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Travel Insurance Can Protect Your Summer Vacation Plans

Written by Linda Rey on June 3, 2010 in Insurance  |   8 comments

I love to travel. I think getting out of your element and going somewhere else is a way to broaden your life and make it interesting. Travel can be an investment in your happiness, and just like any investment, it should be protected. When you’re…

Travel insurance for summer vacationI love to travel. I think getting out of your element and going somewhere else is a way to broaden your life and make it interesting.

Travel can be an investment in your happiness, and just like any investment, it should be protected. When you’re planning a trip, you confirm your reservations, pack your bags, put your pet in a kennel, maybe arrange with a neighbor to pick up your mail and newspapers.

But what happens if you have a medical emergency while you’re on your trip? Have you thought about what kind of protection you have? You might have sufficient coverage under your regular medical insurance policy. Or you might have less coverage than you think.

Travelers should consider a variety of travel insurance plan options. The two most popular coverages are trip insurance, which protects a nonrefundable deposit in the event of a cancellation, and travel medical insurance, which protects travelers in the event of an illness or injury on a trip.

You may want to add the following options to your travel insurance policy, if they’re not already part of the policy you’re buying, depending on where you’re traveling and what kind of travel investment you want to protect:

  • Trip and flight cancellation. A trip can get canceled for a number of reasons, most notably weather- and health-related incidents. Recently, thousands of travelers were stranded because of the impact of the volcano in Iceland. Travel insurance might have helped take some of the headache out of a bad situation. Hot spots can occur across the globe, and without the right kind of travel insurance, you might lose the value of your airplane tickets or prepaid hotel bill. You may want to add a rider to your policy that ups the amount you are able to recover in the event your trip, including your flights, are canceled.
  • Lost baggage. Maybe your trip or flight didn’t get canceled, but your baggage somehow didn’t accompany you for the entire journey. It’s one thing to have to buy new clothes, but an inconvenience can turn into an emergency if you packed medicine or other necessities in your checked baggage. Lost baggage coverage can assist with replacing expensive prescriptions that will help you avoid a medical emergency.
  • Stolen wallet and passport. You won’t get far without these items. If your travel policy doesn’t include this as part of its standard coverage, consider picking up a rider that will provide immediate access to representatives who can help facilitate the continuation of your trip and your safe return home.
  • Medical benefits, evacuation, and repatriation. If medical attention is necessary in the event of an injury or illness, travel medical insurance will provide funding for treatment. If there are no adequate medical facilities in your vicinity, this part of your travel insurance policy will provide for a safe evacuation so that you can access proper medical treatment.
  • Death and dismemberment. As difficult as it is to imagine a worst-case scenario, sometimes bad things happen. Some forms of travel insurance coverage can help surviving family members manage the emotional hardship of a fatality or severe injury in a foreign country by abating the financial stress and logistical headaches of these traumas.

What Kind of Travel Insurance Plan Do I Need?

Short-term plans can protect individuals traveling overseas for several days to several months; other plans cover long-term trips of up to two years. Foreign nationals have access to travel insurance policies that will help protect them medically while residing in the United States.

A business can protect its employees who travel frequently with a comprehensive, reasonably priced travel insurance plan, which provides extra protection to the employee and to the employee’s family if they are traveling with him or her. Since these plans provide coverage beyond a health insurance plan, they are a smart option for frequent travelers.

How Is Travel Insurance Coverage Priced?

Pricing for travel insurance is based on the type of plan, the price range of the trip, the age of the traveler, the general destination, and the length of the trip. In addition to securing coverage under travel insurance, check with your health insurance carrier to confirm that your plan covers emergent and urgent care.

Some circumstances are out of your control, but with the added help of travel insurance, you can relax and concentrate on more important things-like which wine to order at dinner and how much sunscreen to use when sitting by the pool.

Remember, read the policy carefully so you fully understand the terms and conditions of the travel insurance product you’re buying.

Linda Rey is a licensed insurance agent at Rey Insurance with a broad spectrum of expertise in life, accident, health, property and casualty insurance as well as retirement planning and college funding strategies.
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8 comments

  1. Katie Gear says:

    I never thought about getting travel insurance over the past few years… But after traveling to and from Europe and encountering lost luggage (for 3 weeks!), a stolen wallet AND getting very sick in Spain, the next time I go ANYWHERE out of the country I will not leave without some form of insurance. It may seem silly to think about, and people always assume nothing bad will happen to them but it can! If I had insurance at the time I lost all of my luggage and wallet, it would have made the end of those trips MUCH more enjoyable!

  2. Lisa Kaslyn says:

    My mother planned a trip to India two years ago and got sick right before. Thankfully, she had purchased travelers insurance and, although she had to cancel the trip, she did not lose any money. It could have cost her more than $3,000.

  3. Linda Rey says:

    Wow katie, thanks for sharing…exactly why this type of insurance can be vital!! accidents can & do happen! insurance is about leverage, you pay a small amount of money (premium) for a large sum of money (benefit).

  4. Linda Rey says:

    Comments from Facebook:

    Thom: Travel plans. Who can travel when you are a real estate broker!

    Angela: I think travel insurance is very important because you never know what unexpected circumstances could pop up that cause your travel plans to unravel. My business partner shared a story about one of her clients who couldn't make it to their own wedding because of passport issues. Those that hadn't bought travel insurance had to go to the wedding location anyway so they wouldn't lose their money. It was a sad story.

    Dick: Now I have an idea for a new business – marriage insurance.

    Linda: Dick, let me know if you find a carrier who will write that "risk".

  5. Eva Rosenberg, EA says:

    Back when I was a kid and travel was special and rare, whenever my father got on an airplane he went to one of those Travelers Insurance kiosks. He would buy a policy and mail it back to my mom.

    We used to tease him, telling him that we didn't know whether to be delighted, or concerned. Did we want him to successfully complete the flight – or crash and have the policy pay out. Fortunately, we never had to find out.

    Seriously though, when it comes to expensive trips planned well in advance, travel insurance is a great idea.

    On a trip to Portugal, British Airways managed to leave our luggage in London. Then on the way back, we got so lost in Heathrow's ridiculously unclear signage (along with other people, some who said they were repeatedly going through the same security checkpoint) until we missed our flight. They were able to get us on a different flight on another airline, and ultimately, it all worked out.

    But it would have been nice to have insurance.

    And my friend's size -2 wife was generous enough to offer me some clothing until my luggage arrived. Her things may have fit over my right arm. Almost.

    Fortunately, she could speak Portuguese and negotiated the delivery of our luggage to her concierge so we didn't have to waste a day waiting for it.

  6. Ilyce says:

    Eva – what a great story. I last bought travel insurance for a two-week trip to Morocco I took with my mother. We didn't need the insurance but it was nice to have.

    When my mother-in-law got sick, and ultimately passed away, during a trip to Costa Rica several years ago, her travel insurance paid to medivac her from a remote beach to the capital, and ultimately paid all of her medical bills that would not have been covered by Medicare.

    I learned then that travel insurance is essential for anyone whose own health insurance won't cover them outside the U.S. – or, if you don't have a regular health insurance policy.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Linda, really helpful advice.

  7. Marlon says:

    Not just your summer vacation plans. I think having travel insurance today is very important because you'll never know what might happen during your trip, especially when abroad.

  8. shajal says:

    I learned then that travel insurance is essential for anyone whose own health insurance won’t cover them outside the U.S. – or, if you don’t have a regular health insurance policy.

    Thanks for sharing your story.


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