“I’m sorry your co-worker gave you the flu, but hotel cancellations require a two-week notice.” Businesses may be sympathetic, but don’t expect refunds when trips are cancelled at the last minute. Their position is understandable, considering they’ve reserved your spot, turned down other paying guests, and likely can’t rebook under a short timeline. But that doesn’t lessen your disappointment and certainly not your financial loss. With travel planning beginning to pick up even among the pandemic, before booking your next getaway, be sure you pack the right insurance. (Spoiler alert – traditional travel insurance isn’t the only kind!)
The Importance of Travel Insurance
Many trips are planned months in advance. We scour destinations and points of interest to visit. We plot hotels and resorts, evaluate rental car options, and schedule flights. Airline tickets are not the only expense at risk. Others include:
- Travel Reservations: airline tickets, rental cars, and accommodations
- Destination Reservations: entry tickets and parking passes
- Personal possessions, including phones, cameras, and laptops
- Cost of replacement tickets or extended stays, such as in the case of sickness while traveling.
- Medical bills and hospital care
- Repairs to a damaged rental car
- Liability due to injuring other people or damaging their property if at-fault for an auto accident, or any other reason for that matter
- Kidnap and ransom
- Foreign legal fees
Travel places us in unfamiliar surroundings and presents unique risks. Many situations can occur to delay a trip or increase travel expenses.
- Beforehand, a sickness or medical emergency can cause a trip to be delayed or cancelled.
- While traveling, injury or illness can extend that same trip, meaning extra expenses for return tickets, rental car fees, and hotel costs.
- An auto accident while traveling may require repair bills for your rented vehicle or another vehicle you damaged as well as medical expenses for yourself and others involved.
- Local events such as political unrest or natural disaster may necessitate early departure.
- Luggage can be lost or stolen.
Travel Insurance Solutions
Situations like these are why travel insurance is a must. But don’t limit your thinking to only traditional travel insurance.
So, both parents are headed out on a trip…together? Whether traveling with family or not, we normally don’t think about life insurance when considering travel plans, but it is a perfect time to ensure adequate coverage is in place.
Ask your insurance agent whether your existing auto policy covers your rental car while traveling. And if traveling out of the country, be sure to check if your policy includes travel in that country. On a recent family trip to Ireland I discovered that, though the scenery beautiful and the people lovely, it isn’t known for being a driver-friendly destination and a separate auto policy was needed from the rental agency. *
Homeowners or Rental Insurance
Homeowners or rental insurance typically provides limited coverage for contents away from the home or apartment, such as while traveling. Ensure coverage is adequate to protect items from loss or theft on your trip.
Many personal umbrella policies offer worldwide coverage, but certainly limit protection is some instances. Ask your insurance agent regarding these limitations to ensure you are comfortable with them. Does your personal umbrella policy extend over your auto liability while visiting Ireland? Probably not.
Know ahead of time what your health insurance covers if you or a loved one becomes ill while outside the local area or in a foreign country. These expenses could be out of pocket.
There’s only so much for which we can prepare. Cancelled flights, missed connections, or a missing bag are not what we typically think about when planning. Traditional travel insurance can help make situations like these less stressful with coverage for:
- Trip delay, trip cancellation, and event ticket protection.
- Baggage delay
- Travel assistance services
- Medical expenses and medical evacuation
- Political evacuation
- Kidnap and ransom
A travel insurance policy that covers all travel for a twelve-month period can often be purchased from your insurance agent for a little more than the cost of protecting a single trip purchased through your airline. However, at the time of this writing, most traditional travel insurance companies are not issuing new policies due to the current pandemic. Call your insurance agent first. But don’t let anything stop you from checking the other forms of insurance mentioned: life insurance, car insurance, home insurance, personal umbrella insurance, and health coverage. All are a consideration to help make your travels smooth.
Please contact us with your personal insurance questions. Not a client of ours? Let us earn your business! Each client is assigned a personal agent in our office, given their email address, and provided a phone number that rings right on their desk.
David McCaleb LinkedIn
Bankers Insurance LLC
* Ireland, I love you. But throughout your gorgeous landscape your drivers zip about like hummingbirds on Red Bull. Only after arriving on your shores and my family set out upon your narrow, rock-lined roads did we discover why our auto insurance carrier would not extend coverage within your borders. But that won’t keep us from visiting again. Until next time, cheers!