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Travel Insurance: What Do I need To Know?

Many of us are are starting to plan our trips for this year. As part of your planning process, did you think about getting travel insurance? If you didn’t, it may be time to think about it.

Travel Insurance can protect you against risks before and while traveling. I know, when planning a trip, the last thing you want to think about is something going wrong. But, unfortunately, undesirable events happen.

The good news is travel insurance covers more than in the past, and the prices are more competitive. Typical covered reasons include trip cancellation, trip delay, trip interruption, lost luggage, etc. A trip cancellation can be for reasons such as sickness, injury, death of a family member or jury duty. Trip interruption covers you while you are on your trip for the same covered reasons as above. Trip delay will provide you reimbursement for additional transportation costs, meals and hotel expenses.

It’s probably no surprise that the most common reason for trip cancellation and interruption is a medical emergency, but other factors can interrupt a trip. Imagine you are planning on taking an amazing cruise with your loved one. Of course, you plan and pay for the trip months ahead of time. Unfortunately, you are called for jury duty the same week you are taking the cruise. Your travel insurance most likely will cover your non-refundable expenses. What if you are already on your trip and you fall and break your leg? Or you have a dental emergency? Medicare, Medicare Advantage and many private health providers will not cover your expenses if you are outside of the U.S. Let’s think of the worst-case scenario, imagine you have a heart attack while on your trip to Europe. A travel insurance can pay for your medical evacuation back to the U.S. An average evacuation cost from Europe is $50,000, from South America is $100,000, and can go up to $250,000 if you are in a remote location!

Like any other insurance, travel insurance policies have a list of “exclusions” so be sure to check the fine print on any policy before you buy. Pre-existing medical conditions, cancelling your trip for unpleasant weather conditions, or injury from practicing extreme, high-risk sports are the most likely reasons for denial.

Covered reasons and amount of coverage will vary from provider to provider.

A final question to ask is, “Where do I buy travel insurance?” Travel related credit cards usually have some type of travel insurance protection. Many travel websites, like Expedia, offer their own plan protection that you can buy at the same time you book your trip. Other websites, like travelinsurance.com allows you to compare coverage and pricing with multiple providers. I recommend that you do your due diligence, compare not only pricing but how much coverage they offer, and shop around for your best option. Travel with the peace of mind that you are covered and most importantly, have fun on your trip!

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