It is easy to get lost in the excitement and enjoyment of travel planning. That is fabulous. However, unexpected incidences can occur. When you have proper insurance in place, it makes unpleasant situations much easier to deal with. It reduces stress and provides you with necessary tools to gain assistance both financially and informationally. While insurance may add an extra expense to travel, not having it in an unfortunate time, may be much more costly. So, it is important to get insured.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Since the worldwide pandemic, travel and the rules surrounding it, have changed. Each destination has its own set of laws and safety procedures in order to prevent the spread of corona virus. Be sure to check your destination’s specific travel requirements. Several countries are mandating travel insurance that covers Covid-related medical expenses, trip interruption, cancellation, and/or loss. Many policies currently exclude Covid coverage, so be clear on what you are buying.
Types of Insurance – Get Insured!
There are several main categories of insurance to consider while traveling:
–Trip Cancellation Insurance covers you for prepaid, non-refundable expenses, should you need to cancel your trip prior to departure. Each insurance company provides a list of which cancellation reasons are covered under their policy.
Some common reasons for cancellation that many policies do cover are:
-Sickness, injury, or death of you or a family member or traveling companion
-Hurricane related damage to your destination or inability to fly due to it
-Laid off from work or unable to get the time off
-Some legal obligations (such as jury duty)
-Bankruptcy/Disappearance of your travel agent
*Please note that purchasing trip cancellation insurance, does not necessarily mean that all reasons for cancelling will be covered. Understand what your policy covers.
–Trip Interruption Insurance is similar, except it covers you during your trip if your trip is interrupted. The same reasons listed above usually apply. In approved circumstances, insurance will often cover the cost of your flight home, missed hotels, and other interruption expenses.
TIP: Sometimes the above two types of insurance are offered through a service affiliated with your airline, travel booking site, or hotel at the time of purchase. If this is the case, you will usually see a paragraph prior to purchase or a pop up screen where you can select an insurance option.
Medical Insurance – Get Insured!
–Medical Insurance covers you for accidents and emergency medical and dental situations when traveling abroad. Many people assume that because they have medical insurance at home, that they are covered abroad. This is definitely not always the case. Even if you are covered abroad, often you are required to pay in full out of pocket. Then, you wait to be reimbursed by your home insurance company. This can take long and be complicated. Also, even if you are covered at home, most insurance will not pay for evacuation and to repatriate you. For me, this is one of the key policies.
TIP: Some travel medical policies will not cover pre-existing conditions. Be sure that the insurance you choose will cover your needs.
–Evacuation Insurance will pay to evacuate you by airlift to an appropriate hospital (often of your choice) or get you home on a medically equipped flight, depending on the situation.
Lost or Delayed Baggage & Delayed Flights
–Lost or Delayed Baggage and/or Delayed Flights policies are small, and often included in a larger policy. Sometimes they can be purchased as options for a nominal fee. These policies definitely help to alleviate stress and elevate your comfort level. If your baggage is lost or stolen, this insurance will provide money to help with the replacement value of your lost items. If your baggage is delayed, this policy provides a budget to purchase needed items until yours arrive. During flight delays, this can help to cover your night in a hotel or other related expenses.
–Auto Insurance is usually required and definitely suggested for rental cars. If you take delivery of a new vehicle abroad, it is mandatory. Usually your current policy does not cover you abroad. Even if it does, you are often required to purchase additional insurance. It is best to ask questions prior to your departure. This way, you do not purchase a policy that your destination will not accept. Of course by planning ahead, you can shop for the best rates.
Additional Travel Policies to Get Insured
Additional Travel policies may also cover you for hazardous activities, such as SCUBA, Life Insurance, or Identity Theft. These items are often not included in a general policy. Be sure to inquire if you think this applies to you.
With all of these potential policies to choose from, it can be confusing. A good insurance company should answer their phone and explain various benefits. They can help identify which policy is appropriate for your travel. I often find it is pretty straightforward and easy to get a policy in a few moments right online. The important thing is to get insured.
*If you select a policy using a link on this page or through an ad on the Jenny In Wanderland site, Jenny in Wanderland may receive a credit, or small commission. The price and service you receive is not altered in any way. By utilizing our site links for your travel needs, it supports our free site an enables us to continue providing free travel information to enhance your wanderlust.
Note: It always important to ask questions and be clear on what your insurance policy does and does not cover. It is also a good idea to shop around and compare pricing and inclusions for various companies to be sure you are getting the coverage you expect at the best possible price. And of course, it is always important to get insured.
Note: Many insurance plans have an app and/or a toll free number that offers 24/7 assistance in case of a problem while traveling. These hotlines can usually assist you with replacing medication, finding a doctor or hospital, arranging evacuation or ambulance service, and overcoming language barriers. The app often has alerts on strikes, political turmoil, and danger in areas of travel. I tend to stick with an insurance plan that offers hotline assistance and has an app; I find it to be extremely beneficial during a stressful situation. Whichever plan you choose, just get insured before you go!
TIP: Some of your credit cards, club memberships, office insurance, and other current insurance plans may offer full or partial insurance when traveling. It is good practice to know what you currently have so you do not pay for items you do not need and to know if you have secondary back up insurance in addition to whatever you decide to purchase.
See Jenny in Wanderland additional Travel Safety Tips