There are probably many things on your mind as you prepare for your next vacation. From packing the proper clothes to booking flights and tours, your pre-trip to-do list can feel like it will never end. One task that should be at the top is obtaining travel insurance – but many people do not understand the real benefits or how this protects your investment. Here, we outline six unexpected situations where travel insurance can keep you from losing funds.
Many travel insurance policies will allow for full or partial reimbursement if you experience a medical emergency after purchasing travel insurance, but before leaving for your trip. If you are seriously injured and your doctor says you cannot travel, this can make you eligible for a refund. Additionally, travel insurance can help pay for medical bills if you are injured while on your vacation. This can be especially beneficial for international travel where medical treatment may be expensive and your health insurance provider does not offer support.
Chances are, you or someone you know has lost a bag during air travel. Even if you file a claim with the airline, it can take weeks for your luggage to arrive, and in many cases, it is sent to your home address and not your vacation lodgings. Depending on your travel insurance policy, you can be reimbursed for clothing, toiletries, and basic essentials that you purchased after a bag was lost or stolen. This allows you to continue enjoying your vacation without having to wear the same clothes each day.
Should something unexpected like a natural disaster, political conflict, or serious personal illness take place, travel insurance may provide a refund if you need to cancel your trip. In most cases, standard policies do not provide full reimbursement but may cover half or three-quarters of the cost. Full refund riders may be added to a policy for an additional fee. If you are traveling internationally or to an area prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes, it may be in your best interest to add a full refund rider.
Just as medical treatment can be expensive during vacations and non-local travel, a trip to the hospital or emergency room can be costly as well. Your travel insurance policy may cover the cost of emergency evacuation via helicopter, boat, ambulance, or other medical transport. Additionally, if your home or apartment is flooded, damaged by fire, or sustains another significant natural disaster, travel insurance can even help cover the cost to change your return trip and get you home as quickly as possible.
Millions of flights are delayed each year, causing millions of travelers to miss connecting flights and experience significant delays in travel. Because these causes are often unpredictable, it can be frustrating and expensive to create a new travel plan on short notice. Rebooking new flights can mean you are responsible for additional fees, overnight stays in hotels, and new luggage costs, even though you were not responsible for the delay. Travel insurance can cover these fees and hotel expenses, allowing you to get back on track and reach your destination as quickly as possible.
While you may pay five to 10 percent of the cost of your trip to obtain travel insurance, it is well worth the peace of mind to know that your expenses will not be lost if the unexpected occurs. For those planning luxury, international, or experiential vacations, travel insurance can help protect you.