Why Buy Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance isn’t just for expensive vacations. Travel insurance isn’t just for trips overseas. And travel insurance isn’t just for long journeys.
It’s essential to buy travel insurance for every trip, because you never know what might happen when you’re far from home! In 2017, 35 million Americans purchased insurance, knowing they were protected against the most common travel mishaps. Here are the top seven reasons to buy travel insurance.
1. Because you don’t want to lose all your money if you have to cancel your trip.
Even the best-planned trips sometimes have to be canceled. But many travel providers — especially tour operators, cruise lines and airlines — offer minimal or no refunds for last-minute cancellations. If this happens, can you afford to lose all the money you’ve spent on your trip?
One of the best reasons to buy travel insurance is to have the protection of trip cancellation benefits. These can reimburse you for prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs when you must cancel for a covered reason. When you get your money back, you can book your vacation for another, brighter day.
2. Because accidents can — and do — happen while traveling.
Thousands of travelers each year experience a medical crisis during their trip, such as trauma, broken bones, heart attacks, and strokes. When you have travel insurance, you can call your insurance provider's hotline for help in an emergency. They may even be able to arrange payment in advance for covered emergency medical care.
3. Because your health insurance probably won’t work overseas.
If you get seriously sick or hurt in another country, don’t expect your health insurance card to help. “Foreign medical facilities and providers require cash payment up front and do not accept U.S. insurance plans. Medicare does not provide coverage outside of the United States,” the U.S. State Department warns. When you have travel insurance with emergency medical and dental benefits, it can pay for losses due to covered medical and dental emergencies that occur during your trip.
4. Because medical evacuations can be really expensive.
If you get seriously sick or badly hurt while traveling overseas, and you need to be taken via helicopter to the nearest high-quality hospital, the cost can be enormous. In some parts of the world, a medical evacuation can potentially cost six figures — and that doesn’t even include the cost of getting you home again.
Travel insurance with emergency medical transportation benefits can pay for you to be transported to the nearest appropriate facility if you suffer a covered illness or injury during your trip and our medical assistance team determines that the local medical facilities are unable to provide appropriate treatment. It can also pay for specialized transportation to bring you home, once your condition is stable.
5. Because only 80 percent of U.S. flights arrive on time.
In 2017, out of nearly 1.1 million domestic flights, nearly 18 percent were delayed and 2.4 percent were canceled. That’s why you need travel insurance with travel delay benefits, which can reimburse you for additional accommodation, meals or travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a covered departure delay. You’ll be much happier if you have insurance that can reimburse you for your airport lunch or unexpected extra night in the hotel.
And if a covered travel delay makes you miss your cruise ship or tour departure, travel insurance can help with that too. Missed connection coverage can reimburse you for reasonable transportation expenses to get you to your original destination or a point where you can continue your trip.
6. Because a missing bag can ruin your trip.
In 2016, the world’s airlines mishandled 21.6 million bags — meaning they were lost or temporarily misplaced. The good news is that airlines are getting better at keeping track of baggage, even as passenger numbers increase. The bad news is that some bags — around 7 percent — are never reunited with their owners.
When your suitcase goes AWOL, travel insurance can save the day. Baggage delay benefits can reimburse you for the reasonable additional purchase of essential items during your trip if your baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for 24 hours or more. Baggage loss/damage benefits can reimburse you for the actual price, actual cash value, repair or replacement of your lost/damaged items — whichever is less — based on the limits in your insurance policy’s letter of confirmation.
7. Because sometimes, even expert travelers need a little help.
One of the best reasons to buy travel insurance is the peace of mind you get from knowing help’s just a phone call away. When you face a crisis while traveling — a medical emergency, a lost passport, a stolen wallet, a natural disaster, etc. — you can always contact the 24-hour insurance hotline. Experts will do everything in their power to take care of you and help make things right.