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Insurance for Travelers: How to Cover the Basics

Travelers Today       By    Ernest Hamilton

Updated: Dec 30, 2020 11:50 AM EST

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Insurance for Travelers: How to Cover the Basics

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If nothing else, the COVID19 pandemic taught travelers a very important lesson. When it comes to traveling for business or pleasure, it can get really expensive to take things for granted. 

As flights and cruise ship and hotel reservations were being canceled all over the world, it quickly became apparent that millions of travelers were going to lose a lot of money. That is exactly what happened. The thing is, all of that money could have been saved if travelers had made the decision to purchase travel insurance.

Going forward, it's a good bet that more travelers will take out travel insurance to protect themselves from the unexpected. Assuming that might include you, here is some information about five different types of travel insurance that might be available to you. 

Trip-Cancellation or Interruption Insurance

Prepaid tours and flight reservations will always represent the biggest travel risk in terms of money you might lose. In some cases, the amount is significant enough to cause some people to choose other plans or vacation destinations instead of risking a lot of money on the trip they want. 

Trip-cancellation or travel interruption insurance can eliminate some of that risk. If for any acceptable reason, you would have to cancel your travel plans, this type of insurance would cover the nonrefundable parts of your lost travel costs. The catch is what constitutes "an acceptable reason?"

Some of the reasons your insurance would honor your trip cancellation policy include illness in the travel party, a business interruption for a travel provider, a family member at home suddenly takes ill, and a missed flight due to circumstances out of your control.

Cancel for Any Reason Insurance

The lesson learned with the pandemic is that the unexpected can happen at any time and anywhere. While a "cancel for any reason" insurance policy might be expensive, it does provide the ultimate in travel coverage in terms of flights, tours, and hotel reservations. What people have learned during the pandemic is standard trip cancellation policies don't cover some of the losses they thought were covered. Cancel for any reason policies remove all doubt.

Medical Insurance

Before you travel, you should check with your healthcare insurance provider to see if you would be covered if you had a medical problem when you reach your travel destination. If not, you might want to purchase travel medical insurance, especially if you are going to be away from home for more than a few days.

Medical emergencies are the number one reason travel plans get interrupted. The last thing you would want is a big medical bill on top of your trip interrupted. You might want to be sure to get a policy that covers pre-existing conditions should you have any. Also, travel medical insurance for the elderly can get awfully expensive.

Theft Protection

When you travel, there is a good chance you will have some rather valuable possessions with you. The items might include computers, camera equipment, and expensive jewelry. Couple that with the fact that criminals love to target travelers and tourists, there is a real risk someone might try to victimize you. 

Before you leave home with anything of value, you need to record serial numbers and take pictures as proof of what valuables you had with you. You might also want to consult with your homeowner's/renter's theft insurance policy to see if you can get additional coverage while you travel.

Other Types of Insurance

There is more. Under this category, you will find other types of insurance coverage such as evacuation insurance, collision insurance for rental cars, lost baggage insurance, and even life insurance while traveling.

The last two types of insurance should be of particular interest. As for lost baggage insurance, nothing will kill the joy of a vacation faster than losing your baggage and everything in it. Having insurance in place will give you the opportunity to purchase the things you need so you can continue on with the fun.

Losing a life during a vacation is not a common occurrence. With that in mind, you will find that any extra life insurance cost you incur while traveling might be worthy of consideration. What you need to know is your life insurance at home might not cover you in certain locations, particularly in high crime countries; keep this in mind and pick up extra life insurance coverage if you need to.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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