How to Decide if You Need Travel Insurance for Your Holiday Travels
The busy holiday season is almost upon us, and travelers face tough decisions when planning their vacations. These can include how much to spend, how long to stay and, of course, how to celebrate and who to celebrate with.
While Thanksgiving and the holidays are an excellent excuse to travel and have fun, there is one thing that is often overlooked. Common travel mishaps like lost luggage and delayed flights are just a few examples that can affect travel plans unexpectedly, but travel insurance can help. How do travelers know when they need it? CSA Travel Protection has been dedicated for 25 years to providing full-service travel insurance solutions. Its Vice President of Operations, Bob Chambers, asks travelers to consider the following tips before deciding to purchase or pass on travel insurance.
"A good rule of thumb is if you can't afford to lose the amount you've invested in your vacation, then you should buy a travel insurance policy," Chambers said. "If you have questions about which plan has the benefits you need, be sure to check with your travel insurance provider."
Check your health insurance to see what's already covered. Some health insurance plans may cover some in-network medical costs, but a travel insurance policy can be a good way to supplement, especially if the traveler is outside of their medical network.
One of the most valuable coverages for travelers is Emergency Assistance and Transportation. This can cost a traveler tens of thousands of dollars. Generally, U.S. health insurance companies won't help arrange a medical transport, such as an air ambulance.
According to AAA, driving is the most popular mode of travel for Thanksgiving. While a lot of holiday travel remains domestic, if travelers' destinations are international, then Emergency Assistance and Transportation coverage can be valuable.
Additionally, medical treatment can be difficult to arrange, and a reputable travel insurance company such as CSA Travel Protection offers services that can assist in finding a doctor and providing 24-hour emergency assistance. This can help when in another country and not fluent in the native language.
Many people think their credit card will cover them, which is oftentimes incorrect. Benefits offered through credit cards may be limited, and travelers shouldn't assume they're covered without checking with their credit card provider. For example, very few offer Trip Cancellation coverage, and the ones that do usually only cover for purchases made with the card, and oftentimes it caps at a certain dollar amount.
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to purchasing a travel insurance plan. Travelers should buy travel insurance as soon as they book their vacations. Insurance is designed to cover certain unforeseen events, so it's best to have the travel insurance in advance. If travelers need to postpone or cancel for a covered reason, they may be eligible for benefits.
If a certain event, such as blizzard or other weather phenomenon is foreseeable, then travel insurance may not cover it. Events, weather related or even terrorist acts, are perils that could cause travel plans to change. Be sure to read the fine print and know exactly what a travel insurance policy covers.
For those who are vacationing over the holidays, a travel insurance plan could be a wise choice. Travel insurance may be a small part of the big picture when it comes to making holiday vacation plans, but travelers may be glad they made such a trip investment should an unexpected event arise.
Jay A. Morakis
M Group Strategic Communications (for Generali Global Assistance North America)
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