10 TRIPS YOU SHOULD PROTECT WITH TRAVEL INSURANCE
Vacations are all important, but some are truly special. So travel insurance is an absolute “must” to protect your investment and provide “peace of mind.” Here are 10 examples that show why having travel insurance is a smart move:
1. Multigenerational Family Vacations – These are a hot trend this year. Grandparents might rent a French country villa and invite the entire family, including adult children and grandchildren for this once-in-a-lifetime trip. But when grandpa suffers a heart attack weeks before they are scheduled to leave, he and grandma cannot go. Now what? Depending on the plan, travel insurance could allow the family to cancel and reschedule without sacrificing their investment.
2. Experential Trips – This word is getting overused, but this is a trip that often involves more than just booking a tour, cruise or resort. It is often considered an enriching journey of discovery. An example would be, two artistically minded couples who have spent months planning a creative weekend at a cozy New England inn, with watercolor painting and pottery making classes at an arts center. They have focused on each detail and are eagerly anticipating the learning experience. On the way to the airport they get into a fender bender; no one is hurt, but they are delayed and miss their flight. Initially, they worry that their weekend plans are in jeopardy, but then realize their travel insurance could cover the cost of changing flights. Soon they are boarding a new flight for their eagerly anticipated getaway.
3. Destination Weddings – Who would not love to get married on a lovely beach? But the unexpected can happen. For example, the bride’s mom might discover her checked bag has gone astray. The good news is she purchased travel insurance with baggage delay coverage, and she should be able to replace some clothing on site if the baggage has not arrived within 24 hours. Or, another example a week prior to the wedding, a hurricane destroys the resort. If the newlyweds purchased the right travel insurance well in advance (before the hurricane was named), they will be likely be reimbursed for non-refundable travel expenses, so they can happily focus on arranging a wedding elsewhere.
4. Trips with Major Financial Investments – Some trips are just simply “over-the-top” in terms of the traveler’s financial investment. A couple may have planned a three-week luxury trip around South America – partying in Rio, exploring the Amazon, tasting Chilean wines, hiking in Patagonia and exploring Machu Picchu in Peru. But several months out, one of their children is hurt in an accident. They are going to need to postpone the trip, but it is too late for reimbursement from the travel supplier. Also, they have burned frequent flyer miles for their airline tickets. With the right plan, they might be able to cancel, receive reimbursement and schedule a re-do. Plus, frequent flyer mile redeposit coverage could reimburse them for airline redeposit fees.
5. Honeymoons – If a couple is traveling to Europe staying at a Tuscan villa, but the husband becomes ill at the airport as they prepare to board their connecting flight to Florence. He is taken by ambulance to a local hospital, they miss their flight and the hospital wants payment. Fortunately, if they have purchased the right travel insurance plan, the wife can turn to the insurer’s emergency assistance line for help. With the right plan, the insurance company may be able to guarantee payment to the hospital and arrange for a local hotel stay for the wife while her husband receives medical treatment. Travel insurance could also reimburse airline “ticket change” fees when the couple is ready to resume their dream Tuscan honeymoon.
6. Bucket List Trips – Once a traveler opts for a “bucket list” journey, he or she may shell out tens of thousands of dollars or more. Then, 20 days into the trip, the traveler may get a call that their parent is sick and they need to return home early. Always consider circumstances that could throw you a curveball. If they choose the right plan, travel insurance with trip interruption benefits could reimburse pre-paid, non-refundable trip payments when the vacation is interrupted for a covered occurrence.
7. Solo Adventures – A young Millennial is planning a Nepal trekking vacation and arrives at Kathmandu, but the luggage does not arrive. He heads to a camping store to buy a new parka and hiking boots. Thanks to the traveler’s insurance plan with baggage benefits, he simply saves the receipts. Once he arrives home he can submit those for reimbursement (up to a certain value) for his lost bag and certain replacement purchases.
8. Exotic Far-Flung Journeys – Generally, the more remote the destination, the more expensive emergency medical care is. Travel benefits and services can be invaluable in directing the traveler to a local doctor or hospital, possibly sending a payment guarantee letter, or even, based on the insurer’s assessment, setting up a medical evacuation flight. Sometimes that even means flying a seriously ill traveler (along with his spouse) back to the U.S. These flights can cost $100,000 or more, and worse yet a medevac flight typically will not happen without upfront payment. Travelers without insurance might have to tap into a home equity line of credit to guarantee the flight.
9. Trips with Non-Refundable Services – How do you reimburse the cost of prepaid shore excursions, a concert ticket package or independent guide services? Those extras if cancelled, can really add up. Not having insurance could spell a big financial hit.
10. “Emotionally Important” Trips – Consumers may travel to celebrate a college graduation, a 25th wedding anniversary or the start of an exciting new career. They might want to attend a relative’s memorial service overseas, or support a friend battling with cancer on a cruise getaway. Life’s moments happen, and not all are positive. Savvy travelers purchase travel insurance for its financial safeguards, travel assistance services and peace-of-mind. If the trip is worth taking, it is worth insuring.