Everyone hopes that all of their travel will go as planned, free of incident or accident. The reality is that everyone has experienced flight cancellations, missed connections, lost or stolen baggage, delayed baggage arrival, illness that prevents travel, and travel related medical expenses that your regular medical policy does not cover. Many believe that their credit card has insurance benefits that will cover these events, and their medical and automobile policies will take care of any injury or illness that results. The truth is that most credit cards have minimal coverage for very selective risks, and personal medical and auto policies do not provide coverage abroad, or if they do it is prohibitively expensive.
Travel insurance anticipates all of these risks and provides coverage domestically and abroad for the length of your trip and normally costs no more than 4-8 percent of the total vacation cost. Vacation insurance can be priced so reasonably because it only covers a very discrete period of time, that being the length of one’s trip or vacation from beginning to end.
Here are some important things to keep in mind when shopping for the most suitable travel insurance policy:
• A reputable provider should have multiple travel or vacation policies that can be customized to fit your particular needs and priced accordingly. Travel insurance coverage for a trip for two to Hawaii for a week should cost substantially less than a month long missionary trip to a war ravaged third-world country.
• A travel policy should be priced to consider the duration of the trip, number of travelers, the degree of risk involved, the cost of the trip, along with any additional or trip specific coverage that is desired. In short, the policy should be flexible and personal.
• Your travel coverage provider should be easy to access and available 24/7. This is critical. If you need to be medically evacuated to a hospital that can treat you appropriately, then time is of the essence.
• Choose the right plan for the type of travel you are doing. Travel accident insurance is designed for vacation travelers, Annual plans for frequent and long term travelers, and Medical Evacuation plans for those who need coverage for emergency medical evacuation or a security evacuation, including repatriation.
The best reason to buy travel insurance is to protect your investment. If your trip is cancelled, the company you purchased the trip through goes bankrupt, or personal illness, loss or inclement weather prevents travel, then the investment you made is a total loss. If illness or injury occurs during travel, then any uncovered expenses add to the total cost of your trip. Travel insurance protects your investment and provides peace of mind.