Trip planning is never easy. Whether you do it yourself or use a travel agent, there are many decisions to make and tasks to complete before you get to the fun part of taking a vacation. And thanks to the pandemic, today there are even more obstacles, roadblocks, and complex choices travelers have to make. So, it’s no wonder you’re looking for trip advice on just about everything, including whether or not it’s worth it to purchase travel insurance.
What does travel insurance cover?
The best travel insurance plan for you will depend on the unique details of your specific trip. However, the following is information about four common coverages that are typically found in a comprehensive travel insurance plan, along with what these options may and may not cover.
- Emergency Medical Coverage can help to fill gaps left by your primary health insurance if you become ill or injured while traveling and need to seek medical attention. However, if the medical emergency is the result of a preexisting condition, you may not be eligible to receive any reimbursement for treatment. For this reason, if you have a preexisting health concern or a previously documented medical event, it may be wise to seek an emergency medical plan with preexisting condition coverage included.
- Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Benefit is extremely important coverage for all trip-takers, whether traveling abroad or domestically. With the medical evacuation insurance benefit, you can get professional support to identify the best medical facility possible to treat your condition and may also get financial assistance to transport you there. In addition, when it’s deemed safe for you to travel again, medical evacuation coverage typically helps pay to get you home, including possibly covering the cost of a medical companion or any equipment you may still require due to your condition, such as oxygen, an IV, or a nebulizer. This benefit can also pay for a friend or family member to travel to your bedside if you are going to be hospitalized for more than seven days.
- Baggage Loss, Delay, or Damage Coverage typically reimburses you up to a specific amount for luggage and other covered items that are lost, stolen, or damaged while you’re traveling. In addition, this coverage usually offers reimbursement for purchases of essential items that you may need to feel comfortable while you’re waiting for your bags to, hopefully, arrive. There is often a specific period of time, generally between 12 and 24 hours, that your bags must be delayed for you to be eligible for this coverage, and it is typically only available on the outbound part of the trip. Additionally, if you’re traveling with expensive sports equipment or other valuables, which are often excluded from this coverage, then it’s important to look into a trip insurance plan that extends coverage to these items.
- Trip Cancellation and Interruption Coverage is probably the protection that most travelers are seeking when they think about travel insurance. It is also often the coverage that causes the most confusion, because the reasons for cancellation and interruption that insurance companies cover vary greatly. From you or your travel companion getting ill to a natural disaster leaving your vacation destination in ruins or your airline, cruise line, or other carrier going into a service hiatus due to a labor strike or bad weather, there are as many as 28 covered reasons that your plan could include.
If you do cancel a trip due to a reason covered by your travel insurance plan any time prior to departure, having trip cancellation coverage in place could help you recoup up to 100% of your insured trip cost. Interruption coverage, on the other hand, is there for you if you need to cut your travels short due to a covered reason. This insurance option may reimburse you up to 150% of your insured trip cost, which can help offset nonrefundable trip costs, as well as the added costs you might incur for changing or booking additional flights or other modes of travel to get home.
These are just a few of the common coverages that you should look for in a well-designed travel insurance plan. However, there are numerous other coverage options you may want to consider, based on your specific travel itinerary, its price tag, and the level of risk or uncertainty surrounding your trip.
Perhaps the most relevant additional coverage option you may want to consider is Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR). Having this benefit on your trip insurance policy may allow you to cancel your travel plans beyond the reasons typically covered under trip cancellation insurance. With CFAR, your travel insurance may apply to losses that are directly or indirectly related to known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, government prohibitions, warnings, or travel advisories. The typical CFAR policy could reimburse you up to 75% of your insured trip costs if you cancel prior to your departure. However, this benefit is offered as part of a comprehensive plan, not separately, and is only available to travelers who meet the eligibility criteria.
The team at Fred C. Church can help you identify the travel risks and insurance options for your next trip.
If you’re like many Americans who are eager to get out and explore the country, or the world, again, then the sooner you can get started working with an experienced insurance professional like Fred C. Church to identify appropriate travel insurance coverage solutions for your trip plans, the better.
We have a special relationship with InsureMyTrip, which enables our team to access a wide variety of travel insurance coverages our clients may need. But the travel resources that we can provide through this partner go well beyond helping you find the right trip insurance plan at reasonable prices. From tailored travel itineraries to travel security advisories and 24/7 emergency assistance, purchasing travel insurance through this Fred C. Church partner can provide you with a broad array of services and options to help you prepare for and manage your travel risks.