I wanted to share some thoughts on why purchasing travel insurance is so important. Many people think of travel insurance as being useful if a flight gets canceled or is running really late or a piece of luggage gets lost. It is true, travel insurance can be helpful in these kinds of situations. There are many more reasons though to have a travel insurance policy.
Another reason to purchase travel insurance, especially if you are leaving your home country or taking a cruise, is health insurance coverage. You never know when something unexpected is going to occur. Accidents happen, you might trip and fall and require a doctor’s visit. You might be on a cruise and out of the blue, you require medical attention. When on a cruise, a doctor is always available on the ship and will try to diagnose straight forward situations for a $149 consulting fee. You will be charged for the doctor’s visit and whatever medicine you receive. But what if your stomach hurts and you think it is your appendix or you are having serious heart pains?
I was on the Carnival Breeze this past January and on the way to St. Thomas, during the night, the ship stopped at Nassau, Bahamas, to drop off someone who needed medical attention. Hopefully that person had travel insurance to cover their medical care in Nassau and also to either fly him/her home or to a future port on the cruise. On that same trip on the Breeze, a few evenings later, we had to take a detour to Puerto Rico so that a person having chest pains could be taken off the ship and be driven by ambulance to the local hospital. In both these cases, the patients were very lucky that the captain was willing to make these unplanned for stops and the patients did not have to get air lifted off the ship (very expensive!!). In addition, keep in mind, in a foreign country, there is a good chance that your health insurance will not cover treatments you might need.
An emergency can happen at any time. We never know when one will occur. My son, a healthy 23 year old, had to have an emergency appendectomy a few months ago. Luckily in this situation he was home at the time and he was driven by his father to the closest hospital, but what if he were in the middle of a transatlantic crossing on a cruise ship? He would have had to been air lifted off the ship. My point is that before this incident happened we would have never thought that my son was going to need surgery! The unexpected does happen when you least expect it.
I would highly suggest that a third party travel insurance policy be purchased. If you buy insurance from the one supplier that you purchased an all-inclusive from, for example, you will not be covered if that supplier or carrier should go bankrupt or out of business. You will then be out all the money you invested in your vacation! If you go with a third party, each supplier is covered if they go bankrupt or out of business. Also, all the components of your vacation will be covered (air, land, rental car,…).
Travel insurance also covers if there is a death or injury in the family that causes you not to be able to travel. What if you or your partner broke a leg or was in a car accident right before you were to leave on vacation? You would be covered for the cost of the trip if you have insurance. If your plane is delayed a certain number of hours, you would be eligible for compensation. If your luggage is lost, you would be covered to replace everything in the missing suitcase. What if you are flying to wherever your port of embarkation is for your next cruise, and weather causes flights to be cancelled. You could catch a flight to the next port stop on your cruise to embark the ship. This type of situation would be very expensive should you not have travel insurance.
Travel insurance need not be extremely expensive. Travel insurance is mainly based on the number of days you will be on vacation and your age. Sometimes children under 18 traveling with a covered adult, are covered for free. If you are traveling with a group, insurance can be reasonably priced for everyone in the group.
It is best to purchase travel insurance within the timeframe specified, depending on the type of coverage and plan, which will cover pre-existing conditions. For example, the travel insurance that I purchase for clients the majority of the time needs to be purchased within 14 days after the deposit for the reservation is paid, for pre-existing conditions to be covered. You can purchase travel insurance after this deadline, only pre-existing conditions would not be covered.
Can you afford not to have travel insurance? Do you have any stories to share about examples of how travel insurance could have or was helpful? I would be happy to answer any questions or help you purchase your travel insurance. Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to help you with the purchase of your travel insurance. There is no additional charge for me to take care of this for you.