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Pre- and Post-Departure Travel Insurance Coverage
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When planning a vacation, it’s natural to focus on the sights you’ve always dreamed of seeing and the amazing accommodations you’ve booked. You’re looking forward to spending time with friends and family or taking some time to yourself to relax by the beach, go on a hike, or take a tour. You’ve chosen the perfect outfits, stocked your suitcase with necessities, and bought a few new accessories for the trip. But in the excitement of planning, you may have forgotten to buy one of the most important travel “accessories”—a travel insurance policy.

Travel insurance is the best way to protect yourself when plans fall apart. While some people rely on coverage they have through their credit card, their medical insurance, or even their homeowner’s policy, these options offer minimal protection when compared to the benefits of a comprehensive travel insurance policy from a reliable company like the trusted partners at TravelInsurance.com. And with any insurance policy, it’s important to understand the benefits and how they apply to your circumstances.

The benefits of a travel insurance policy include reimbursement of pre-paid, non-refundable expenses that are lost as a result of trip delays, interruptions, or cancellations; medical emergencies; and lost, damaged, or delayed luggage. These benefits go into effect either before your trip (pre-departure) or once your trip starts (post-departure).

Pre-Departure Travel Insurance Benefits

The primary pre-departure benefit of any travel insurance policy is trip cancellation coverage. This benefit is in effect the day after you purchase your policy, which is why it’s to your advantage to buy trip insurance as soon as you book your trip. Trip cancellation coverage allows you to cancel your trip for any reason listed in your policy and claim reimbursement for 100% of any pre-paid, non-refundable expenses that you insure, such as transportation, accommodations, and activities. These covered reasons typically include unforeseen events such as being summoned to jury duty, losing your job, dangerous weather conditions at your destination or point of departure, military orders, acts of terrorism, illness or injuries that happen to you or any of the people traveling with you, or the death of a family member. Be sure to read your policy carefully to understand which events are covered and which are not.

If you want even more flexibility in your travel plans, consider adding CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) coverage to your policy. This add-on allows you to cancel for any reason not already covered under your standard policy and receive reimbursement for up to 75% of any pre-paid, non-refundable expenses. In order to take advantage of this benefit, you generally need to cancel your trip at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure. For more information about CFAR coverage, read our Definitive Guide to Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) Travel Insurance.

A lesser-known pre-departure benefit of travel insurance is concierge services. These services may be included with your standard policy, or they may be offered as an optional upgrade. Though concierge services can be used at any time before or after you leave for your trip, they are particularly helpful in the pre-departure planning stage. You can take advantage of the concierge services benefit to get restaurant recommendations and reservations, book a tee time or tickets to a Broadway musical, schedule a car to pick you up at the airport, charter a boat, arrange for chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne to be waiting for you in your room when you arrive, or get directions to the best beaches in the area.

Post-Departure Travel Insurance Benefits

Although data shows that the primary reason people buy travel insurance is to be sure they can get a refund in case they have to cancel their trip, there are actually more post-departure than pre-departure benefits. These post-departure benefits include trip delays or interruptions, medical emergencies, and problems with your luggage.

Trip Delays and Interruptions

The helpful glossary at TravelInsurance.com explains the difference between trip delays and interruptions. It notes that trip delay coverage reimburses travelers for “food, lodging, and, in some cases, transportation if travel is delayed beyond a certain number of hours,” while trip interruption coverage is meant to protect travelers in the event an injury, illness, strike, weather event, or even death affects their travel plans.

Once you’ve departed for your destination, these benefits can give you peace of mind when things go wrong. While any number of things can delay your trip, if you have travel insurance, you’ll at least be entitled to compensation for unplanned meal, accommodation, and transportation expenses. It helps to have this coverage when your flight is delayed for so long that you must book an alternative flight to catch up with your cruise at the next port. It comes in handy when you to have to spend the night at the airport or a nearby hotel. And it’s useful when you have to pay for transportation to get back to the airport the following day.

In many other countries, the airlines themselves are required to provide compensation for travelers when their trip has been delayed. In the United States, this is not the case. The U.S. Department of Transportation warns that “[t]here are no federal laws requiring airlines to provide passengers with money or other compensation when their flights are delayed.” If you want to protect yourself from trip delays, your best course of action is to invest in a travel insurance policy from a top-rated company.

While we’ve come to expect airline delays, trip interruptions are less predictable. Transportation strikes, bad weather, or a bout of the flu can completely disrupt your schedule and cause you to change your travel plans. A more serious illness or injury could cause you to make the difficult decision to cut your trip short and return home. Trip interruption coverage will cover costs for tickets and accommodations that you paid for in advance but aren’t able to use or cancel.

Medical Emergencies

When your regular health insurance policy doesn’t provide coverage for medical care in other countries (and most don’t), having travel insurance can be invaluable. This benefit reimburses you for out-of-pocket costs for emergency medical care you receive on your trip. Be sure to look for a comprehensive travel insurance policy that covers medical evacuation as well in case your illness or injury is so severe that you need to be transported to the nearest adequate medical facility or even back to the United States.

Lost, Damaged, or Delayed Luggage

When compared to medical emergencies and cancelled, delayed, or interrupted travel plans, problems with your luggage pale in comparison. After all, you can buy other clothes, replace your toiletries, or shop for a new suitcase when yours was left on the tarmac. But that all costs money you hadn’t budgeted for, and you can claim reimbursement for those costs when you have a travel insurance policy with lost, damaged, or delayed luggage benefits.

Whether you’re more concerned with your trip being cancelled, interrupted, or delayed; potential medical emergencies, or even inconveniences like luggage that gets damaged or goes missing, the best way to protect yourself to have a good travel insurance policy from a trustworthy company like the ones you can find at TravelInsurance.com. Our easy-to-use comparison site will help you find a policy that offers you great pre-departure and post-departure benefits at a reasonable price. Get a quote now for helpful information, the guaranteed best prices, and instant coverage. 

Whether you’re more concerned with your trip being cancelled, interrupted, or delayed; potential medical emergencies, or even inconveniences like luggage that gets damaged or goes missing, the best way to protect yourself to have a good travel insurance policy from a trustworthy company like the ones you can find at TravelInsurance.com. Our easy-to-use comparison site will help you find a policy that offers you great pre-departure and post-departure benefits at a reasonable price. Get a quote now for helpful information, the guaranteed best prices, and instant coverage.

 


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