We have all been there, you have planned a perfect vacation and then disaster strikes, whether it is natural, political, or social: your travel plans can change in the blink of an eye.
If you are planning a trip and these events happen, here is what you should do:
Some of the most beautiful destinations in the world are increasingly vulnerable to shifting natural phenomenons due to worldwide climate change. These phenomenons can be devastating and are becoming more frequent.
Because Mother Nature is predictable only in her unpredictability, the first defense against such an event is a strong insurance policy. The time to think about travel insurance is not when the disaster happens but long before that. Usually once the disaster happens or is imminent, you will not be able to get a travel insurance policy that will cover that event
The first thing to remember when you are traveling is that unless you are traveling to an uninhabited destination, you will be dealing with people and if you are dealing with people you will also be dealing with politics.
Now usually vacations are not affected by political considerations but occasionally political strife can make vacationing to a city or region, inconvenient, tense, or even dangerous.
The first thing you should do is become clear about what is really going on. There are a number of ways to do this, we first look to the travel advisory for the region. The advisories are usually pretty clear and will really separate rumor from fact. You can find the official travel advisories by clicking here. It also helps to watch the news to see for yourself what is happening on the ground.
Where Do You Go From Here:
One of the downfalls of the internet and the 24 hour news cycle is the amount of information (usually contradictory) that is available.
It can become really difficult what is real, what is not, and how to react based on that information. I encourage you to speak with an experienced travel advisor, like the advisors at Million Miles Travel Agency.
Even the most seasoned travelers sometimes feel confused about travel insurance — what’s out there, what it covers, whether or not they need it. Even as a veteran travel agent and a licensed travel insurance broker in New York State, I am frequently speaking with my travel insurance suppliers to make sure my clients receive as much coverage as possible.
While coverage and policies vary from state to state, of course, to get started let's break down the types of travel insurance coverages available.
There are five main types of travel insurance. What you might need depends largely on what kind of trip you’re taking, what kind of traveler you are, and how frequently you travel. The five main types are:
1) Trip cancellation and interruption (full or partial reimbursement for a trip you need to cancel prior to departure, a trip that gets cancelled because a tour company or resort goes out of business, or a trip that gets cut short for a wide variety of reasons)
2) Medical (for health issues that occur outside of your normal coverage area)
3) Evacuation (due to disaster, dangerous weather, political emergency, or medical emergency)
4) Baggage (reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage)
5) Flight insurance (also called “crash coverage,” this is basically a life insurance policy that covers you while you’re on the plane, in the event of a statistically-rare crash)
Travel expert Rick Steves explains the way they generally work is like this:
“The various types are generally sold in some combination — rather than buying only baggage, medical, or cancellation insurance, you’ll usually purchase a package that includes most or all of them. If you want just one type of coverage in particular — such as medical — ask for that (though it might come with a little cancellation or baggage insurance, too). ‘Comprehensive insurance’ covers all of the above, plus expenses incurred if your trip is delayed, if you miss your flight, or if your tour company changes your itinerary.”
HERE ARE SOME TIPS WHEN PURCHASING TRAVEL INSURANCE
Your Health Insurance Will Probably Not Cover You On Your Vacation
Just because you have health insurance at home does not mean that it will cover you on your trip. You need to check the ins and outs of your particular health insurance policy. It may cover you while you travel, but many do not. In fact, some insurance policies don’t even cover health emergencies experienced on foreign-flagged vessels — which is what most cruise ships are. Check with your provider, ask your travel agent for suggestions, and of course direct any insurance-related questions to the provider. As Steves puts it, “Before purchasing a policy, ask your insurer to explain exactly what’s covered before and after you get to the hospital.”
The Best Practice Is To Purchase A Third Party insurance
Avoid purchasing travel insurance from the company that’s also hosting your trip. The reason for this? If that company goes out of business, chances are, so does their insurance. There are major travel insurance companies that will provide all the insurance your need.
What Is The Best Travel Insurance Coverage?
Some companies offer comprehensive coverage that can serve as your primary coverage while you’re traveling. What does this mean, and how can it benefit you? It means that the insurance company will pay first, regardless of what other insurance you have. They don’t even inquire about additional insurance, saving you tons of paperwork and out-of-pocket expenses. TravelGuard and Travelex are two such companies that provide these policies as an option.
Do You Really Need Travel Insurance?
Weigh the cost of the trip with the cost of insurance. If you just bought a $79 ticket for a quick weekend in Chicago — is it worth it? Maybe, maybe not. If, however, you’re headed out on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that you’ve been saving for for months.
Confused about travel insurance? At Million Miles Travel Agency has a New York State licensed travel insurance broker that can guide you through the process of purchasing the travel insurance product that works best for you and your travel needs.
Contact us today.
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