The case for travel insurance

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by Robyn Parets

When you’re spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your vacation, the last thing you want to do is pay out more money for travel insurance. It just seems like an unnecessary expense.

You might want to rethink this.

Like all other types of insurance, the reason to buy a policy is for protection and peace of mind if you should need it. But, if you are like most people, you’ll never need it and that’s a good thing. Here’s the flip-side: If you do need it and don’t have it, you will likely spend even more than you bargained for on that costly trip. That’s not such a good thing.

In fact, unexpected vacation problems are more common than you might think. About one in six Americans say their travels have been affected by medical issues, natural disasters, or mechanical problems with a plane or cruise ship. Yet, only 22% of those whose trips were impacted had insurance, according to the US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA).

The Case for Comprehensive Travel Insurance

Once you’ve opted to buy trip insurance, you need to decide what type is best for you and how much you want to spend. InsureMyTrip.com offers hundreds of policies with varying coverage options, including trip cancellation and interruption, trip delay, medical evacuation, car rental insurance, and more. Trip cancellation, for example, is a popular coverage as it typically pays out 100% of your travel costs if you need to cancel your trip for specific reasons like illness, a death in the family, or if the tour operator goes belly-up, said Lynne Peters, insurance product manager at InsureMyTrip.com. You might also want to add on “cancel for any reason” coverage. Although it costs more for this benefit and there are eligibility restrictions, most policies pay up to 75% of the total trip expenses if you cancel for any reason at all.

Here’s some advice: Make things easy and go with a comprehensive insurance policy which covers you for just about everything. Why? Because if you only buy medical insurance coverage, for example, you won’t be covered if you need to cancel your trip. Also, comprehensive insurance is much more affordable than you might think.

For example, a $5,000 two-week vacation to Aruba for a couple in their 50s costs about $200, which includes trip cancellation as well as a $50,000 medical limit and $250,000 cap for medical evacuation, according to InsureMyTrip.com.

According to Peters, the low cost and extensive benefits included in a comprehensive policy prompts 80% of InsureMyTrip’s customers to go with this option.

Never Leave Home Without It

Vera and Barry Jordan of Boston, Ma. are thankful they had comprehensive travel insurance in 2012 when they had to cancel their much anticipated trip to Mexico.

The newly retired couple paid $4,000 for their vacation and decided to buy a $150 comprehensive travel insurance policy through InsureMyTrip.com. The Jordans compared prices and went with Travel Insured International’s Worldwide Trip Protector. Unfortunately, they never made it to Mexico. Before they left, their daughter-in-law developed complications with her pregnancy and moved in with them. At the same time, their pipes froze, flooding their house.

“There was no way we could go. I phoned the insurance company, explained the situation, and received a full refund almost immediately,” said Vera Jordan.

Since that time, the Jordans have traveled to South America, Europe, and the Caribbean. They don’t leave home without comprehensive travel insurance.

Robyn Parets is a personal finance writer based in Boston. You can follow her on Twitter @RobynParets or reach her via email at robynparets@gmail.com

 

2 comments on “The case for travel insurance”

  1. Very Informative.
    Travel insurance saves you from big financial losses that may occur while travelling. The travel insurance premium also depends on domestic or overseas destinations. The expensive luxurious foreign trip will be insured at a higher premium while the domestic trip insured at lower premium.

  2. I made a presentation to my local women’s club this week. As part of my speech on preparations for travels I emphasized the importance of trip insurance and the peace of mind it provides. I gave out your company’s website as the number one way to compare plans. I always use InsureMyTrip.com.

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