Today’s travelers are ready to unleash their pent-up vacation energies, and they’re cramming their bags into airport check-ins, cruises, hotel rooms, resorts, and highways, despite inflation that’s hotter than a desert summer.
But with COVID-19 underway, travelers are carefully weighing the pros and cons of adding travel insurance to their travel budgets.
During the early days of the pandemic, millions of travelers learned the importance of travel insurance firsthand.
A Forbes Advisor poll conducted in February found that more than 80 percent of Americans who were unable to travel due to illness experienced financial hardship.
This summer, Americans are expected to travel an average of 2,644 dollars, which is a 30% increase from 2019. That’s a significant loss.
However, whether or not you should take your insurance with you to the beach is not always obvious.
Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether or not to pack sunscreen and reading materials.
What Travel Insurance Covers
Most travel insurance policies cover your personal belongings, accidents and medical expenses, cancellation and delay of your trip, and emergency evacuation in the event you need to return home for medical treatment. Some policies may also cover property damage and theft.
When it comes to trip cancellation insurance, you can expect to lose money in cases of major family emergencies, military deployments, civil unrest, unexpected jury duty, and more.
In the event of sickness, an accident, or death, the policy may also cover you, your immediate family members, or a traveling companion.
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Other acceptable reasons include losing yourself or a family member’s job, losing your home or other residence, or having your travel business close for 24 hours as a result of natural disasters, extreme weather, or an attack.
Of course, you’ll need a policy in place before any of these events to protect you.
Some of the extras you can add to a policy include:
- Additional medical coverage
- Adventure sports coverage
- Pets coverage
- Private security
- Wedding coverage
An AIG “inconvenience” bundle that covers things like attractions closing, hotel renovations, or rental car breakdown
Why is Travel Insurance Important?
Travel insurance is important because it safeguards you from unexpected events while you’re on the road and helps cover your costs in case of a crash.
For example, if you’ve had to cancel your trip due to an injury to your leg, a family member passing away, or inclement weather, you may be able to recover your lost investment costs (to name a few) under the many covered causes of Trip Cancellations benefits.
While it is generally recommended to purchase your travel insurance as soon as your first travel payment or deposit is received, you must purchase your travel insurance within 14 to 21 days of your initial deposit in order to receive coverage such as a ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ or a ‘Pre-Existing Condition Waiver’ (see this article for more information on why cancellation insurance is important).
A lot of visitors don’t realize that their primary travel medical insurance carrier often doesn’t cover medical bills incurred while on holiday abroad.
This means that you’ll be on the hook for the cost of medical care if you need it or have to be evacuated as a result of a medical emergency while on vacation.
Your travel insurance can also help you avoid problems like flight delays, lost or stolen luggage, and missed cruise departures.
Travel insurance can help you make up for lost or stolen vacation time or compensation for lost or stolen items. Check your policy terms for more information on what’s covered in the case of lost or stolen luggage.
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Since the price of travel insurance depends on a number of factors, the best way to get the most comprehensive coverage at the lowest cost is to compare policies from some of the world’s best travel insurance providers.
Because comparison websites let you compare general retail travel insurance policies from the best travel insurance providers around the world, I recommend purchasing your travel insurance policy from a comparison website like yonder travel insurance.
Is Travel Insurance Worth it Right Now?
If you don’t need travel insurance, you may want to avoid buying it if you do not need it. The price of travel insurance may be higher than the loss you could experience when all you need is an airline ticket and a small down payment.
Next, look at the cancellation policies offered by your chosen airline, cruise line, or resort. Since the pandemic forced travel companies to adjust their cancellation policies for their clients, most tickets are now rebooked at prices lower than what it would cost to purchase travel insurance.
For example, after Delta’s 24-hour “Risk-Free Cancellation” period, you may be re-booked for as little as $0 to as much as $500 (depending on your itinerary) plus any additional fees on the new ticket you purchase.
JetBlue’s fee is $100 for domestic trips, $200 for Caribbean and Mexican, and $100 for Central American trips.
If you’re changing your itinerary online, you’ll only have to pay the $25 extra fee for making your change over the phone
Southwest doesn’t require a fee for changes or cancellations, but you’ll still be responsible for any extra fees you incur by revising your itinerary
You can often change or cancel a trip for free by paying extra to upgrade your flight from basic economy to main cabin.
Most airline cancellation policies offer a credit or travel voucher that you can use on another trip for a year instead of a refund.
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Attention: Cancellation policies can change as COVID spreads and contracts. For example, Airbnb stopped accepting cancellations in May due to its “extenuating circumstances” policy.
The best way to find out if there’s any flexibility is to contact your travel agent and discuss the details. Before you buy any coverage, make sure it covers the specific risks that could stop you from beginning or ending a trip.