If you haven’t already started your vacations this year, there’s no doubt the season is upon us. Have you considered getting travel insurance? If not, there are plenty of reasons to consider this often cheap protection for that not so cheap vacation. Here are our top 10 reasons to get travel insurance.
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Things happen, it’s inevitable. However, when things happen and you’ve paid thousands of dollars for a vacation do you really want all that money going to waste because you need to cancel your trip? We doubt it. That’s why it’s important to consider travel insurance. It’s easy to sit there and say nothing is going to happen or I don’t care if my leg gets chopped off, I’m going on that vacation! It’s an entirely different story when it actually happens—the need to cancel, not the leg chopped off part, although you never know.
Say a family member dies, or a close friend. Maybe mandatory training came up at work and you’ll lose your job if you don’t show up. Maybe your pet is deathly ill or the country you’re going seems a little unsafe for the time being. Whatever the case may be, you’ll have to cancel your trip. If you don’t have travel insurance, or you have insurance through a crappy company, you’ll be out of pocket—some insurers have specific cancellation scenarios in order for them to consider your case. *Read the fine print*
Read our blog, Best Travel Insurance for Veterans, Service Members
None of us wish for anything bad to happen, but it does. Sadly terrorism isn’t an occasional act anymore. And believe it or not, without insurance, some travel companies won’t give you a refund because of a terrorist attack. They aren’t concerned about your safety. They’re concerned about that money you paid them and how to keep from giving it back to you.
You get Sick on your Trip
You’ve sailed off into the sunset. It’s day two of your trip and life really couldn’t get any better. Oh, but it could get so much worse. Because on day three you wake up and feel like you were run over by a bus. You’ve fallen victim to some terrible bug and you might actually die this time. Especially after you find out your trip won’t be reimbursed because you left early and laid in the ICU for a week.
However, if you had something like, I don’t know, travel insurance, you wouldn’t have to worry about this. Instead, you could file a claim and get some or all of your money back and rebook the trip for a future date. Or just go ahead and flush your money down the toilet now – completely up to you.
Now this one might be news to you, but it happens. I was headed out for Peru one year. I had taken everything I needed to carry with me onto the plane and placed it into one spot for packing. It was about an hour before I had to leave and I went to take this pile and put it in my bag. Book – check, phone – check, earphones – check, wallet – check, passport…wait, where is my passport? I couldn’t find it anywhere. It was not in my safe, where I normally kept it. It was not in my pile. It was not already in my bag. Oh no!
To make a short story even shorter, I found it about 15 minutes before I had to leave (I just looked over it) and was able to make my flight on time. However, what would have happened had I not found my passport? Well for me, a young buck, I would have been screwed out of all my money because I was too wise to buy travel insurance. My hotels were booked, my flights were all booked, my travel fee was paid, everything. And every dime is what I would have lost. Everything paid for and I wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of any of it.
You might not think it would or could happen to you, because you’re too organized to lose anything—I thought I was—but it will. And when it happens, travel insurance might have been a good idea. Also, they’ll help by getting a new passport expedited to you – in case it was lost or stolen while in a foreign country, preventing you from getting back home.
Natural disasters happen, why, because, Mother Nature wants to ruin your vacation. Okay, not really, but seriously, have you ever wondered why it rains on all your days off? She has some serious mood swings! With that being said, if you’re the victim of this and it ruins your travel plans, travel insurance would have your back.
And no, your travel agency isn’t responsible for what Mother Nature does. So chances are, without travel insurance you won’t get your money back.
You Missed your Connecting Flight
You might be thinking to yourself if I miss my connecting flight because of the current flight I’m on, that airline is then held responsible. No, no they are not. Unfortunately, I have experienced this first hand. Oh, and if you’re traveling internationally and going from international to national flight, they definitely won’t be paying you back. Maybe if American Airline flew you from Italy to DC and DC to CA, you’d have better luck. But trust me, you’re chances of missing a flight when dealing with international flight is highly likely. I’ve missed a flight, almost missed a flight, or got lucky because my connection was also late. It’s almost never been a smooth process
Without travel insurance, you might find yourself out of money for your flight and booking a new flight for more money because it’s last minute. Oh, and don’t forget about the fact that it’s late at night, everyone else is trying to book a new flight, and the next flight doesn’t fly out until tomorrow. So now you’re also looking for a hotel for the evening—maybe the airline will be so kind as to give you a discounted rate toward the airport’s hotel.
Your Flight got Canceled
This one is a bit disappointing, but believe it or not a canceled flight as a result of weather does not constitute reimbursement. Sounds terrible, I know, but it isn’t the airline’s fault that Mother Nature was having one of her fits again. It also isn’t the airline’s fault you decided to forgo travel insurance. Now you’re left with a flight that never even left the airport and you’re missing the money you spent on it. However, travel insurance does account for bad weather and they’ll help you get your money back.
Lost or Damaged Luggage
You probably haven’t considered this one because lost or damaged luggage isn’t actual travel. However, travel insurance will help reimburse whatever was lost and help you buy new clothes and things at your location. Because wearing what you traveled in for a week because the airport lost your luggage is not fun.
The good news is, the lost luggage department can typically give you hygiene necessities, but they won’t be giving you a week’s worth of outfits. The last time my luggage was lost, I got a white t-shirt with my kit. But, I wasn’t about to wear that in a five-star restaurant in Paris – they probably wouldn’t even let me in. (It’s a good idea to pack a set of clothes in your carry on).
Emergencies happen. You might need a medical evacuation from your trip. You might end up hurting yourself while you’re on the trip and need medical care. Travel insurance can often help with this.
Keep in mind, you typically need to purchase additional health insurance for overseas travel. Medical Evacuation Insurance is a thing too. So make sure you read the fine print before assuming your travel insurance company has you covered.
Before you go on your next adventure, read our blog, Protect yourself when you Travel
The Travel Company Filed for Bankruptcy
Something else you probably wouldn’t expect, that your travel company went bankrupt. You’ve paid a bunch of money for them to book your hotels, transportation, amenities, experiences, etc. You haven’t actually been booked with any of these things and now the company you hired is incapable of finishing the job. What do you do? You give up on getting your money back and you go home and cry yourself to sleep.
Or, you call up your travel insurance agent and get that your money back. You can choose not to believe this happens, but please trust us, it does. And when it does, a lot of unhappy people are left without a vacation or the money they spent, unless of course, they had travel insurance.
Disclaimer: Travel insurance is like car insurance. Not all agencies are the same or offer the same coverage. Make sure you shop around and that the company you’re seeking insurance through will cover you for what it is you’re seeking coverage for. Read the fine print because some companies might cover you in the case of a medical emergency but not in the case of a job emergency.