In the excitement of an upcoming vacation or the stress of planning a business trip, it’s easy to forget to prepare for the unexpected. Travel insurance is a great option to protect you from unforeseen circumstances that may crop up during your time away.
Is travel insurance worth it?
Nobody wants to think about the worst case scenario while booking a vacation, work trip, or any other type of travel.
Travel insurance can protect against these worst case scenarios by providing you peace of mind as you are arranging a trip, and while you’re away. Vacations and other trips often cost a lot of money and require a lot of time to plan, and you want to make sure you are protected should an emergency take place.
Today, many companies in the travel business, including airlines, cruise lines, and car rental places, offer travel insurance coverage to customers to protect themselves as they plan their next trip. It’s a valuable investment that helps you to feel completely ready and prepared for your next trip.
How does travel insurance work?
Travel insurance protects you from risk and financial loss in the event of an unexpected occurrence leading up to or during your trip. Though there are many types of travel insurance, there are five many types that are most common:
- Trip cancellation or interruption: Possibly the most common type of travel insurance, trip cancellation or interruption insurance provides you coverage in the event you need to cancel your trip unexpectedly, or have to cut it short while you are away due to a medical issue, terrorism threat, or other problems.
- Travel medical: Though you may be eligible for travel medical insurance coverage through your medical insurance provider, you may want to buy additional coverage for things your medical insurance may not cover.
- Evacuation: If you are required to evacuate during your vacation, your insurance will help you cover the costs associated.
- Baggage and personal item loss: This type of coverage provides reimbursement for lost, damaged, or stolen luggage and personal property throughout the entirety of your trip.
- Travel life: Life insurance coverage for accidental death, air flight accidents, or common carrier coverage that includes public transportation accidents are generally covered under travel life insurance.
What does travel insurance cover?
Travel insurance covers you for the various mishaps that can take place while you’re away on a trip. Included in most travel insurance coverage plans is coverage for:
- Medical issues: Should you experience medical issues ahead of a trip, causing you to cancel it, or experience medical issues that require you to come back early, the cost of the trip will be covered.
- Weather-related cancellation: If you have to cancel your trip because of an oncoming storm and have coverage ahead of the storm being announced, you will be eligible for reimbursement for the cost of the trip.
- Stolen property: If your personal property, such as a laptop or suitcase, is stolen, damaged or lost during the entirety of your trip, your travel insurance will cover the costs associated.
Travel insurance does not cover you if you purchase coverage after the event takes place. For example, if you experience a medical emergency on a trip and have to cut it short, or a severe weather event takes place, you cannot get coverage for the associated costs. You need to have coverage ahead of time.
Additionally, travel insurance policies vary from policy to policy in what exactly is covered. Some may only cover you for events that take place during your trip, while others may cover both before and throughout your trip.
Even if your trip gets canceled for a reason you cannot control, there are certain events a travel insurance policy may not cover. These excluded events vary from each insurance policy, so you will want to review the details of your plan.
How are travel insurance costs determined?
The cost of a travel insurance policy differs from provider to provider. There are a few factors that will affect how much you pay for your travel insurance coverage:
- Trip details: If you have a more expensive trip you are looking to cover, your travel insurance will be more expensive. This is to ensure the entirety of the costs of your trip are covered under your policy in the event it gets canceled, and you need to be reimbursed.
- Type of coverage: The full range of what you are covered for will factor into your overall travel insurance cost. For example, a plan that covers you for more events that may lead to cancelation before and during your trip, as opposed to some events during your trip only, will end up costing you more due to the larger amount of money at stake.
- Your age: Similar to health insurance, the older and more susceptible to certain medical conditions you are, the more you are likely to pay for travel insurance coverage.
Though the overall cost of your trip will factor into your travel insurance cost, you will not be charged more for going far. A long trip will not affect the overall amount you pay for your policy.
When to get travel insurance?
If you are planning and looking to book your trip soon, you will want to plan to get your travel insurance coverage at the time of booking. Getting your coverage as soon as possible for your future trip will ensure you are eligible for coverage in the event you need it.
Travel insurance will not apply if you get coverage after the event has already taken place – if you need to cancel your trip, your bags are stolen, or something else goes wrong, you will need to have insurance coverage ahead of time to be able to submit a claim. Otherwise, you will not be eligible for claims reimbursement.
How to choose the best travel insurance?
With so many plans to choose from, deciding on the best travel insurance coverage for you can be difficult. As you are picking out the right plan for you, keep these things in mind:
- Consider where you’re traveling: If you are traveling to a location that is known for inclement weather, or other specific instances that may cause you to have to cancel your trip, ensure your travel insurance covers these events so you can get your money back.
- Review your budget: Paying for your trip is often expensive enough, so you will want to consider your budget closely as you choose the right insurance. Be sure to prioritize the coverage you need most, and ensure your chosen plan that fits your budget covers these events.
- Compare and contrast available plans: Each plan differs widely in what they have to offer, what all is included in coverage, and how much they cost overall. Compare and contrast available plans to determine which one is uniquely right for your trip.