Do you plan to travel soon? Should I buy travel insurance? It is a difficult decision if it is worth spending the extra money. Are you over 50 years old? Travel insurance increases significantly as you get older. If you are spending a lot of money on a trip, travel insurance is a must.
Travel insurance coverage
Travel insurance covers these basic concepts:
Trip cancellation or interruption
Flight delays and cancellations
Travel insurance: what does it mean to you?
Trip cancellation refers to cancellation before your trip, while trip interruption refers to a problem during your trip. What if you or one of your travel companions gets hurt or sick and needs to cancel your plans? This is where travel insurance comes to the rescue.
What if you have a medical emergency? Do you think you are covered by your health insurance? You might be. But most health insurance policies don’t cover it outside of the United States. Medicare never covers it when traveling abroad. Find out if you are covered when you travel to your next destination.
What if you get sick and need to be airlifted? Or you need medical attention on your flight home. This can be very expensive.
Have you reached your destination only to discover that you have no luggage? What if you are ready to board a cruise? Now what? Travel insurance will pay for essential items until you find your luggage and have it delivered to you. What if it never appears? Make sure you have a list of items you packed for your trip. Better yet, keep as many receipts for these items as you can. If your luggage was stolen, be sure to file a police report. This will help make an insurance claim.
Did you arrive at the airport only to discover that your flight has been delayed? What if the delay causes you to miss your connecting flight? Travel insurance will reimburse you for hotel stays and meals while you wait to depart on the next flight. But what if your flight leaves on time and you get stuck in traffic and miss your flight? You’re probably not covered.
Travel insurance: do I really need it?
Please check with your owner’s policy. It may already cover things like lost luggage. Be sure to verify the maximum amount of coverage, as it may be limited in payment. Check your health insurance and find out what is covered when you travel away from home. Check if you are covered when traveling abroad. Finally, check your credit card coverage. Some credit cards will provide a limited amount of insurance if the trip was booked with your credit card. If you have an airline credit card, check with your coverage. They may have better coverage if you travel with them. But credit cards may not cover being airlifted home. Both health insurance and credit cards often do not cover travel emergencies.
Once you decide you need travel insurance, read the fine print. Check to see if there is a time limit on purchasing insurance before your trip. Find out if the total duration of your trip is covered. Make sure your destination is covered. If the government warns you not to visit a particular country, it may not be covered if you go there.
What happens if you get sick? Be sure to list all the medications you are currently taking. Failure to do so could invalidate your policy. What happens if a family member in your country becomes ill and wants to shorten their trip? Most travel insurance policies do not cover this unless it is a death in the family. There is an option called “cancel for any reason”. If you have older relatives at home, you may want to consider this option for your peace of mind. This would allow you to shorten your trip and return home for whatever reason. Even if you just changed your mind and decided not to go.
Check the fine print and decide if buying travel insurance is right for you. You can be glad you did!