Travel is never truly inexpensive, unless you camp or stay in hostels. Most of us are more interested in sleeping in hotels or going on cruises. Nobody likes to be screwed out of their hard-earned money by unforeseen circumstances beyond their control and travel insurance can prevent that from happening. Now, you may have been traveling for years without taking this precaution, or you may have been in a situation where you wished you had taken out insurance to protect you. Fortunately, travel insurance can be affordable and easy to add on to your trip, but when do you really need it?
Look into the right type of insurance. There are many different types of travel insurance, including illness, injury, lost luggage, theft and more. You can also get basic coverage that includes many of these things, but you will want to get the one that suits the trip you are going on. If you are going to hike Machu Picchu, you will need a different insurance than if you are going on a European cruise.
You bought a package deal. When you purchase a vacation package, it is all tracked under one company name. You can usually get internal travel insurance with them, or you can purchase you own, in case the company goes out of business or their insurance doesn’t cover last-minute tragedies like a death in the family.
The vacation is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Sometimes you go on trips that cost a lot more than you normally pay for a vacation. There is a big difference in price between going to Napa for the weekend and going on a week-long Kenyan safari. If you have to cancel or rebook your trip to Napa, it probably won’t break you in the long run, but if something unexpected happens and you can’t go on your safari – weather, natural disasters and health issues are almost never something you can predict – you will be very sorry to be out thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars that you can’t recoup without insurance.
You travel often. Travel insurance will generally cost 5-8% of your total trip, but if you do more than just take a yearly vacation, then you might benefit more from buying yearly travel insurance plans instead of paying for each trip separately.
When you do insure your trips, make sure you know exactly what each policy covers. When something happens and you have to make a claim, take notes on everything that happened and who you talked to. If a theft has occurred, report it immediately and make sure you are tenacious if the insurance company seems to drag their feet on paying out. Obviously, they make less money if they have to pay out on a claim, but if you know what your rights are, you shouldn’t have a problem getting what’s owed to you.
Remember, if you make any changes to your travel plans, alert your insurance company as soon as possible, so you can be sure you are still covered for everything you need. While you may not need coverage for all your trips, make sure you don’t automatically rule out insurance before you look into the ways it could benefit you and your travel group. That way you always know your vacation and money are safe from unexpected complications.