Vacation time is always a good time or at least should be if we see it from my standpoint. Saving money all year round to give my family some worry-free days of leisure, makes my efforts worth it but, what if something goes wrong while traveling? Accidents are unpredictable, but the news of the wreck of Costa Concordia on the coast of Italy certainly invites one to have reflections. Depending on your travel agent, travel insurance can be included in your vacation package or you might always get it from an insurance company before traveling.
In my case, and having paid everything to sail on a Caribbean cruise, the invitation of my travel agent to take travel insurance seemed to me an insolent attempt to squeeze my wallet, but watching my children scrapping newspapers for wreckage news — and using these to show off their frightening decision of not coming to the cruise ship — made me understand the importance of travel insurance. After all, vacation expenses are money set aside to have fun and traveling with the confidence that insurance gives you may not yet avoid accidents to happen, but provides coverage at the moment at which you might be short of money if so. I can say now that the Costa Concordia disaster opened up my eyes and raised my awareness when it comes to traveling.
Travel Insurance for Dummies (Like me)
After the potential risk to get my children convincing me to cancel our cruise ship, I started serious online research to find further information on travel insurance and the following are seven tips I came across with to share here.
- Do not go with the First Option
When you start looking for travel insurance, or listen to your travel agent, you might take the first suggested option whether for its price or convenience. I believed that all travel insurance was just the same and single option, but it so happens that there are many types of travel insurance and they have different coverage; flight insurance, medical insurance, lost baggage, trip cancellation, natural disasters and many more. You can take one or more options, or do what I did; get a bundled travel insurance package to cover most of my traveling concerns.
- Make a Wise Decision
If you are traveling to the next town, do not take all the travel insurance that you can afford to pay. Short-distance trips may not even require to get any insurance (except car insurance if you are driving) and, in this case, make sure to only pay for whatever you are not willing to lose. Paying for lost baggage insurance when you know the bags are safe in the trunk of your car simply makes no sense. As many types of insurance exist, there are just as many different trip circumstances to make choices you will face every time.
- Do not Trust in Your Travel Rewards Cards
Having an American Express card makes you feel powerful… and covered! I have a travel rewards credit card from this company and I am still astonished after discovering the minimum coverage that it really offers. No matter what financial or commercial entity has issued your travel rewards card, simply check its coverage and be ready to buy insurance for whatever it does not cover, but you require.
- As with Loans, Shop Around
You will always be advised to shop around before applying for a loan because comparing prices and interest rates can be of significant importance for your budget. Similarly, compare the different travel insurance deals to make an educated decision. Your travel agent is the first source to get travel insurance, but this might not be the best option based on its price and coverage. Do an online search to find the right insurance coverage for its price.
- Health and Age Concerns
Similar to life insurance, your age and overall health is a determining factor when it comes to premium travel insurance. Keep this is in mind before applying for life insurance.
- Anytime is the Right Time?
Because it was not my intention to take travel insurance, hearing my travel agent to say that it was not necessary to make a choice for it at the time of booking was something that, honestly, I did not pay attention to. However, further research revealed to me that we can buy travel insurance as late as a few days before departing on vacation. Problem here will be the waiting times to get the coverage, which may not match your traveling schedule. In addition, if something happens that affects your health or your travel destination, you may not be covered by the insurer if this travel insurance was not purchased within a given time frame.
- Insurance that Does Not Work
I could not believe my eyes, but health insurance companies do not cover you when traveling overseas or to a different county in which you live. In America not even Medicare or Obamacare will do it! Check with your health insurance company to know if you will be covered while traveling abroad, before taking this option as a part of your travel insurance bundle.
Now, that you and I know a little bit more about travel insurance, we will be able to travel with the confidence that only insurance protection can give in case of facing one of those eventualities that nobody can predict and that we cannot always prevent, including those resulting from natural disasters or human mistakes.