Ahhh… your flight is booked, your hotel is paid for, and now you’re about to spend some quality time away from work and the stresses of daily life. Unfortunately, though, going on vacation can be stressful in and of itself! Things like cancelled flights, stolen luggage, or a sudden illness can ruin your plans and leave you in a deep financial hole. Unless you have travel insurance, you won’t REALLY get any rest and relaxation.
Travel insurance isn’t something you’re required to buy before you get on a plane, train, or ship, but having it is a really good idea! With it, you’ll be covered for things like medical bills, lost luggage, and plane delays. But don’t you already have insurance to cover some of those things? After all, if you get sick on vacation, won’t your health insurance kick in?
Your health insurance policy may specific exclude anything that happens to you when you’re out of the country. So, if you get sick or injured abroad, you’re going to be stuck paying for everything yourself. That is, unless you have travel insurance. (In fact, industry experts suggest getting a travel insurance policy that comes with at least $3 million in medical coverage. That way, when those bills add up fast, you’ll know you’re covered!)
And, in the case of lost or stolen luggage, travel insurance can reimburse you for the things that are now missing, so that you don’t have to go out and pay to replace everything all by yourself. There’s just one thing to remember — some travel insurance policies limit the amount they pay out on each specific item. So, if you’re travelling with any valuable things — like jewellery or a fancy camera — you may need to insure them separately. Or, if you and your luggage are stranded at the airport after your flight gets cancelled, you won’t have to sit there and worry about all of the money you’re losing on that pre-paid hotel room and activities. That’s because a good travel insurance policy will compensate you for every 12 hours you spend delayed by plane problems.
If the worst happens — and you have to cancel your vacation at the last minute — you won’t necessarily have to lose all of the money you’ve spent. All you need to do is contact your travel insurance company, and they’ll reimburse you for things like non-refundable airline tickets and pre-paid hotel rooms. Travel insurance can also come in handy if you have to cancel your vacation altogether at the last minute. While your airline tickets and hotel room are probably non-refundable, your travel insurance can compensate you so that you don’t have to lose money AND miss out on your vacation!
Sounds great, right? So, will all travel insurance plans cover this stuff? You’ll have to do some homework and find a comprehensive plan that covers all of these basic issues, along with anything else you think needs to be covered in your specific situation. Luckily, though, a good travel plan will let you add and subtract coverage so that the end result meets your exact needs! If you’re one of those people who always seems to be headed out of town, consider getting an annual travel policy that covers ALL of the trips you take in an entire year.
And, of course, make sure you read all of the fine print before you sign on the dotted line. Find out which, if any, activities your policy excludes. As long as you pay attention to the details now, you’ll get to think about nothing but rest and relaxation on your trip!
Travel photo: epidenver