I don’t want you to travel without travel insurance, here’s why…
Updated: Aug 26, 2020
I know, I know, insurance, blah! For most clients, this is the one thing you are likely going to resist when I mention it. You are spending lots of hard-earned dollars on your trip, you would rather upgrade your cabin or splurge on that wine tasting excursion with that star sommelier. I understand! The struggle is real. Hear me out, insurance is the most important purchase you will make, aside from securing my services of course.
In this great big complicated world, things happen when you least expect it and the unpredictability of our own health and the health of our loved ones are always in the back of our minds particularly when we are in the throes of planning a trip. Take the anxiety and uncertainty of what might happen and protect your out of pocket investment with a good travel insurance policy. There are so many options for just about any need. It is money well spent and security for you and your loved ones. Here are some highlights to policies, this is not meant to be a complete list of coverages.
Trip cancellation, interruption and delay Trip cancellation covers you in the event of having to cancel your trip for a reason up to your departure date. Trip interruption insurance benefits you if for some reason your trip is interrupted after you have started on your journey. Travel delay coverage handles the expenses of hotel, and food if weather, or strikes delays your travel plans. Coverage varies per policy, most policies have coverage if a loved one gets ill and you must stay back to care for them, missing the trip.
Medical coverage is probably the thing most people think of when it comes to insurance. And you may think your own medical coverage will cover you, but many plans will not cover you overseas. If you happen to trip in a Portugal Vineyard and fracture your ankle, you may have to pay the hospital out of your pocket before they let you leave! Quel nightmare! Oh, there are worse scenarios for sure but that is a common one most people can relate to.
Pre-existing conditions, one of my favorite subjects, not. Most of us have them, I have many more than I ever wanted for sure. What I do know is that since I have the potential to have back issues that tend to creep up at the last second that cause me to be immobile, for this reason, I always need a way out of my vacation. By purchasing travel insurance when I book my travel, I am assured that it will cover my out of pocket costs should I have to cancel my trip because of serious back issues. Typically, you must purchase travel insurance to cover pre-existing conditions within 14-21 days of your initial trip deposit. It depends on the insurance company. If you have a travel advisor that offers insurance, they usually will offer a few types and it’s up to you to compare those plans to see if they fit your scenario.
Medical evacuation I was on a cruise a few years back and there was a passenger that hurt his leg severely while snorkeling on a private island in the Bahamas. He got on the ship with help from the medical team and they thought all would be well. The ship left the port and went about its’ merry way. Middle of the night the Captain comes over the loudspeaker and asks for people to come to the medical clinic if they have a certain blood type. Apparently, the injury was worse and the passenger who was injured needed a blood transfusion. We were also told we were headed to Turks & Caicos again since that was the closest hospital. The ship docked and the passenger was delivered to the hospital right from the port via ambulance. We later heard he was airlifted back to Miami. How much do you think that bill was? All I could think was, I hope he’s ok and that he had purchased a good travel insurance policy.
CFAR-Cancel for Any Reason Add-on are an optional benefit of travel insurance coverage which offers the opportunity to cancel travel plans for reasons other than those listed as “covered reasons” on a policy (not just for ‘any reason under the sun’, check before you buy). CFAR allows you to bypass that list, giving you greater flexibility and freedom when making decisions about travel reservations. You cannot purchase CFAR separately – it can only be an “add-on” benefit. It is offered as a part of certain comprehensive plan and will only be available if you meet certain criteria. If you meet all the conditions, most of the policies will reimburse you 75% of your trip costs, unless otherwise noted.
Concierge Services – Maybe you’re in Southampton and you have a tooth that needs attention, it can’t wait. Most policies have concierge service, and in this case, they would have a recommended Dentist in that area you could see. Some insurance companies even have a service where they work to rebook your flights if there’s a delay! How about that?! No matter where you travel across the globe, the insurance companies have local services at hand.
How premiums are calculated - Premiums are based on the age of the traveler(s), the second factor is the amount of the trip. Most companies I work with waive the premium for traveling children with a paid adult. Group policies are altogether different and don’t go by age. You may wonder why I don’t recommend the insurance directly from the cruise line. In most instances, the third-party insurance I work with are much more comprehensive.
What do I do if something happens? Take care of yourself and your traveling companions first so folks are safe. You should call the concierge service on the insurance info you have that is listed on your itinerary. You should also inform me no matter the time or day so that I can work with the insurance company on your behalf. Depending on the situation, it may require all hands-on deck or just following up when you get back home.
Making a Claim – When my clients have a claim they need to file, I am right there to assist you and walk you through the process. I’ve been through this many times and know the drill. Usually it requires tons of patience and time (usually 4-6 weeks). We all have plenty of those two things, right?
Bottom line, do you have a plan? If you don’t plan to purchase insurance, what can you afford out of pocket IF something goes wrong. Will you have to mortgage your home if there’s something serious that happens? Will you be able to buy another plane ticket to get home if you get stranded somewhere because of a hurricane or volcano that makes it impossible to fly home? If you had an unpredictable ailment requiring immediate surgery in the Bahamas and they won’t let you leave the country before you pay your bill in full, could you finance that? What can you financial sustain? I could go on, but I think by now you get my point. Insurance is just that, it can’t ensure that something won’t happen, but it can provide the assurance that you will more than likely be made whole or mostly whole and not have a financial disaster on your hands because life happened.
Now let’s find you a comprehensive policy to cover the trip we’re planning!