Expect the unexpected. Rarely is that old adage proven true as often as it is in the context of traveling. But some surprises aren’t as cool as seeing the Taj Mahal or visiting the golden city of Jaisalmer. With that in mind, it is important now more than ever to have the necessary travel insurance coverage for your trip in the event that any delays or cancellations occur.
The most adequate travel insurance policy for you is going to be the one that offers the specific coverage you need at a price you can readily afford. Here’s a rundown of the most common types of travel insurance, as well as some of the optional benefits you may want to look into.
1. Canceling a trip: Cancellation coverage covers you for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses under a fixed set of circumstances outlined in your policy. You can make a claim when you have to cancel a trip due to a health emergency or illness, for example. Depending on the policy you choose, you may also be able to make a claim if you’re laid off from work or you’re called for jury duty.
If the list of covered cancellation reasons under basic cancellation coverage seems too limited to you, you might want to opt for CFAR or “Cancel For Any Reason”. It offers the fullest coverage but may only make sense for you if your calendar is subject to change at a moment’s notice.
Trip cancelation is a common travel insurance claim, but many policies won’t pay out for trips canceled for any reason whatsoever. Be sure to review the specifics of the policy you’re considering.
2. If something happens to your luggage: There are few things more irritating than getting to your destination and realizing your luggage has not arrived with you. Pay attention to coverage limits and increase yours as necessary. Even mundane items like laptops and cell phones have replacement costs beyond the limits set by basic policies, so be careful to read your policy closely to be sure your most expensive possessions are fully protected.
Coverage for delayed bags will need some time to pass before you can make a claim – depending on the policy you purchased this anywhere from 2 to 6 hours and up. Once claimed your insurance will reimburse you to help replace your lost items, up to the policy limit.
3. An interruption in your trip: Interruption coverage protects you in the event you have to return home due to an emergency once you’ve already started your trip or before. It will pay for the cost of getting you home and getting you back to your destination once you’re able to travel again.
A good example is medical conditions. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, verify whether it’s included in a policy’s medical insurance provisions. Most insurance companies require you to purchase additional coverage for pre-existing conditions
Some credit cards will even cover your expenses sometimes if you were to cancel last minute. Having a travel credit card can allow you to have a more enjoyable and affordable travel experience, which means planning is key.
Credit card companies such as Chase and American Express have begun to extend the eligible purchase periods giving their customers additional time to earn their signup bonuses. Some companies are now providing additional bonus points for purchases done due to the pandemic. Examples include streaming services, food and grocery delivery. It is important for cardholders to check in with their credit card companies to learn which non-travel purchases qualify for bonus points. This is a great incentive when trying to build good credit if you think about buying a house one day as well.
While travel insurance isn’t terribly expensive when compared with the cost of your trip, there are ways to bring down the cost. If you’re a frequent enough traveler, an annual policy might make financial sense for you. And if you’re traveling with a group—to take advantage of one of our terrific team-building events, for example—buying group insurance is a great way for all members of your party to get the same coverage for less.
Even if you decide on picking travel insurance for your international or domestic trip, make sure you understand exactly what’s covered. There are different categories for basic and special coverage. Be sure to check out this article from ConsumersAdvocate.org who provided the information for this article and make sure you understand you know everything that is covered on your policy.