Travel Insurance is the last thing many of us think about before a vacation. You feel relief once the trip is paid for. Then you start saving the “spending money.” By the time, you decide where to go, when to go, where to stay, which flight or cruise to take, you just don’t remember “travel insurance” and this could be a huge mistake for all of us.
We invest in a trip to far away places, we carefully purchase new clothes, sun glasses, new luggage, new underwear, and other accessories only to leave ourselves wide open for disaster and lost of money if any of the following events were to occur: Tour company operator decides that she needs a tummy tuck, at your expense, or the tour company disappears, or the Airline goes bankrupt or on strike, or the hurricane of the century, named after your ex-wife, makes a left turn and heads straight for your travel destination, or a part of California falls into the ocean due to an earthquake and this action upsets the rest of the oceans in the world, extreme flight delays, illness during the vacation because you drank the water, and the BIG one, terrorist attack, not to mention if you loose your passport, or worst, the ocean rises up and claims the beach front where you are staying.
All jokes aside, you can purchase travel insurance for protection against trip cancellation, trip interruption, missed connections, airline ticket coverage, medical expense, emergency medical transportation, baggage, baggage delay, accidental death and have 24 hour travel assistance service available to you from any where in the world.
The “Real” Reasons to purchase Travel Insurance
OK, enough of the negative. I’m sure you get the point. However, there is a more important reason to purchase Travel Insurance; It protects your assets back home if something were to happen during your trip.
Example: What about senior citizens who have waited their entire life to travel only to find out that Medicare will NOT cover anyone outside the United States! Can you image spending a sizable amount of your retirement income to pay medical bills in a foreign country? There are Major Medical Polices for travelers (including seniors) who are going abroad for at least 6 months and require more permanent insurance. These plans provide comprehensive medical protection including emergency medical treatment, wellness care and optional prescription drug coverage.
Example: People who had travel insurance had an entirely different experience when Emily (Hurricane) hit the Mexican Yucatan in July of 2005. First, everyone called and went to the airport trying to catch a flight out. At some point, there were no more flights out, there were only buses moving thousands of tourist inland away from the storm. Those with Travel Insurance were not concern with “cost” (I am sure it was enough just to worry about your life) realizing that they would be reimbursed through their Policy. Those without Insurance needed to be concerned with the cost of accommodations and food until Emily got a better attitude. For sure, many of the tourist without travel insurance had to spend a portion of their upcoming monthly budget before making it back home safely. (I wonder what happen to those who had reached their limit on the credit cards) We won’t go into what happen to the tourist that were staying in small hotels when Katrina hit town!
Another example of the “real” reasons to purchase Travel Insurance, you are skiing in the Alps, you are dogging the moguls (or they are dogging you) and you slip in the turn. No real problem, but you have to be airlifted to the nearest hospital to have x-rays taken. The cost of the airlift? Who pays? You do, if you don’t have the proper (travel) medical insurance or accident insurance. (Will paying for a helicopter ride to a hospital upset your monthly budget back home?)
And what about the classic example? You leave your money pouch with your credit cards and your Travelers Checks in the cab on the way back to your hotel. It happens all the time. No insurance, No reimbursement.
Please note, this is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: With the majority of the Travel Insurance companies, you MUST apply for the default, terrorism insurance and pre-existing insurance WITHIN 10 days of the initial booking of your trip. Bottom line, you can’t wait until your destination is on the US State Department’s Travel Warning List to purchase Insurance.
The less you have to worry about on vacations, the safer you will be. When traveling outside of the US, a good deal of your attention must be given to reviewing your surroundings. Always be aware of your surroundings.
Enough of the examples. If you protect yourself and your investment, you probably won’t need the Insurance Its’ almost like the Insurance Companies put an invisible “umbrella of protection” around us, just so they won’t have to pay or is that our prayers keeping us safe?