Do You Need Travel Insurance?

Image of Flights Cancelled and Delayed

Airport Departure Board During Bad Weather

When is Travel Insurance Appropriate?

The answer to this question isn’t an easy one, but the way Murphy’s Law works, you can often bet on needing travel insurance when you don’t have it.

If you’re traveling for pleasure or with family, be it a thanksgiving or holiday trip, enjoying Europe, or bathing in the sun of Costa Rica, consider the following:

Many airlines have merged and downsized; through the science of yield management, flights are running at capacity, which means full planes. If you get stuck in a connecting city because of a cancelled flight or a missed connection, it could sometimes take days to find a seat out, especially during the peak holiday travel season.

Thousands of flights are cancelled every year because of severe weather, snow and ice storms, even volcanic ash as you’ve likely seen in the news.

The Beginning of a Snowstorm at Chicago O'Hare

The Beginning of a Snowstorm at Chicago O’Hare (ORD)

Ice Storm Shuts Down City

Ice Storm Shuts Down City – Down Power Lines and Dangerous Driving

The Luggage No Show

On my first trip to Barcelona it was exciting to fly over the snow capped mountains of Andorra and arrive into the airport with a landing that took us over the Mediterranean Sea. The airport was lively and I was ready for a week of great food and fun exploring the city.

My excitement ended when my suitcase didn’t show at the baggage claim. I bit my tongue and held back my anger at the rude employee working the baggage office as I filed a claim with him.

All I had was the clothes on my back and a backpack. As a student a the time, I had to buy some additional clothing which wasn’t exactly in my budget. I placed multiple toll calls to track the status of my baggage which arrived four days later, just two days before I left.

I didn’t have travel insurance on this trip and spent a decent sum, for a student, out of pocket on new clothing. At least the bag wasn’t permanently lost, if that were the case, reimbursement from the airline would have been limited based on the weight of the suitcase since I was traveling internationally.

The Missed Flight

Ever miss a flight because of a late train or unreliable ground transportation? I missed my return flight from London back to the USA when all train services were temporarily suspended to Gatwick Airport, including the Gatwick Express.

It had been pouring out and the rain somehow tripped an alarm indicating there was a natural gas leak.

Thankfully the airline was able to get me a seat on the flight the next day because the type of ticket I was holding. Other individuals who showed up late for their flights lost their tickets and were forced to buy a new ticket or pay a change penalty, depending on the type of ticket they had and the airline they were scheduled to fly.

While it was only a 24 hour delay, Travel Guard covered my hotel expenses at a hotel near the airport.

Given airlines generally don’t provide compensation for hotel stays these days, with the exception of mechanical delays, it’s either sleep at the airport or pay for a hotel. A good travel insurance policy will re-reimburse you for not only the hotel stay, but incidental costs such as meals as you ride the delay out.

Lost Travel Documents

I’ve never lost a passport, but this could be an expensive problem if this happens while traveling abroad. Costs would include travel to an Embassy or Consulate, lodging, and having a new passport issued. This could get expensive, depending on where you are traveling and a problem you certainly want to avoid.

Hospital Treatment Abroad

Some insurance policies will cover you abroad, but if they don’t – or if you lack insurance – a good travel insurance plan will typically re-reimburse you for all of your out of pocket expenses. In my case, it was a trip to the Emergency Room in rural Spain which my primary insurance did not cover. Thankfully the cost was “reasonable” but it just wasn’t in my budget. My travel insurance carrier, Travel Guard, re-reimbursed all of my medical expenses, medications, and all of my taxi transportation to/from the hospital, pharmacy, and back to my hotel.

Plans available throughTravel Guardcan provide you with coverage for unexpected medical expenses while on a trip.

If it had been something more serious, or if medical evacuation was required, I would have been protected.

Need to cancel a trip because of unexpected illness?

In many cases airline tickets are not refundable and pre-paid hotel stays are becoming popular because of the money they save. Instead of loosing what you prepaid, learn how to cover your vacation with Travel Guard. Click here for a free quote!

Most likely you won’t need to use your travel insurance, but it’s there when Murphy’s Law strikes unexpectedly. I’m well traveled and personally use Travel Guard. Just in case — your vacation can take a year to save for, only a second to ruin.Purchase travel insurance through Travel Guard.Starting at $30.

Look at your trip and decide if you can handle the risk out of pocket or if you need insurance, should Murphy make an appearance.

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