Travel Insurance - Your Travel Planning Parachute
Several of us are faced this year with the decision to follow through with existing travel plans. Some of us are also deciding if it’s smart to take advantage of any travel opportunities this year. As we wage through very uncertain times, it can be very tempting to get on that plane and provide our passports the ink it deserves.
I personally declined a wedding invitation this year that required me to travel the across the pacific. Here is what led to a very difficult decision. If you are like me, trying to get the best and most accurate information regarding travel, safety precautions, and the status of the pandemic can be difficult to sift through the news and social media posts.
I considered my destination’s quarantine requirements, if any. This could potentially add days if not weeks onto my trip. This is added time and expense that you may not be to your benefit or may not fit into your budget.
Some of us have existing travel anxiety that may be exacerbated during this time. If I’m suddenly stuck on a flight with someone that may be coughing or I feel a tad warm (as I often do adjusting during travel), am I now suddenly paranoid and stressed for the remainder of the flight, wondering if Ill be ill during my much anticipated vacation.
In the states, our medical response procedures and quality of care are ever evolving from day to day. We seldom are aware of what defines an emergency requiring an actual in-person visit to a clinic or hospital. Do we fully understand what to expect in terms of medical response protocols available in our destination. Even more alarming, what the implied costs are for medical care?
Ultimately, I weighed my expectations, total emotional and financial investment against the high probability, my total vacation experience would probably be impacted as the the rest of the world had. As a result, I’d be cheated. Safe, but cheated.
Most travel insurance policies must be purchased within a window of booking your trip. So try your best to do your research to find the best option and coordinate as best possible with your booking.
You have several options for travel insurance policy products.
As part of your travel package
Your online travel booking service or travel agent
As a credit card benefit
Several travel incentive credit cards offer travel ins. Be sure to check the detail of your coverage and fine print.
As an option via the flight carrier
Most airlines offer trip insurance at time of purchase. Again, be sure to check the detail of the coverage and fine print.
Other 3rd Party Insurer
Travel Ins considerations:
Listed below are aspects of a travel insurance policy that are relevant now more than ever:
Medical Expense - Medical care, and heaven forbid, emergency response medical care is very expensive. How does the healthcare protocols and quality in your destination compare to what’s available to you at home?
Baggage Delay - Flight reliability is unpredictable. If for some reason you are separated from your luggage, how will you cover cost for delays?
Baggage/Personal Effects - If for some reason you are separated form your luggage, how are replacement costs covered for your personal belongings?
Emergency Evacuation - If borders for some unseen circumstance close (as we’ve seen with during the COVID, cruise ships are stranded, travelers are stranded abroad), or health conditions decline that require emergency evacuation, are immediate transportation costs covered?
Repatriation of Remains - In the event of death, how will the cost of transporting your body home be covered?
Trip Cancellation - If for some reason you are not able to make your trip and need to cancel, are there specific stipulations for your cancellation coverage?
Trip Interruption - If for some reason you are prevented from continuing your trip, and you are not permitted to continue, how will the cost of interruption be covered?
Trip Delay - Again flight reliability is unpredictable. If additional expensed are incurred due to a delay in your trip, how are these covered?
Health equity is priceless. Protecting your physical and mental health is critical. As various parts of the world redefine normalcy and resume life, remember what makes sense for you and your loved ones. I pray this post finds all of you well. Stay safe.