Vacation is supposed to mean taking a break from daily life and spending a few stress-free days at your destination of choice. Many people plan vacations months in advance, and some save up for months or even years to be able to go. We highly recommend that as you’re planning your vacation, you purchase the best travel insurance for your needs as an investment in case something goes wrong.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Vacation insurance is designed to cover prepaid, non-refundable trip costs in case you are unable to take your trip due to a covered reason. Normally, covered reasons for trip cancellation include the serious illness or death of a close family member, natural disasters (such as a hurricane) making your destination or home uninhabitable, being called for jury duty, or involuntarily losing your job.
If you are wary of visiting a certain location due to fear of something happening to you—like brushfires in Australia or the coronavirus in China—trip cancellation insurance does not cover fear. In any case, if the event is already known before you buy insurance, you would not be covered anyway. An example of that would be a tropical storm that is already named.
Trip Interruption Insurance
While you are on your trip, if an emergency occurs that would require you to go home early, the trip interruption benefit included in vacation insurance would provide coverage. Examples of such emergencies could include loss of your job, your house catching on fire or getting flooded, the death of a relative, and so on.
Emergency Medical Treatment
If you need emergency medical treatment while on your trip, vacation insurance would be similarly helpful. It is worth to noting that hospitals in some foreign countries would hold you hostage and not let you leave until you pay the bill, no matter how large the sum. Therefore, vacation insurance is an unfortunate necessity.
Emergency Medical Evacuation
If you are on a cruise or at some other remote location and get seriously sick or injured, the closest medical facility might not have capabilities extensive enough to provide treatment. In such cases, emergency medical evacuation coverage in vacation insurance would very much come in handy. Evacuations may easily cost tens of thousands of dollars—sometimes, depending on your location, over a hundred thousand dollars. Most people don’t have that kind of money just lying around. Even if they do, they may not have the resources on their person during the time of crisis to make the necessary financial arrangements.
Hazardous Sports Activities
If you are planning to participate in any hazardous sports activities such as snow skiing, bungee jumping, parasailing, etc., make sure that the specific vacation insurance plan you purchase includes coverage for all the activities you may participate in. Sometimes, people may not plan in advance for a certain activity and then spontaneously decide in the moment to join in the fun.
Baggage Loss or Delay
While on a vacation, many other things may go wrong. Your baggage may get lost or delayed, your flight might be delayed or cancelled, you could miss your connection, and so on. Many vacation insurance plans are designed to cover such losses.
Repatriation of Remains
God forbid, if a traveler dies while on a trip, it would be very difficult for family members to make arrangements to repatriate the body back to the home country. In such cases, the emergency assistance department of the vacation insurance company can arrange repatriation of remains. Alternatively, some vacation insurance companies may allow for local cremation, which can be very helpful for Hindu travelers.
Many vacation insurance plans also come with travel assistance programs such as locating an English-speaking doctor and refilling a medical prescription. Some high-end plans may even help you make dinner reservations, order flowers, and so on.
There are many vacation insurance plans available on the market. They are not all the same. Each of them comes with different terms, conditions, exclusions, benefits, and (of course) prices. For a normal traveler who takes days or weeks to make travel arrangements, it may not be easy to pick the right vacation insurance. Therefore, it is better to use a vacation insurance marketplace website, such as this one, so that you can get instant quotes from multiple plans, compare them side by side, and make an instant purchase online.
If you have any specific questions, you can always call the office to speak to a licensed and experienced travel insurance specialist. Vacation insurance typically costs between 4% and 12% of the trip cost, depending on your age and the benefits that the plan provides. Some vacation insurance plans offer coverage for one or two minor children traveling with their parents at no additional costs. Therefore, family vacationers should consider such plans.
While you can purchase vacation insurance at any time before you depart on your trip, it is advisable to purchase it soon after you make the initial deposit towards your trip. Vacation insurance goes into effect the day after the purchase. The sooner you purchase the insurance, the longer duration you have for covered trip cancellation if something were to go wrong between your purchase and your departure date. If you wait until the circumstances for which you may have to cancel your vacation have already arisen, it’s already too late to purchase insurance. Insurance is not meant to cover known events.
If you are not worried about protecting your vacation investment, or if you have already departed on your trip, you can also consider purchasing travel medical insurance instead.