Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean travel-season is dwindling down any time soon. That said, while “smart shoppers” will find several ways to save on travel costs—such as using various travel discount sites like Kayak and Orbitz, booking flights on weekdays, and using flight price monitoring apps like Airfare Watch Dog—one of the biggest mistakes a consumer can do is skip out on traveler’s insurance. A vacation should be treated as an investment. If something “unexpected” occurs such as a death in the family, an injury, a new employment opportunity, a terrible weather storm, or even jury duty for example, it’s important that you protect your investment so that you can get full refund or the ability post pone your trip for a later date.
I learned the importance of traveler’s insurance the hard way.
It was the summer of 2007 and I just graduated from college. As a personal gift to myself, I booked a trip to Puerto Rico with my three closest girlfriends. We booked our flights from one of the major discount traveling sites and did not opt to purchase traveler’s insurance—nothing was going to go wrong and we could barely afford the flight as it was. The day of our trip we were all perfectly healthy, there were no weather storms, and we made it to the terminal on time. But there was one huge problem—the day of our flight our airline merged with another airline and our tickets from the discount website were now invalid. Flight attendants gave us the runaround; it was out of their control since we didn’t buy the tickets directly from the airline we were told.
Skipping on traveler’s insurance is risky. Even if you manage to safely arrive to your destination, traveler’s insurance can get you out of an unexpected bind—such as help compensate for lost, stolen, or ruined goods like cameras and cellphones as well as help expedite replacement passports if something tragic happens to it. Some policies also cover overseas emergency medical costs, although you need to read the fine print to make sure this is included in your policy.
That said, other important (and common) areas you should make sure are covered by your policy should include:
- Trip Cancellation
- Trip Cost Interruption
- Trip Delay
- Missed Connection
- Lost, Stolen, Damaged Baggage and Belongings
- Travel Accident
- Accidental Death/Flight Accident
Whatever you do, you want to make sure that the traveler’s insurance policy you choose to purchase is not offered from the same company you buy your flight tickets. That way, if the airline or company goes out of business, you’re still protected. Pre-trip coverage is the most common policy traveler’s use, although multi-trip and annual policies are best for frequent flyers.
Lastly, while it might seem costly to purchase traveler’s insurance, especially for a family on a budget, it’s important to know that the cost varies depending on where you go and who you’re traveling with. For example, those who are 18 and under are typically free per adult. So for example, a family of four with two young children would only need to purchase two insurance policies to be completely covered. Traveler’s insurance is definitely worth it.
Carol Wilson has spent a good majority of her life working for insurance agencies, calculating business insurance quotes and writing for www.businessinsurance.org—so if anyone knows a thing or two about insurance it’s Carol. But aside from sharing her knowledge to readers, she also enjoys sharing her thoughts and opinions on other business-related topics such as marketing techniques. She welcomes your comments at email@example.com