It never even crossed my mind to get travel insurance until after I really needed it. Fortunately I only had to deal with a missed connection and not a medical emergency. Even still, the extra costs obliterated the budget that I’d worked so hard to stick to. I swore I’d never travel internationally again without buying travel insurance first.
Besides a missed connection, there are literally hundreds of circumstances that could cause you to cancel your trip, return home early or force you to seek emergency medical treatment while traveling. Travel insurance gives coverage for unforeseen problems, from a cancelled flight to a serious illness—or in rare cases, even an act of terrorism or the financial default of a travel supplier. The more comprehensive travel insurance plans available today may also cover emergency medical expenses or transportation to the nearest adequate medical facility, reimbursement for accommodations and expenses incurred due to travel delays, reimbursement for the purchase of essential items if baggage is delayed, and coverage against lost, stolen or damaged baggage.
To demonstrate the importance of purchasing travel insurance, here are ten common examples things that can go wrong:
- You and your family arrive at the airport for a connecting flight, only to find that your flight has been cancelled. Who can assist you with finding new flights to get everyone home?
- Your baggage was lost with your insulin inside. You need help not only to locate your bag, but also to have your emergency prescription filled as soon as possible. Who do you call?
- It’s your first trip to Europe and your passport and wallet are stolen. Where do you turn for emergency cash and how will you get your passport replaced?
- You’re involved in an accident and adequate medical treatment is not available. Who will help arrange and pay for a medical evacuation?
- Your mother-in-law becomes seriously ill and you must cancel your trip. What happens to your “non-refundable” deposits or pre-payments?
- You arrive for a business trip in Chicago but your luggage doesn’t. If it’s lost, who will help you find it? If it’s delayed, who will pay for your necessities? If it’s stolen, who will pay to replace it?
- You are at a beach resort in Jamaica and are forced to evacuate due to an approaching hurricane. Who will help you evacuate and who will reimburse your lost vacation investment?
- Your cruise line, airline or tour operator goes bankrupt. Who will pay for your “non-refundable” expenses? Who will help get you to your destination?
- You’re walking down a street in Paris and twist your ankle. Who can help you find an English-speaking physician?
- Three weeks before your scheduled arrival, a terrorist incident occurs in the city to which you are planning to visit. Who will pay if you decide to cancel your trip?
These things could happen to any one of us. Luckily, I’ve made it really easy to purchase exceptional travel insurance. Look to the right sidebar on my blog and you’ll see a box with an advertisement for Travel Guard by Chartis or at the very top of this page where it says “Insurance.” Simply click on one of those (or this link) and you’ll be redirected to a webpage where you can get a free quote. You can search for air, rental car or hotel only, or for a more complex vacation or cruise package. There are travel insurance plans for a wide array of budgets—from modest trips to high-end luxury vacations. There are also products for last-minute getaways, extended trips, and specific coverage plans for cruise travelers, golf travelers, students, and sports travel. The cost of travel insurance is based, in most cases, on the value of the trip and the age of the traveler. Typically, the cost is only five to seven percent of the total trip cost.
Travel Guard also includes what they call LiveTravel®—a 24-hour travel counselor for emergency or last-minute travel changes such as re-booking flights, hotel reservations or ground transportation. You can get assistance with emergency cash transfers, pre-trip consultation services (travel advisories, passport requirements, inoculation information, etc.), and live messaging, which will relay any e-mail or phone message to family, friends or business associates. Additionally, Travel Guard insurance includes some amazing concierge services too. Restaurant referrals and reservations, event ticketing, tee time reservations and even floral services can be made by simply calling Travel Guard’s worldwide toll-free numbers.
To get your free quote, click on this link or on the Travel Guard ad on the sidebar. Next, enter your state of residency and then click “Continue.” A page with several tabs with information will be displayed. Click on “Buy Now” button at the top right of the page. You’ll be prompted to enter your destination country (or state if in the U.S.), departure and return dates, your deposit date, and the estimated total trip cost (per person.) Click “Buy Now” again and it will give you the various options of coverage and prices. It’s that easy!
Believe me, when I booked a flight on a certain low-cost European airline (which shall remain nameless) and they canceled the flight without notifying me, and I ended up having to buy same-day flights on another carrier, I wish I had paid the $160 for travel insurance beforehand. It would have saved me well over a thousand dollars. Now that’s what I call money well spent.