By Shannon S Morgan, CIC, CPIA
Vacation and travel are two words that ignite happiness within me. I love the process of researching, planning and going on a vacation. My trip to Thailand this year is still seven months away, but I am already counting the days until I depart. When I travel, I love to explore new cities, try new foods and find exciting new adventures. Sitting poolside with a daiquiri has never been my idea of a great vacation, unless it is limited to a day of rest after hiking on a new mountain terrain or navigating through an exotic rain forest. Since I am an insurance agent, the risk-assessing part of my brain always wonders about what could happen when my adventures don’t go as planned? What would I do if:
My flight was delayed and I missed my connecting flight?
I was injured during my trip and needed medical care?
I become ill or a family member passes away right before my trip?
A terrorist event occurs at one of the places I am visiting?
My luggage is lost or stolen?
It wasn’t until recently that I found out the many benefits of obtaining travel insurance. Some of the available coverage were things I never considered. Others were things that I had thought about, but hadn’t realized that there was such a cost effective way to protect against them. These are some of the benefits of travel insurance*:
TRIP CANCELLATION/TRIP INTERRUPTION: provides reimbursement for non-refundable trip costs due to things such as sickness, accidental injury, death, strike, weather or terrorism.
TRIP DELAY: provides reimbursement for certain expenses due to a travel delay.
BAGGAGE/PERSONAL EFFECTS: provides reimbursement for your personal property that is lost, stolen or damaged. You may find limited coverage for this from your airlines or coverage from your home insurance policy if the loss exceeds your deductible.
MISSED CONNECTION: provides coverage for additional expenses due to a missed cruise departure.
MEDICAL EXPENSES: provides coverage for medical and/or dental expenses if you are sick or injured during your trip. Many health insurance plans will provide emergency medical care while you are traveling out of the country, but you would be responsible for paying for the treatment up front and then filing a claim for reimbursement. Travel insurance can provide a guarantee of funds for admission and medical treatment, relieving you of that burden.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION & REPATRIATION: pays for the cost of medical transportation required to reach a medical facility or return to your home residence. Part of the travel insurance plan includes the assistance of their staff with arranging the logistics of medical transport (air and land) through their network of providers.
AIR FLIGHT ACCIDENT/TRAVEL ACCIDENT: provides payment of benefits for death or dismemberment while on your trip.
TRAVEL ASSISTANCE/CONCIERGE SERVICES:
- Multi-lingual professionals available 24 hours a day for help with medical emergencies.
- Medical consultation and monitoring-help with making sure that you are receiving appropriate care. They will also contact your family and personal physician.
- Prescription Assistance-help with replacing lost, stolen or spoiled medication.
- Message services-emergency messages sent to family, friends or business associates.
- Language Interpretation Services
- Emergency Cash Transfer Assistance
- Travel Document & Ticket Replacement-help with replacement of important travels documents such as a passport, visa or travel tickets
- Concierge Services for help with restaurants, shopping, hotel recommendations/reservations, local transportation, sporting, theatre, event information and tracking of lost or delayed baggage.
Most travelers are unaware of the many advantages and benefits that travel insurance can offer. If your next trip involves zip lining above the tree tops in Costa Rica, shopping on the Champs Elysees in Paris, sipping champagne on the balcony of your cruise ship in the Mediterranean or anything in between, consider travel insurance to protect yourself and your investment.
*As always, here is my disclaimer. The above is just a brief overview of the typical coverages provided on a travel insurance policy. Please refer to the policy for specific policy language and coverage limits.