Many people see trip insurance as a waste of money. It’s something for overly cautious people but I’ve seen enough sickness and travel SNAFU’s to tell you that travel insurance should be purchased whenever you are making non-refundable arrangements.
Imagine you are in the airport on your way to the trip of your dreams. It’s almost time for your flight to leave and you want to make one last trip to the restroom before boarding the plane. You get up and start walking only to find yourself stumbling over a carry-on and landing with a thud on the floor. Your arm is broken in the fall; there’s no way for you to go on the trip.
The instance above really happened. If you don’t have travel insurance you will lose every penny you spent on the trip. With travel insurance, you will still have the disappointment of a cancelled trip (and the pain of a broken arm) but you can recoup the money you spent and put it toward a trip in the future.
Trip insurance can help pay for…
– Single supplements if your travel partner has to cancel the trip but you can still go. In the case of a cruise, the single supplement is almost as much as your original fare.
– Medical treatments needed during your trip. Even if you have great coverage in the U.S., most health insurance coverage is reduced when you are traveling abroad so you could wind up with a hefty bill even for simple treatments.
– Costs associated with trip interruption or delay. For instance, you are supposed to fly home on Tuesday but due to a transportation strike all flights are cancelled. The insurance can help pay for a hotel until you are able to get home two days late.
– The cost of medical evacuation. Depending on your destination and ailment, this can be a huge cost.
– The cost of bringing a family member to you if you become seriously ill during your travels. Generally, this coverage only begins after you have been hospitalized for several days but it can be a great money saver.
Travel insurance can cost between 5-15 percent of your trip cost depending on your age and the level of coverage you want to purchase. When you are spending a few thousand dollars on your trip, this can seem like a big expense for something you hope to never use but by now, I hope you are getting the idea that the insurance is well worth the cost.
Next week I’ll review the types of coverage available and what kinds of costs you should cover.