As March comes to an end and the COVID-19 pandemic has all but halted the travel industry all together, we are seeing many stories emerging about travelers on leisure vacation stranded with little to no income to accommodate the extended stays due to mandatory travel restrictions. More and more travelers make travel arrangements through online platforms often purchasing travel fares primarily based on low cost. But what those travelers don’t understand is the low-cost fares work primarily with flight only domestic itineraries. When other forms of travel are packaged together, especially extended hotel stays, and international travels, should take travel insurance into consideration.
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a type of protection plan that travelers can purchase to protect them from losses and certain financial risks while traveling. Loss types include delayed suitcases, medical emergencies and last-minute trip cancellations. (See How does travel insurance policies treat COVID-19?)
Standard travel insurance policies cover trip cancellations and trip interruptions. For example, Expedia Cruise travel protection covers certain trip delays, trip cancellation and interruptions including pre-departure trip cancellation benefits. Most insurance policies will pay a benefit in the event the traveler becomes sick or injured on a travel vacation.
When is travel insurance beneficial?
The benefits of travel insurance can vary from traveler to traveler, but a rule of thumb is if you are traveling overseas or traveling out of your country of residence, travel insurance will come in handy for emergency medical assistance and hospital costs. For example, if you contracted the flu and could not get back home during your last trip to Hong Kong, a standard travel insurance policy covers unforeseen additional accommodation and travel costs. But only to a point. If the illness you contracted during your last trip is deemed a pandemic, your claim to additional accommodation and travel costs may be denied. (See How does travel insurance policies treat COVID-19).
How to choose travel insurance
Most travelers spend the most time and effort on planning the perfect vacation that the importance of finding a good travel insurance policy gets overlooked. Although travel insurance cannot help travelers avoid common perils such as flight delays or weather-related cancellations, travel insurance offers monetary compensation which can be extremely useful in certain situations. For example, if you are injured and need to cover medical treatment while on vacation in a foreign country, you may find yourself paying for 100% of the medical costs. Travel insurance will reimburse the total amount of money spent on the medical bills. Travel insurance would also cover medical evacuation which means that the traveler is not required to pay medical emergency transportation expenses with their own money.
Travel insurance policies can be purchased with experienced travel consultants. Even if you do not book all parts of your vacation with Travel More Vacations, we can tailor your travel insurance needs to you and your travel situation, whether you’re a first-time traveler, a road warrior or a frequent flyer. Our travel insurance policy options are flexible and affordable for all types of travel.
Deloris Elmore | Cruise & Vacation Consultant
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