Should I Buy Travel Insurance?
Well, before I attempt to help you with that question, let’s take a peek at what travel insurance covers.
Insurance is designed to protect the purchaser in the event of an unexpected financial loss. In the case of travel insurance, a travel insurance policy is designed to protect travelers from suffering a financial loss while traveling.
Travel insurance policies are generally priced by a person’s age and the value of their travel package, and a basic policy will cover the following unexpected travel circumstances:
- Trip Cancellation – protects you in the event that you, our your tour provider, cancels the trip. There are quite a number of reasons that his might happen, but the most common is sickness, injury, or death. I know of someone who was at the airport, and leaving for a fabulous $20k dream vacation, when he got a call that his father had suddenly died. Sadly, the trip did not happen, and the $20K was lost.
- Trip Interruption: this is similar to trip cancellation, but in this case, the trip is already underway and you must leave. Again, this can be the fault of the tour provider, weather, or most likely a sickness, injury, or death. If you fall and break your leg while hiking in the Swiss Alps, it’s likely that your trip will be ended. Trip interruption insurance will protect your investment for a variety of reasons.
- Trip Delay/Missed Cruise Connection – let’s say that you’re in the northeastern part of the United States and headed for a delightful cruise of the Caribbean in February. However, a snow storm has just dumped 2 feet of snow and your flight is cancelled. You are going to miss the ship’s departure.
- Loss Baggage/Baggage Delay – imagine the hassle and financial loss if your bags were stolen. This provides a benefit if that were to occur.
- Emergency Accident Medical Expense – have an accident, and need medical attention? This will protect your financial loss. An absolute must when traveling overseas.
- Emergency Sickness Medical Expenses – have a kidney stone attack, or other health concern? This will protect your financial loss.
- Emergency Medical Evacuation/Repatriation – if you’re unable to get the medical attention you need, or, God forbid, you die overseas, this will insure your financial loss for the airline flights, and necessary medical attention to get you from one place to another.
- Travel Assistance & Concierge – if something happens, you pick up the phone and someone will walk you through your particular dilemma.
Now, these are the basic benefits of a travel insurance policy. Premiums will vary depending on your age, the value of your trip, the length of stay, and the desired insurance coverage amounts. For example, medical evacuation can be very expensive. If you have a heart attack on an African safari, there will be helicopters, ambulances, and possibly even a transfer to a major city if the local hospital doesn’t have the required equipment. So, coverages here can range from $100,000 – $1,000,000, depending on your premium payment.
We can help you with your travel insurance needs.
Listen, a “medical only” travel insurance policy is very inexpensive. Perhaps less than $100. And, you need to understand that most existing medical insurance policies will not cover you while traveling overseas. Now, imagine you’re in a foreign country, don’t speak the language, and you have a serious medical issue. Without medical travel insurance, and that wonderful toll-free number, you are going to feel very alone, and suffer great financial loss.
I just priced a “medical only” travel insurance for a 57 year-old person traveling for two weeks. The cost, depending on coverages, starts at only $37. This is a no-brainer. You simply must spend $37 to protect yourself against a possible significant financial disaster in the case of a medical problem overseas.
Never, ever travel overseas without at least medical travel insurance!
Now, whether you cover the cost of the trip cancellation/interruption depends on your financial wherewithal to absorb the lost. To insure a 57 year-old for two weeks, for a $5,000 trip, including medical insurance, will cost $222 (in today’s dollars). So the question is, would you rather lose $222, or $5,000 – or, significantly more if you suffer a medical loss?
While I’ve only covered a basic policy in this article, as you can imagine, there are lots of bells and whistles for things like pre-existing medical conditions, car insurance, flight accidental death and disability insurance, and on, and on, and on…..
Here’s the thing, as your expert travel advisors, we have the ability to register your travel insurance and get your questions answered. So, you can pick up the phone and ask us your questions, or spend hours and hours on the Internet. It’s your choice. 🙂