What is something you need to purchase before a trip, generally costs very little, and could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the event your travel and stay don’t go as planned.
Whether it’s your trip, your luggage, or your health - travel insurance - and most important, the right kind of travel insurance - has become an essential item to pack for smart travelers. And if you don’t buy the right kind of travel insurance, more than your trip could be ruined.
According to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association, about 30% of Americans purchase travel insurance, an increase from 10% before 9/11. The top three reasons are: peace of mind, protection against the unexpected, and concern over losing the financial investment in a trip.
Be sure to pack these things!
Before you take off, compare the cost of your trip to the cost of purchasing insurance. If you bought a $200 airline ticket, you probably don’t need any travel insurance. If you paid for your trip with a credit card, check with the credit card company to see what additional trip coverage they provide as a result of using their card. Below are some types of travel insurance that you should consider before leaving home.
- Baggage Coverage – provides reimbursement for lost, stolen or damaged baggage or personal items. Check with your homeowner’s insurance company to see what may or may not be covered by your policy when traveling. Then check with the airline to see what coverage they offer. This will allow you to decide if you need additional insurance to cover your belongings while traveling.
- Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance – This coverage reimburses you for non-refundable trip payments and deposits if a trip is cancelled for some reason. What if your trip is delayed or cancelled due to an act of terrorism, a hurricane or some other unforeseen circumstance? When purchasing this insurance read the fine print to ensure that unexpected travel expenses will be covered if you have to pay for extra days in a hotel or a different flight home. Be sure to read the list of covered perils so that you know exactly what is covered by this insurance.
- Travel Health Insurance & Medical Evacuation Insurance – Most health insurance providers fully cover your medical expenses when you are travelling within the U.S. However, if you have a health emergency outside the U.S., you could be left to pay for everything out of pocket – even if your insurance might provide some reimbursement. So before you dust off that passport, it’s good to know what you are covered for (if anything) and how it would be paid for when you are overseas. Also, you need to know that Medicare will not cover medical care outside the United States. Healthcare choices may be severely limited and the potential costs high for someone with a serious illness while abroad. If you do not have a policy that will provide an air ambulance to pick you up and get you back to the U.S., you are in a lot of trouble. A medical evacuation policy may cost one to three hundred dollars, but if you had to pay for an air ambulance on your own, you could be looking at costs that easily exceed $50,000. The U.S State Department maintains lists on their website of companies that provide medical evacuations as well as insurance to cover such a potentially costly endeavor. One last note – If you are planning to trek the Himalayas or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, we advise that you talk to your insurance provider to make sure that your policy covers high-risk activities such as parasailing, mount climbing, scuba diving and off-roading.
Happy and Safe Traveling!
All of us at PartnersInWealth hope that you find these travel tips helpful. We wish everyone happy and safe travels this summer