important detail you have overlooked?

Is travel insurance a good idea?

Wise men understand the importance of travel insurance

Travel insurance can be a wise investment for several situations. If you are planning a few hundred dollar trip to see relatives at the Jersey shore, not so much. But for a two week trekking trip across Nepal with a week to recover in Bali? Absolutely. Travel insurance is a wise investment when taking into account the complexity, cost or distance of the trip and the financial impact if it were interrupted or canceled. Hopefully you will never need it but consider what what would happen if your trip was canceled by either your actions, Mother Nature or the actions of others? What would happen if you have an accident and get injured in another country? Or you’ve booked your family of four for a week’s vacation to nearby Costa Rica with non-refundable air tickets, it’s too late to cancel the hotel and your youngest gets the chicken pox?  It’s not all that far or exotic, but can be very costly. The right travel insurance can cover the cost of your canceled or delayed trip as well as medical expenses and medical evacuation back home if necessary. Some offer cancel at anytime, for any reason coverage.

The peace of mind of having travel insurance can make this even more relaxing.

Insurance companies are in the business of making money and chances are that you will not need insurance. This is what the underwriters are counting on. However if you need it, it is reassuring to have and avoids the double whammy of missing your trip and still having to pay for all of it. Look carefully at the cost of your trip in comparison to the cost of the policy and what it covers.

Do my credit cards cover travel issues?

Yes, some credit cards do cover accidental death and dismemberment and protection from fraud/ disreputable businesses. It is best to understand what they cover and the limitations.

Does my health insurance cover me when I travel?

Carefully check your policy, chances are you are not covered out of the country or have a significant reduction in coverage, that may not include getting you back home.

Am I covered by the airline for lost luggage?

With all of the the bad press about domestic airlines creating fees for everything, do you really think they are going to be generous or even easy? Airlines cover depreciated value and exclude most expensive items like jewelry and electronics.

Be sure to check your credit card’s coverage as well as your health insurance and your home owners policy. Some of the things covered by travel insurance will be covered by them, but most likely there will be gaps  – if not big gaps  – in coverage, especially during international travel.

What is covered by travel insurance?

Well, only things in the policy including the fine print, so it is important to carefully read and understand the details before signing up for any policy. Here are some of the things that could be covered depending on your policy.

Your trip is canceled due to:

Weather, hurricanes and other weather disasters

Bankruptcy of travel provider, airlines or cruise line

Sickness, injury

Death of a family member or traveling companion

Destruction of your residence by fire, flood, burglary or natural disaster before your trip

Being transferred by your employer

Unannounced strike, inclement weather, or mechanical breakdown of travel provider

Military personnel called to active duty due to national disaster

Involuntary termination or getting laid off by your employer

Acts of terrorism

 

In addition you could receive compensation for:

Travel delays

Missed connections

Medical expense

Emergency medical evacuation

Baggage and personal effects lost or stolen

Baggage delay

As well as assistance for:

Referral to doctor or hospital pharmacy or dentist

Help replacing travel documents

Referral for legal and bail bond assistance

Some policies even have a cancel for any reason clause, these are more expensive, but it cover more situations that may cause you to have to cancel your trip.

No one likes to think about the what-ifs, but being prepared to handle those situations could be well worth the piece of mind afforded by having travel insurance. It is incredibly important that you read and fully understand the policy that you opt for, not all policies are created equal. This means all of the fine print, there are no gray areas it ether covers specific conditions or it does not.

How much does travel insurance cost?

Different policies vary in price based on what they cover, the length of the trip, the cost of the trip and the age of the traveler. The more they cover, the more they cost.  “Cancel for any reason” policies cost more than a basic policy and just like health insurance, the younger you are the cheaper the policy will be.

For example, a traveler between the ages of 36 to 50 on a two week trip to Vietnam that costs $2,490, would pay under $125 for basic coverage – a little less than 5% of trip cost to under $200 for a “cancel for any reason policy” – a little less than 8% of the total trip.

In the interest of full disclosure, G.W. Nunn Adventures offers travel insurance and we receive a very small percentage of the total sale. Even before we were licensed, we routinely purchased travel insurance and strongly suggested to our clients, our friends and family to purchase trip insurance.

Please contact us with any questions about travel insurance and the types of coverage that would best suit your trip.

Safe Travels with piece of mind,

Greg

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