Ever wondered what those travel agents were trying to sell you when they smiled so sweetly and asked you to spend more money? “It’s in case of emergency,” they say. “You won’t regret it!” You never fall for it, right?
Well, here’s the actual scoop on the fine print. Travel protection can be a sound investment for many trips. Here are several vital things that travel protection covers.
Flight Delays and Cancellations
Flight schedules are never guaranteed. Bad weather in Minnesota can ground flights in Chicago. With travel protection, however, you can recoup the total price of the airline ticket. Agents can also help you get another flight with little to no hassle.
If the flight is delayed by more than six hours, many plans also cover the costs of extra food and lodging. Some even arrange accommodation for you and pay up front so you don’t have to submit a claim for reimbursement.
With most plans, however, the fine print clarifies that they don’t cover “known peril.” If the Weather Channel predicts the storm of the century the week before your big trip, it’s too late to buy travel protection. Travel insurance is one of the best gift for travelers!
Prepaid and Nonrefundable Tickets
Unless you have travel protection, nonrefundable tickets can be a nightmare. If your trip includes expensive concerts tickets, a five-star hotel, or a day at the spa, you could benefit from investing in travel protection. In the event of trip cancellation, many plans reimburse up to 100 percent of the cost of the nonrefundable items you’d miss. In the event of trip interruption, many plans reimburse up to 150 percent of the cost.
Travel Medical Assistance
Even if you’re only traveling in the U.S., the unexpected can still happen. Travel medical assistance plans offer a wide array of options from emergency care to essential transportation. Check with your health insurance provider to make sure that you’re covered at your destination, especially if you’re traveling overseas. Additional protection can supplement your primary health care plan, since most providers don’t offer coverage outside of their jurisdiction.
Travel medical assistance can be a godsend if you fall down the stairs and break your arm on your way to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Invest in additional protection from Medjet Assist, and you can rest assured that the company will arrange emergency transportation back to your home and your trusted doctors.
Lost and Damaged Luggage
You always feel that moment of trepidation when you check a bag full of Christmas gifts or expensive wine for the family. It’s freezing cold where they live, and no matter how hard you tried, your big down coat didn’t fit in your carry-on. What happens if you go to New York City but your bag goes to Kentucky?
Travel protection can cover the cost of buying new clothes in the event that your luggage gets lost. Many plans also insure the full cost of items in your luggage if they are damaged or stolen in transit. There are limitations, however, so consider insuring grandmother’s diamond necklace under your standard homeowner’s policy.( This is one reason why to get World Nomads.)
Cancel for Any Reason
This type of policy is the most expensive, but it’s also the most blind. If you’re afraid that your husband is going to flake out on that two-week getaway because his football team got into the playoffs, consider protecting your investment with a plan that covers trip cancellation. If the cost of the trip largely outweighs the cost of the policy, then the policy could be worth your while.
Most policies that cover cancellation for any reason require purchase within 10 to 30 days after making travel arrangements. They also require cancellation within 48 to 72 hours before the trip was scheduled to start. If you’re planning a big vacation but you aren’t quite sure you’ll pull it off, look into travel protection plans as part of your trip planning process.
These are only some of the standard travel mishaps that are out of your control. Regain control by insuring that you, your travel companions, and your possessions all get where they want to go.
For more specialized concerns like traveling while pregnant, going on cruises, or making multiple trips, talk to a travel agent to get further information. You’d be surprised at what many policies cover. Happy voyaging!