Travel Insurance Overview

We hate to even bring it up, but you might need to cancel your adventure in advance due to the sudden onset of an illness, work related issues or even a family emergency.  Maybe you’ll fall ill during a cruise and need emergency medical attention. Maybe your flight gets cancelled or delayed and you miss a connection.  Maybe your luggage will get lost.  These things can and WILL happen. 


Travel insurance is a smart choice if you want to protect the money you have invested in your vacation. However, no one can blame you if you’re hesitant to add ANOTHER expense to your travel budget.  Still, if you can’t afford to lose that money if something unexpected happens, travel insurance can be a smart investment.  Take a moment to really think about it…. You have invested several of THOUSAND dollars on a vacation, is it really something you want to or can “write off”?  Let’s take a look at some of the standard coverages and options with many travel insurance policies.


Travel Insurance Has Several Parts:


Trip Cancellation – This normally has several different options that range from personal sickness, to work related to cancel for any reason.  Each added layer of cancellation reasons will add to the cost of the package.


Medical Insurance for Emergencies – Whether you are on a cruise ship or nestled in a resort on a Caribbean island.  Imagine the impact that a medical emergency will have on your vacation.  Now add to that the stress of worrying if your medical insurance will cover it or consider it “Out of Network”.  The medical section of travel insurance will cover costs for doctor and hospital bills, ambulance service, medicine, X-rays and lab work, up to the limits in your policy.


Medical Evacuation – Now we know what you are saying…..Wait….. didn’t I just read about medical coverage?  Well yes, yes you did, but that was just the expense once you are at a medical facility….. that does not include GETTING you to the facility.  Travel Insurance has a separate section just for transportation.  Imagine needing to be airlifted off of a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean or off a mountainside after a hiking mishap. It can cost between $15,000 to $200,000 to be transported by helicopter or ambulance to a nearby health care facility for treatment of an injury or illness.  Medical Evacuation covers the expense of being taken to the closest health care facility overseas that’s equipped to treat you, and it also may pay for someone to be flown back to the U.S. for advanced medical attention if the local facilities are unable to handle the situation.


Missed Connections and/or Flight Cancellations – Missed Connections reimburses you if you miss a departure for a reason listed in the policy.  Most policies have time considerations like travel delay of three, six or 12 hours caused by something like a mechanical failure on a plane, weather delays for planes or a storm that prevents a cruise ship from docking on time. The compensation typically would cover the cost of catching up to a tour or cruise.


Travel Delay - Travel delays are a headache for many travelers. A policy with travel delay insurance can reimburse restaurant and hotel expenses when a flight is delayed due to a reason listed in your policy, for instance bad weather or a mechanical problem. The daily amount of coverage does vary so be sure to check the policy limits.


Baggage Insurance – This coverage can vary, but in a nutshell, if your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged during a trip, the baggage insurance section can reimburse you. Keep in mind that in some cases your homeowners insurance or renters insurance policies can also cover theft of your baggage and belongings, but generally have a deductible.

In addition, some travel insurance plans cover baggage delays. This coverage can pay for items you need to buy, such as clothing and toiletries, to tide you over while you’re waiting for your luggage to catch up with you. Note that baggage delay benefits generally come with a specified waiting time before benefits apply.


Miscellaneous Coverages:  Most travel insurance comes with option coverages that you can select at the time of purchase based on your needs.  Here are a few options out there:  Rental Car Coverage, Pet Kennel, Electronic Equipment, Travel Inconvenience, Event Ticket Registration Fee Protection are among a few of the options you can select.


Final Thoughts:

Travel Insurance can be purchased for one specific trip or you can get an annual policy if you have multiple trips planned.  In the end, we HIGHLY recommend getting travel insurance for your vacation.  We talk from experience, as we missed a connection flight coming back home due to bad weather and got stuck in Atlanta for a night and had to deal with unplanned added expenses at the END of our adventure since most airlines do not provide anything if the delay is due to weather…. BUT travel insurance saved us as we were able to get reimbursed for the additional unplanned expenses.  So when you book a vacation make sure to include some funds for a travel insurance package!