With so much uncertainty in the world today, it’s no wonder that insurance is on everyone’s mind. Insurance offers you protection against the unexpected. Just like auto insurance that protects you if you get into a car accident, or health insurance that covers your medical bills if you get sick, travel insurance is a way to minimize your financial risk when traveling.
Travel insurance often gets overlooked or dismissed, but it’s just as important as other types of insurance. Travel insurance policies can protect you when you experience delays or cancellations, medical emergencies, or even lost or stolen luggage. It offers you peace of mind so you can enjoy your trip instead of having to worry about what might go wrong.
Travel insurance is more important than ever in these uncertain times. There are stories in the news every day about cancelled cruises and airlines on the verge of bankruptcy. Borders are closed, then opened, then closed again as the number of Coronavirus cases fluctuate. While you have no control over these circumstances, you can have some control over your own situation when you purchase travel insurance.
Here are some types of travel insurance coverage that can help you during (and even after) the pandemic:
Travel Health Insurance
This type of travel insurance covers the cost of emergency medical treatment and hospital stays when you’re on the road. Even if you’re lucky enough to have health insurance in the United States, your regular policy typically won’t cover you when you’re traveling overseas, and some out-of-state hospitals might not even accept your insurance. And if you’ve lost your health insurance like thousands of other Americans during the pandemic, it’s especially important to have travel insurance when you’re away from home.
Many travel health insurance policies don’t cover things like pandemics. They are “named perils” policies that only cover specific reasons named in the policy. Thankfully, there are some companies that have started to include COVID-19 as a a “named peril.” Travelinsurance.com can help you find top-rated insurers that offer this option.
Some countries are even requiring you to have travel insurance that covers COVID-19 before you can enter their borders. They want to make sure tourists aren’t going to be a financial burden on their already overwhelmed healthcare systems during the pandemic.
Mandatory medical insurance is a trend that is expected to continue post-pandemic, so it’s something you should familiarize yourself with if you have a future trip planned. Travelinsurance.com has a Learning Center with helpful articles and tips to help you understand the different types of travel insurance and what they cover.
Medical Evacuation Insurance
If you have a medical emergency while you’re in a remote location or a developing country where medical care might be inadequate or even unavailable, you’ll be thankful that you bought medical evacuation insurance before you left on your trip. This type of insurance covers the costs of evacuating you to the nearest facility that can provide the level of care you need.
In the past, most travelers wouldn’t have thought about buying medical evacuation insurance unless they’re into extreme sports or planning to travel to an area where they might not have access to emergency medical care. The pandemic has increased the possibility of needing medical evacuation for all travelers. Hospitals all over the world are focused on treating their own citizens and may not have the resources to provide medical care for tourists.
Even after the pandemic, you should consider getting medical evacuation insurance. The pandemic took us by surprise, but natural disasters, political unrest, and sporting accidents are everyday occurrences that can require tourists to be evacuated to a location that is safe and can provide emergency medical care.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
When most people think of travel insurance, they’re not considering that they might need emergency medical care or even evacuation. They’re more worried about getting their money back if they need to cancel their trip. Trip cancellation insurance can reimburse you for expenses that you’ve already paid when unforeseen events prevent you from traveling.
Although trip cancellation insurance generally covers serious injuries or illness, the death of a family member, severe weather or natural disasters, and even legal obligations, it doesn’t cover every circumstance that might come up. If your wedding has been called off and you’re too heartbroken to even think about heading to your honeymoon destination or your beloved pet dies the day before you’re supposed to board your flight to Paris, you’re unfortunately not covered by standard trip cancellation insurance. Like travel health insurance, you’re only covered under the specific circumstances listed on your policy.
As with any legal document, you should read through your insurance policy carefully once you receive it and contact the insurer within the review period to make any necessary changes.
If there are circumstances that you want covered that aren’t included in your policy, you might want to consider getting “cancel for any reason” coverage. This supplemental coverage can be added to your policy at the time of purchase to give you even more protection against the unknown. With CFAR coverage, you’ll get a partial refund of non-refundable, prepaid expenses when you cancel for any reason that isn’t covered by your regular cancellation policy. Having cancel for any reason coverage means that even if you can’t enjoy the honeymoon you had planned, you’ll at least get some of your money back.
CFAR coverage is one of the best kinds of coverage you can buy right now. No matter what the world throws at you, at least you won’t lose your shirt along with your sanity.
But Do I Really Need Travel Insurance?
Still not convinced that you need travel insurance? Summer Hull, the director of travel content for the Points Guy, a travel website that publishes “hands-on advice to help readers maximize their travel experiences” recently explained why she bought travel insurance for the first time after traveling for decades. She notes that the pandemic poses additional risks to even the healthiest traveler. She wanted protection for her and her family that would allow for cancellation if anyone had to be quarantined before their departure and would cover unexpected medical expenses while they were on the road. Because their trip will take place during hurricane season, she also wanted a guarantee that extreme weather won’t cause them to cancel their trip and lose all of the money they’ve spent. Although she had some built-in coverage through her credit card, she wanted a separate plan that would offer her additional protection given the current circumstances.
While more people are buying travel insurance now because of the pandemic, it’s not a trend that experts expect will be reversed in the future. Once travelers see that it’s a fairly inexpensive way to minimize risk and gain peace of mind, we can only assume that they will want to continue to enjoy the benefits of traveling without having to worry about assuming financial risk.
If you’ll be traveling during the pandemic or have future plans to get out of town when this is all over, take some time today to check out your travel insurance options at Travelinsurance.com.