USAA Travel Insurance

What is USAA Travel Insurance?

USAA Travel Insurance is a protection service that helps financial issues that arise during your travels, whether you’re traveling by plane or automobile. Like most Veterans, active-duty soldiers, and their families know, travel plans, especially international travel plans, can change 10 times from the security check-in to the time it takes to get to your original gate. When the inevitable happens, and your baggage doesn’t arrive, or the weather cancels your flight, USAA Travel Insurance will protect you from any burden you’re likely to face.

When You Can Use Travel Insurance?

I really hope I’m not the only one that notices, regardless of what airline I fly with, I am always sprinting to my connection. In the past 10 years, I have missed dozens of flights because the airline didn’t consider connection times or weather delayed the plane from moving. With USAA Travel Insurance, I have saved a few thousand dollars from claims like the one I described here. I created this chart to give you a bigger list of the things you can claim for travel insurance with explanations of each category.

When Can I use my USAA Travel Insurance?
Lost or delayed baggage If your luggage gets lost in transit, you could be on the hook for the cost of your luggage. Airlines will do everything they can do to avoid accountability, but Travel Insurance will make sure you’re covered. If your luggage is delayed and you’re traveling for an event, Travel Insurance will cover the cost of you buying a new suit or dress.
Trip delays or missed connections Anyone who has been in Atlanta, Dallas, or Chicago in the summer can tell you, you’re guaranteed to miss at least one connection, or your trip will be delayed due to weather. The summer storms are undefeated and EVERY airline will refuse accountability if they can’t fly due to weather. That leaves us as travelers stuck with a paid-for plane ticket and no plane to ride in. Let travel insurance take the bill for your lost ticket, I know for sure the airlines won’t do it.
Trip interruption or cancellation because of accident or illness My wife and I have a running joke that if we didn’t go on vacation, we’d never be sick a day in our lives. At least one of us has gotten sick from traveling across the country the last 5 trips from Virginia to Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and California. Last year, I had to have emergency surgery (Torn Tricep off the bone), and I couldn’t make my flight the week after like I originally planned. I would have been out $1,500 for my hotel and plane tickets if I didn’t have travel insurance.
Medical expenses during a trip Whether you get sick or you go on vacation and get hurt during a hike in Colorado or rock climbing in Utah, there will be medical expenses. With these medical expenses, many people are often overwhelmed with jacked-up fees that come with emergency care. USAA Travel Insurance will pay at least a portion of those bills, and the best part is travel insurance is independent of your health insurance. So, if your health insurance company decides you violated some terms of their agreement and doesn’t pay for your expenses, travel insurance will cover you.
Interruptions related to weather and natural disaster Weather is the number one reason people miss their flights, and every airline has a policy to not reimburse any flight that has been canceled by something out of their control (i.e., weather, natural disasters. Travel insurance doesn’t care how or why you had your flight interrupted, they pay either way.
Medical and legal referral  If you’re skiing in the Rockies or the Alps Mountain ranges and twist your knee, travel insurance will pay for a medical referral from a local doctor. The same thing applies with any legal issues you might find yourself in, USAA Travel Insurance will pay to cover lawyer fees when you’re out of town.
Hospital admission guarantee  With USAA Travel Insurance, you’re guaranteed to be given hospital admission anywhere in the world. Your insurance is accepted (call USAA for more info).
Emergency assistance and evacuation If you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters and you need to be evacuated by emergency services, you will get stuck with the bill for the helicopters, ambulances, and equipment they use to rescue you. Travel insurance will cover you if this fits your situation, so you don’t have to stress about anything you can’t control.
Coverage for Deployment or PCS Have you planned a trip and got a call an hour before your plane leaves from your sergeant or Captain, telling you, you’re being deployed in 24 hours? Things often happen that are out of our control, and USAA knows that better than any other insurance company. If this happens to you and you have to eat the cost of your entire vacation, USAA Travel Insurance will cover you (This happened to me for my 2008 deployment!)

 

Why Should I Buy Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is not for everybody, and I don’t want everyone reading this to think this is something everyone must buy, like Car and health insurance. If you travel less than twice a year, I recommend not buying travel insurance because you’re not going to get the most out of it. Personally, I’d only buy travel insurance if I were traveling more than a few times a year. If you’re an active-duty soldier, chances are you travel more than you can count, so travel insurance is going to be worth it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a friend in the military regret buying travel insurance, but I have seen many who regret not buying it.

For those travelers who go to National Parks, such as Yellowstone National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Mount Ranier National Park, travel insurance is made for you, as well. Travel insurance is made for recreational travelers, regardless of your interest. I love to travel and hike, hunt, and once a year, sit on the beach in Hilton Head, Island, SC with a Margarita in hand. With the inevitability of Murphey’s Law, USAA Travel Insurance will help you cover things, such as sprained ankles while hiking, getting the flu from unsanitary airports, and broken bones from snowboarding or skiing.

How Do I Get USAA Travel Insurance?

USAA Travel Insurance is incredibly easy for USAA members by filling out a 5-minute application process and credit check from Travel Insurance International. Once you get a quote, you’ll be redirected to the Travel Insurance International website, which is the host company for USAA members. You’ll normally be granted your travel insurance within minutes of submitting your application, but bad credit situations can make it a longer process.

What About Life Insurance? If you don’t have life insurance yet, start your research below.

How Should I Get Ready For a Trip?

I know this sounds like I am assuming our readers know nothing about travel, but I guarantee that you will learn something new that you haven’t thought of yet. If you’re a Veteran or active-duty soldier, you have probably been given these checklists by your 1st Sergeant at some point to get you ready for deployment. This checklist was created by USAA’s expert travelers who have thought of everything for you. I have no shame in admitting I use this checklist for every week or longer trip I take.

 

Gather Important Documents

  • Make sure driver’s licenses or other forms of identification are current.
  • Have travel documents like airline tickets printed and on hand electronically.
  • Print your emergency contact list in case your phone is lost or damaged.
  • If traveling outside the country, get passports and necessary vaccinations.
Get Your Finances Ready
  • Make sure bills are paid or scheduled before you leave to avoid late fees.
  • Download the USAA Mobile App to manage your accounts while you’re away.
  • Set up travel notifications to avoid credit or debit card blocks or declines.
  • If traveling outside the country, learn more about using your USAA debit and credit cards in our International Travel FAQ.
  • Take some cash to have on hand and to exchange currency, if necessary.
Prepare Your Home
  • Be sure to set your security system before you leave. Consider getting a security system if you don’t have one.
  • Unplug major electronics, or those on timers, like coffee makers.
  • Turn your water heater to vacation mode and adjust your thermostat.
  • Place a hold on mail and newspaper subscriptions.
  • Consider having someone check your home and water your plants while you’re gone.
  • Wait until you return from traveling to post your photos to social media sites.
  • If you are traveling in the winter, check out some of USAA’s winter-proofing tips.
Do You Have a Pet-sitter?
  • Ask your veterinarian if they provide boarding for pets or ask a friend to help take care of your pet while you’re away.
  • If you’re taking your pet with you, make sure its shots and paperwork are up to date.
  • Pack any food, medications, toys, crates, leashes, and bowls your pet may need.
  • Consider what you’ll do with your pet while you’re gone sightseeing.
Get Phone and Electronics Ready
  • Check with your mobile service provider on phone usage and international calling plans.
  • Check camera equipment to make sure it’s working and get extra batteries and memory cards if needed.
  • Don’t forget to pack chargers, adapters, and headphones.
Put Technology To Good Use
  • Download useful travel apps, music, and games to smartphones or tablets.
  • Take pictures with your smartphone to help remember things like your airport parking spot, luggage and its contents, hotel room number, and the outside of your hotel.
  • Program street addresses and phone numbers of key travel locations into your smartphone.
  • Email your itinerary and contact information to a family member or friend.
  • Record your travel dates in your calendar with the confirmation numbers within the calendar planners.
  • Download your airline’s app, if available, to check-in, check flight status and obtain electronic boarding passes.
  • If traveling internationally, find apps that may help with language translation, money conversion rates, global tipping guides, and fuel costs.
Pack Only What You Need
  • Take clothes and shoes that are suitable for the weather and activities at your destination.
  • Consider washing clothes during your trip to lessen the number of items you need to pack.
  • Refill and pack prescription medications.
  • Check TSA travel restrictions.
  • If possible, take an extra pair of prescription eyeglasses or contacts.
  • Pack toiletries, sunscreen, beauty supplies, and over-the-counter medications.
  • Consider taking a backpack so you can easily carry and access items during your trip.
  • Plastic baggies come in handy for transporting items like cosmetics in your luggage.
  • Consider taking a small travel pillow, blanket, umbrella, or poncho.

Conclusion

Do you travel a lot for work, recreation, or for military PCS orders? If your situation fits one of those 3, chances are you could really benefit from travel insurance. Travel Insurance will protect you and your family from financial hardship if Murphey’s Law strikes you at the most inopportune time. By reading the car insurance and travel insurance blogs, you will be able to determine which service is best for you. Follow the checklist provided and cross every T and dot every I to make sure you have the most stress-free travel experience.

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