Planning for a vacation can be both fun and daunting. Even if all you have in mind is a restful holiday, what many people do not realize is that a lot can go wrong in the trip if they aren’t careful and prepared. As there are many risks and potential threats that can easily put a damper on your trip, it doesn’t hurt to protect your vacation investment.
Since there are costs associated with travel, many insurance companies have started to offer different kinds of travel insurance policies tailor-fitted to every traveler’s needs and activities. Whether it is your flight or your life you want to protect, take a look at the most common kinds of travel insurance below:
- Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance
This coverage reimburses your non-refundable airline tickets in the event that your trip gets cancelled or delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. There are two types of cancellation insurance you can purchase. The first type is a basic trip cancellation coverage and it allows you to claim refunds on cancelled flights due to reasons such as unexpected illness, hospitalization or death of an immediate non-traveling family member, weather or aircraft issues, and unforeseen natural disasters. The second kind is the “cancel for any reason” insurance. This is basically self-explanatory. You can cancel your trip due to any reason you want. Most policies allow you to do so until 48 hours before your flight. It’s best to purchase this kind of plan when going to places with political or civil unrest. That way, you can cancel your trip and get your money back without any questions asked.
When to purchase this policy:
It is best to purchase this policy when you’ve paid a fortune for your trip tickets. This gives you security that you will be able to get your money back, in case your trip gets cancelled due to extreme weather conditions or when the airline has gone out of business.
As the coverage varies from one provider to another, it is best to understand all the inclusions carefully before purchasing this kind of insurance. Whatever you do, do not purchase the insurance from your airline, cruise or tour operator. In case they file for bankruptcy, they will not be able to fulfill the terms of your policy. Also, check if your credit card offers insurance of this kind before you purchase from an independent insurance company. There are a few travel credit cards that reimburse up to $10,000 in trip cancellations, provided the trip has been cancelled due to one of the covered causes. Call your bank and find out the details before purchasing from an insurance company.
- Baggage and personal items insurance
This coverage allows you to claim partial or full reimbursement for missing or delayed luggage. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for suitcases to get lost or displaced while in transit. Seasoned travelers know this to be true. It would be best to pack your important items in your carry on, in case your luggage doesn’t make it back with you to the right destination.
When to purchase this policy:
If you have a designer suitcase and packed expensive items in your luggage, it’s best to purchase this kind of insurance, so you can claim a full refund for your loss and inconvenience. If you’re traveling with expensive skis or golf equipment, it’s a good idea to get them insured, as well. While there are many preventative measures you can do to ensure your luggage doesn’t get lost or stolen, it doesn’t hurt to have this kind of coverage for peace of mind.
Airlines are required by law to be responsible for compensating you for lost, damaged or stolen items while in transit. However, as the reimbursement process may take weeks or months, it can get tedious and frustrating. Having this kind of insurance makes it easy for you to claim for a refund and a replacement with minimal hassle.
- Emergency Medical Insurance
Emergency medical insurance coverage reimburses your hospital bills and medication, in the event that you get sick or into an accident in a foreign country.
This is extremely helpful if you end up traveling to developing countries, where the risks of acquiring transmittable diseases are high. It also protects extreme sports lovers and adventure junkies who are at risk when they trek icy mountains or participate in diving excursions. As many hospitals won’t discharge you until you’ve paid all your medical bills in full, your emergency medical insurance company can serve as a liaison to hash it all out and facilitate payment.
It is important that you read the fine print of your current medical insurance coverage to know if hospitalization or medical expenses abroad are covered. There are medical insurance companies that provide coverage in certain places, so it never hurts to double check.
As travel insurance can help guarantee the full recovery of your vacation investment in case things go awry, many people opt to pay a premium to get the best coverage. It is important to browse through the different insurance policies available in the market. As inclusions and coverage policies vary, you wouldn’t want to be caught in a situation where you’re not getting your money’s worth. There are a lot of comparison websites that offer different policies from different companies for you to choose from. When purchasing an insurance policy, always make sure you are reading the coverage carefully. If there’s something you don’t understand, call the insurance provider and clarify your concerns. Let them thoroughly explain so that you can make informed decisions.
Lastly, make sure to purchase your insurance the earliest that you can. Most insurance companies do not honor any refunds or claims that are made after a hurricane or a bankruptcy is announced. Travel insurance is an investment in itself and it is only ideal that you make it the best investment possible for you, your belongings and your family.