If nothing else, the current Coronavirus pandemic has made it crystal clear that personal or business travel plans are always at risk. Things happen in life that no one has any control over. One area where this is causing problems for people all over the world is as it relates to cruises, air travel, and hotel accommodations.
In America, there has already been a significant effect on air travel to and from countries where the COVID-19 has a real presence. With Trump’s recent announcement of banned air travel to these countries, it’s only getting worse. For the individuals who had travel plans and lost some or all of their airfare, it’s a tragedy. In many such cases, that was money people spent months or even years trying to save for the vacation of a lifetime.
As these folks are left pondering where to go from here, it’s noteworthy that there was a way they could have protected their travel expenditures. It’s called travel insurance. This is the insurance airlines and travel companies offer, but hardly anyone agrees to pick up. Think about how many times you’ve opted out of that extra insurance option. For anyone out there who doesn’t want to end up losing hard-earned travel dollars, a discussion about how people can protect themselves seems in order.
Protecting Travel Plans –
Between the time someone makes travel plans and actually exercises those plans, a lot of things can happen. That’s not limited to deadly viruses that seem to come from out of nowhere. People are sometimes forced to cancel travel plans for a lot of other good reasons, which might include:
- Sudden conflicts at work
- Family illness
- Death in the family
- Natural disaster at home or travel destination
- Potential personal safety issues
- Financial problems
The list doesn’t stop there, but it should be clear that things happen that people can’t control, no matter how hard they try.
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While travel insurance isn’t right for everyone, there are circumstances under which it’s a good way for a traveler to protect themselves. In the travel world, this type of insurance is the only reliable way for someone to protect their travel investment from being a total loss due to unforeseen circumstances. The next section will discuss this in further detail.
Types of Travel Insurance Policies –
If someone wants to protect themselves from financial disaster when planning for a trip or during a vacation, there are a couple of different insurance options available.
With the basic insurance option, travelers can protect themselves from medical emergencies while they are away from home. The pricing of the insurance may vary based upon several factors, including:
- The age of the traveler or travelers
- The destination
- The extent of financial coverage the traveler desires
The list of medical costs this type of policy will cover includes things like visits to general practitioners, medicine, ambulance fees, and limited dentistry benefits. The policy will usually provide for a deductible and/or copay.
The comprehensive insurance package will cover the same medical costs, plus trip cancellation/rebooking fees, lost luggage, flight delays, public liability, and other miscellaneous expenses. Of this coverage, the flight cancellation coverage carries the most importance. If for any of the designated reasons, a flight is canceled by the airline or the ticketed traveler, the insured is entitled to compensation from the insurance company. The generally accepted reasons for a cancelation include:
- Injury or illness
- Natural disasters
- Call to jury duty
- Work-related issues
- Airline strikes
- Call to serve in armed services
- Family emergencies
While such insurance could be a little expensive, it could be well worth the price if the traveler has spent a substantial amount of money for flights and hotel accommodations. Remember, nothing will ruin a trip faster than the traveler encountering difficulties that cause them to lose a significant portion of their vacation money. Insurance is the best chance anyone will have to recoup the money they spent, enabling them to make new travel plans at a later date.