Today’s post isn’t fun or exciting, but it is important! My last post covered tips for saving money while traveling, but this tip could potentially save you thousands in the long run.
When you are budgeting for a vacation, it is really important to build the cost of travel insurance into that budget. Travel Insurance is extremely reasonable. – Generally speaking, a family of four can expect to pay under $200 for a week’s vacation. Of course that price varies based on destination, ages and length of travel.
But let’s talk about the WHY?First of all, travel insurance offers cancellation coverage. Depending on the plan, there will be a variety of covered reasons including, but not limited to: severe weather, illness, an act of terrorism and even termination of employment. Some plans actually offer Cancel for Any Reason.
Travel Insurance also protects you in the case of delayed or interrupted travel. Imagine you have booked a $6,000 cruise and your flight is delayed. You, in turn, miss the ship. The ship is not waiting for you and they have already been paid. Without insurance, you are really out of luck.
With that being said, exactly what does an airline owe you if your flight is cancelled or delayed? Every carrier has its own set of policies. Generally speaking, an airline will offer compensation if they are responsible for the delay, however, if the delay or cancellation is weather related, the result of a labor dispute or caused by some other unforeseen circumstance, they most likely will not offer a refund or cover lodging and meals.
Let’s talk about health and emergencies. You may be thinking, “I have health insurance. I’ll be fine.” That is true to an extent. BUT – most health insurance plans do not cover you when traveling internationally.
Also – and this is BIG – travel Insurance will cover medical evacuations or transport.
Case in point, several years ago while visiting Myrtle Beach, my father contracted MRSA and experienced many complications from his diabetes. He was taken to a local hospital and his health insurance covered his medical treatment. His stay became quite lengthy and we were told he most likely would not survive the drive back home to Maryland. The cost to have him medically transported home where he could be treated by his own doctors was more than any of us could possibly afford.
Additionally, had he not survived, we would have faced a huge cost to get him home for a funeral. After 3 weeks, he was released against medical advice and my mother drove him home where he was readmitted for treatment by his doctors. Had he had travel insurance, the situation could have played out very differently. He could have been treated at home and my brother, sister and I would have been able to visit and help our mother out.
I have also been on two separate cruises where an individual had to be medically evacuated. During a recent training, our Travel Insured rep informed us that helicopter evacuations can exceed $30,000!
When you think about all of the “what-ifs,” doesn’t it just make sense to protect yourself?