Should I Buy Travel Insurance?

Should I Buy Travel Insurance?

You have just decided on your vacation travel plans, consulted with your travel professional, and laid your credit card down for the deposits required to reserve your holiday plans. The subject of travel insurance has just come up, and having just spent money on the deposits and with the total amount left to pay – including an estimate of the air – itemized on a sheet in your hand, it is too easy to say “Well, I’ll have to think about it.”

Beware. It is too easy to dismiss this item as not really being a part of your travel plans, just an add on that might be “nice to have” rather than a necessity every bit as important as your plane ticket, your hotel reservation, etc.

I had to drive so slow on the icy roads I missed my flight! Now I can’t get there in time for my cruise!

But it’s too expensive ! you say. Yes, good travel insurance is pricey but if you just spent thousands on vacation plans, that’s thousands potentially you have to lose, and can in a blink of the eye  – or an attack of the flu bug . Is it worth the risk?

Nothing bad ever happens when I travel anyway. Aren’t you lucky! You never got ill the day before you were to fly away, never had a close family member pass away at the time, never had to miss your flight because weather prevented you getting to the airport, never got sick when travelling, never lost your luggage, etc. – the potential hazards could fill pages.

Wow, I don’t believe in a negative outlook. Fair enough, but how long is it that you have been paying for home fire insurance? Add up the costs, it’s probably proportional.

I am relatively young and very healthy so I don’t get sick. Your age and your health are no protection against food poisoning, a slip and fall ending in

If you are too congested you shouldn’t fly!

broken bones, a nasty bug hitchhiking on your airplane seat, and so on. A stay in the hospital results in medical bills, potentially missed connections, and the stress of coping with all this on your own. Your travel professional can help with some of this, but not the added costs…

Why would I ever have to change my flights? And pay for the extra hotel stay? How about weather – freak snow storms, for instance? terrorist activity? Or maybe the cruise ship you are sailing on has to go slightly off course to rescue a pleasure craft delaying disembarkation by a day? It happens – all of it – and lately, it seems to be happening more often.

There’s nothing worth that much in my luggage. Add it all up plus the cost of the luggage itself. Add to that the time and inconvenience of replacing what you lost so you can at least function on the first few days of your holiday until the luggage catches up with you, that is, if it ever does. On the other hand, your luggage might be returned home, but that does you little good thousands of miles away without the tux you needed or your hiking boots, for instance.

Stranded!

Okay, I will just let my credit card travel insurance handle it. Yay! That is better than nothing. But READ the FINE PRINT There’s a reason that CC travel coverage is inexpensive or free, the covered risks tend to be minimal at best.  You may not be covered for many mishaps you assume would be standard.

So what do you suggest? Compare your credit card insurance with other travel insurance, especially that which can be purchased with the reputable firm your travel professional uses. Discuss the options, ask lots of questions ( depending on the details, your travel professional may connect you to the travel insurance agency) but remember – as in everything in life –  you get what you pay for. Have a clear understanding of how your insurance works, what exactly it covers, how and when to make a claim, and what might happen to void it. Some insurance will not cover high risk activities or a pre existing medical condition are two examples where it might be declined.

And if you are still not convinced you should invest in travel insurance to protect your dream holiday and give you peace of mind as well, just ask your travel professional for a few horror stories from their experience with clients – just like you –  who did not think they needed travel insurance.