Why You Still Need Travel Insurance, Even with Flexible Cancellation Policies
It took forever, but it seems travel companies are finally cutting us some breaks with their cancellation and rescheduling policies.
“Can’t travel because of the pandemic? No problem! We’ll waive your change fees – or even refund your fare. Can’t make your motel stay? No sweat! It’s fully refundable!”
In light of these changes many companies have been making, you may be wondering: Why do we need travel insurance if we’re likely to get our money back if we can’t travel?
Actually, there are many sound reasons why travel insurance remains vitally important. Here are some of the top ones:
Trip Cancellation Coverage is Still Important
Even with flexible cancellation policies becoming the new normal, getting paid back for lost trip costs if the trip is canceled is a main concern for travelers. Credits and vouchers from travel companies are nice, but they can expire, and not all companies are offering easy, fee-free changes or cancellations. If your trip is cancelled due to a covered event, travel insurance can put money back in your hands, so you can decide when and how to spend it.
With a travel protection plan, you can also choose to reschedule your trip arrangements rather than canceling. If you're prevented from taking your trip due to a covered reason, you may have the option to reschedule instead of canceling it. In this event, if you have a Generali travel protection plan, change fees charged by your travel supplier are covered.
Trip Interruption and Travel Delay
Sure, you may get a refund if you have to cancel a trip before you leave, but what if you have to cancel halfway through your trip?
Most travel suppliers are still hesitant to shell out to make you whole after you’ve consumed half or more of your trip. If that’s a possibility for you (and pro tip: it is for most travelers who have major trip issues), then it’s absolutely in your best interest to buy travel insurance to help protect your travels.
In addition, the Trip Interruption coverage in Generali’s plans can help reimburse you for an emergency flight home or unused prepaid travel arrangements if you have to interrupt your trip for a covered reason, such as being diagnosed with COVID-19...
It’s the worst travel nightmare these days: You finally get to travel somewhere on vacation, and as you're getting ready to head back home you test positive for COVID-19, meaning you have to unexpectedly extend your trip past your planned departure date. Who pays for extra costs like lodging and meals if that happens? Generally, you do, unless you have a travel insurance plan that can cover those costs - and Generali's plans do just that. Included in Generali’s travel protection plans, is a Travel Delay coverage which will reimburse you for certain out of pocket costs you incur if you are delayed due to a covered reason for the amount of time listed in your plan documents.
If you test positive you should be prepared to extend your trip at your own expense, according to the State Department. If you're not ready to cover those costs, make sure you have a travel insurance plan that can reimburse them to you.
Also read: Trip Interruptions Can Be Quite Expensive
Emergency Medical Coverage
No amount of hotel room refunds are going to help if you have a medical emergency when you’re traveling and have to seek medical assistance.
Even if you’re only traveling in the United States for now, not all medical providers are a slam-dunk to be in your health insurance network – and if you’re bleeding profusely or in searing pain from a broken ankle, you’re probably not going to make small talk about network status.
Having travel insurance with coverage for medical emergencies is your best protection against catastrophic medical bills wrecking your vacation.
Furthermore, having emergency medical protection and trip interruption coverage in one package makes it possible for your medical bills to be covered and your prepaid trip costs reimbursed if you have to interrupt your trip because of a serious accident or illness.
Similarly, emergency medical evacuation is consistently one of the most expensive travel emergencies you may encounter.
Even if you’re traveling domestically, medical evacuation can be a logistical and financial nightmare. Imagine what it would take to get you out of the Alaskan bush or off of an Hawaiian pali.
Emergency medical evacuation sounds like one of those, “oh, it’ll never happen to me” sorts of coverages … until it happens to you.
Why take unnecessary chances? Emergency medical evacuation coverage is an essential part of any travel protection plan.
Travel times have changed, but a hotel is still not going to reimburse you if your luggage is stolen out of your room.
In addition, your bags won’t be handled with any more loving care than they were a year ago.
Because the root causes of lost and damaged luggage haven’t changed, it makes sense to provide added protection to your travels with travel insurance that helps protect your belongings.
And that doesn’t mean the so-called “insurance” that comes with your credit card, either. That generally only works with items you buy on that card, and only comes with some cards.
Again, regardless of whether you’re now allowed to change flights without incurring a change fee, you’re still going to have to make that change, and that can still be a daunting process.
On top of that, passports can still get lost and people are possibly still going to need directions.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that human-to-human interaction is a needed and beneficial thing. That makes travel assistance from live operators an extremely valuable commodity.
Every Generali plan comes with 24/7 travel assistance and concierge services – so no matter where you travel or what you do, you have expert backup ready and willing to help.
Sure, travel suppliers may be cutting customers some breaks right now; it’s the appropriate thing to do. And in the process, it points to the value of travel protection.