5 Ways Travel Insurance Can Save Your Finances From Disaster
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A few weeks ago, Holly wrote a piece detailing our travel plans this summer. Needless to say, we’re super stoked to be headed to places like Italy, Switzerland, and Bora Bora. These are trips we’ve dreamed about our whole lives, and we get to do them all in the span of about 3 months!
We’ve poured tons effort, hundreds of hours, and thousands of dollars into planning these trips. Even though we never expect much to go wrong, we started wondering how we’d deal with any unexpected setbacks if they arose? What would happen if we had to cancel or delay one of our trips? How could we protect the money we’d already spent? That’s how the subject of travel insurance came up.
When Is Travel Insurance a Good Fit?
Yes, we travel a LOT… but you don’t have to travel as often as we do for something to go wrong. Even if you’re just taking one trip a year, considering a travel insurance policy is a good idea. According to Allianz Global Assistance, one in three travelers now opt for travel insurance. That’s a pretty sizeable number, and I can totally see why.
While travel insurance is never a bad idea, I think travel insurance is most beneficial for:
- Anybody going on a cruise
- Travelers who are elderly, or those traveling with older companions
- Individuals or families who travel often
- People spending more than $3,000 on a single trip
5 Times Travel Insurance Protects Your Travel Budget
So, why in the world would you need travel insurance? Here are 5 instances where travel insurance might protect the travel funds you’ve worked so hard to save.
#1) You Have to Cancel Your Trip
While having to cancel a trip may not seem likely, it does happen. For instance, maybe the airline goes on strike or a natural disaster (like a hurricane) forces a cancellation of your trip. Perhaps you and your traveling partner get a divorce, or one of your traveling companions loses their job. Or, maybe you can’t go because you’ve become pregnant and are scheduled to give birth during the trip. The best travel insurance policies help cover any non-refundable costs you’ve already sunk into your trip, potentially saving you thousands in the process.
#2) Your Trip Gets Interrupted
Although a complete cancellation isn’t super likely, having a trip get interrupted or delayed is fairly common. Unfortunately, either scenario can cost you hundreds (sometimes thousands) of extra dollars if you’re not insured. If you’ve ever been in a situation where your flights are delayed or you miss a connection, you already know that the airlines aren’t required to help you out with much. You might rack up extra hotel bills or have to pay for new flights, among other expenses. Now, imagine that you miss your cruise because of it. Travel insurance helps reimburse the cost of these expenses and more. It can also help if your trip is interrupted or delayed by auto accidents, weather, and other unexpected events.
#3) Somebody in Your Family Gets Sick or Hurt
Nobody wants to think about getting sick or injured on vacation. Worse yet, what happens if somebody dies? Unfortunately, this happens more than you’d think. Most travel insurance policies include funds for emergency medical expenses, including emergency medical transportation costs, which could save you thousands. Some even include reimbursement for emergency dental costs. Additionally, the trip cancellation and interruption portions of these policies help you recoup any non-refundable travel expenses lost due to illness, injury, or death. It’s something you never want to think about, but it’s good to be covered if it happens.
#4) You Bang Up Your Rental Car
If your plans include renting a car, investing in a travel insurance policy is usually a good idea. Many travel insurance policies include coverage for rental cars. These policies protect you from additional costs resulting from collisions with other vehicles, objects, or animals. Vandalism and theft is also typically covered. Broken windshields, tire damage, and vehicle fires may also be covered under these types of policies.
#5) Your Bags Get Damaged or Lost
A lost bag isn’t just inconvenient; it can also be expensive. Besides the cost of the bag itself, what’s inside the bag is often the most important. Many travel insurance policies insure your luggage (and it’s contents) against loss, damage, and theft. While this isn’t the primary reason we decided to buy travel insurance, it certainly is a nice added benefit.
Travel Insurance Options
Most travel insurance companies offer single trip and annual plans with different “levels” of coverage found within each type. Since the benefits and coverage limits vary between policies, be sure to read through each option carefully.
Ultimately, we chose an annual policy through Allianz Travel Insurance. We found their rates to be fair, and the policy we selected provides a whole year’s worth of coverage for the things we need most. Rates vary based on the type of policy, number of travelers, and your state of residence.
Have you used travel insurance before? Why or why not?
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I’ve never bought travel insurance outright, but it’s included as a benefit on my rewards credit card. I think we get free emergency assistance while traveling abroad, which is really nice. Be sure to sign up for extra perks like this if your bank offers them!
We’ve never bought it. However, we’re thinking of a small trip for our 10 year anniversary. Where we will likely go as well as the time of year would be about the peak risk for hurricane season, so we’ll likely consider it this time.
I’d never travel without insurance, I always see horror stories of people having accidents and their families having to sell homes or hustle to pay for the medical bills. I think it’s really irresponsible to travel without insurance.