This blog post is definitely full of doom and gloom - but there’s a reason for it, I promise. It’s not the most alluring of travel topics, but it’s an important one: travel insurance.
It’s no secret that travel costs can add up. From flights to accommodations to excursions, the sticker shock can knock the wind out of any frugal traveler, and the last thing many want to do is add to that outstanding balance. But if there’s one expense you should never skip, it would be travel insurance, especially for vacations that cost more than you’d like to lose.
A few weeks ago, a hurricane swept right past the Hawaiian islands, and as I write this, another one is on the way. Imagine you had spent thousands on that perfect Hawaiian getaway, and now your flight is cancelled and all airports are closed. Or maybe right before you board the plane, you trip and break your ankle. Or your dog gets sick and you have to stay home for emergency surgery.
I warned you it would be doom and gloom.
The list of what could go wrong before or during a vacation is endless. Travel insurance is the first thing you should budget for when planning a vacation. I'll admit, it’s no fun paying a few hundred dollars for “nothing” until that “nothing” means getting all of your money back if something goes awry. Sadly, many people think it’s unnecessary or believe that their credit card company or primary health insurance will cover travel related mishaps. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Buying insurance means buying peace of mind.
Not convinced yet? Here are (only) 5 perks of travel insurance:
LOST BAGGAGE: The airlines handle millions of pieces of luggage a year, and tracking a lost bag could take days (if you’re lucky). On the other hand, the travel insurance company is often able to locate lost luggage within a matter of hours.
MEDICAL CANCELLATION: You’re healthy, in shape, and ready to hop on the plane. But you trip while walking the dog and now, 2 weeks before you leave, you’re having surgery and in a cast. Having travel insurance allows you to submit a claim and recuperate the cost of your entire vacation. Another bonus? Most travel insurance policies cover pre-existing conditions if you purchase a plan within so many days of booking travel.
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CARE: Maybe it’s not a big issue in Hawaii, because you’re still within the U.S., but receiving medical care in foreign territory can be stressful. The insurance companies have translators and relationships with American physicians to coordinate care abroad. Worst case scenario: being flown to the closest large medical center could bankrupt you without the coverage of travel insurance.
CONCIERGE SERVICES: Not all travel insurance perks are related to accidents or health issues. Need to send flowers to a friend back home? Your travel insurance can do that! Not sure where the closest ATM is? Give them a call. For almost every mundane need on vacation, there’s an agent waiting to help you figure it out.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION: The world is always changing and unfortunately that means security issues can arise with no warning. If you become stuck in an unsafe area, travel insurance companies will arrange to have you safely transported back home.
I could list a hundred more perks, but hopefully this list has nudged you in the right direction. Or maybe you’re wondering if this is a big sales gimmick because I want a cut of that commission.
Being completely transparent - yes, I make commission on insurance, but that’s not why I push it. I don’t step foot on a plane without it. I wouldn’t sell something that I don’t personally believe in, and I believe in spending the extra money on insurance because losing a few thousand dollars adds insult to injury when you have to cancel travel plans.
Yay! You made it through the most boring blog post ever. I promise the next one will be more fun.