Previously we have two posts about travel insurance. In part 1, we discussed the two main reasons to purchase insurance: Trip cancellation and medical cost protection. And in part 2, we discussed the kinds of travel insurance policies to purchase: when to purchase and who to purchase insurance from. In this post, we’ll go into more detail about some specific policy options.
In general, you can get coverage for the following reasons: trip cancellation, trip interruption, loyalty program costs, emergency medical and dental costs, travel delay or missed connection, lost, damaged or stolen baggage, delayed baggage, and change fees. There’s a lot that could go wrong isn’t there?
Let’s talk a little about each one.
Trip Cancellation or interruption insurance
This is to recover your costs if you need to cancel your trip before you even start. Health is a big reason – here’s some examples –
- You suddenly get too sick to travel,
- A family member that’s not traveling with you is seriously ill or has an injury,
- A family member or traveling companion dies,
- You become pregnant
But how about reasons associated with getting you to your trip? here’s some examples of that:
- Your airline files for default,
- You are in a traffic accident on your way to your vacation
And consider these other reasons you may need to cancel your trip:
- You home is hit by a natural disaster, flood or burglary
- Your travel providers (airlines, cruise line, etc) cancel because of natural disaster, severe weather or a strike
- You are terminated or laid off from your job
- If you are in the military, you are reassigned
- You miss half your trip because your travel was delayed
Frequent traveler coverage
If you have to re-deposit points in your frequent traveler or loyalty program because you trip is canceled, many insurance plans will cover the cost of the fees associated with re-depositing awards into your account
Emergency medical and/or dental coverage
What if you suddenly get sick during your trip and it’s life threatening or needs to be attended to immediately to insure a avoid a more serious condition? Or what if you lose a filing or break a tooth that needs immediate treatment while traveling. This is a low probability but high cost situation that insurance is a great option for.
Travel delay coverage
This is to recover costs associated with a significant delay caused by an airline or unannounced strike, severe weather or even if your travel documents are stolen. This also covers missing your connection because of severe weather or your delayed by a traffic accident.
Lost, damaged or stolen baggage
This one is pretty self explanatory. We all know that sometimes bad things happen to otherwise good luggage.
Delayed Baggage coverage
This covers the cost to purchase essential items needed until your your baggage arrives.
Change Fee coverage
This covers airline change fees when your trip is canceled or interrupted (for a covered reason of course) or you were delayed due to severe weather.
There’s a lot that can go wrong and sometimes it does. And there are some caveats here. First, each insurance policy is different so you need to read your specific policy. Second, the above are very general statements – each policy will list specifically when the coverage applies, what’s excluded, what’s covered and any coverage limits. Third, each policy defines terms slightly differently so again, be sure you to read each policy carefully.
The bottom line here though is that sometimes bad things happen no matter what. And there’s a pretty long list of bad things that could happen. As we said in our first post on this subject, we always purchase travel insurance when we go on vacation. We’ve seen too many people regret not buying it. And relative to the cost of the trip, it’s a small expense. So talk to your travel agent about getting travel insurance – before you travel.