Note: We receive a commission for purchases made through the links on this site. Our sponsors, however, do not influence our editorial content in any way.
As you look forward to enjoying your travels in late 2021, don’t forget to think about travel insurance. At first glance, it might seem like a frivolous expense, but it’s actually a smart move. With this coverage on your side, you can avoid losing big on travel and healthcare expenses, no matter where you go.
Still wondering why you should bother? Here’s a look at the top 7 benefits of travel insurance.
If you’re injured while visiting another country, you’ll likely need to pay cash upfront to get care. Even worse, many foreign healthcare centers will not even consider billing your regular insurance plan. If you have Medicare, you’re equally out of luck because it doesn’t provide coverage when you’re outside the USA.
Thankfully, you can get travel insurance that comes with coverage for emergency medical bills. Upon presenting that policy to the hospital, you can get prompt medical care without dipping into your cash reserves. Without it, you might end up having to go back home for care, which could affect your ability to make a full recovery.
Healthcare is one of the biggest benefits of travel insurance.
Even a minor injury, like a broken foot, can cost you thousands of dollars in medical care. If you need emergency medical transport by helicopter, you can expect costs to hit $200,000 well before you even receive any additional care. Add on a lengthy stay in the hospital and the bill could far exceed the $1 million mark.
Thankfully, most travel insurance policies offer up to $10 million in coverage for medical bills. Included in the benefit is between $500,000 and $1 million for emergency medical transport alone. When you buy travel insurance, you can find the right coverage limits with help from your broker.
If the unthinkable happens on your trip, most travel insurance policies have accidental death and dismemberment coverage available. The dismemberment portion kicks in if you lose a limb in an accident while traveling. The policy might pay out a lump sum or even provide disability checks for up to 12 months.
The accidental death benefit provides a set amount of money to your named beneficiary if you die while on your trip. Your family can also look to the policy to pay for the transport of your remains back home through the repatriation of remains benefit.
When buying plane tickets, booking a cruise or even reserving a hotel room, there’s one thing you can count on: No refunds. It doesn’t matter what happens either. Whether you’re too sick to go or suffer a major loss days before your trip, these companies will not budge on their policy. So, you can either try to go anyway or lose your vacation investment.
If you have travel insurance, you can get reimbursement for any nonrefundable costs. Your reason for canceling has to be one of the covered reasons to qualify, however.
These reasons vary from company to company, but may include:
If your situation qualifies, you can cancel your trip and file a claim. The travel cancellation insurance benefit will then kick in to cover your nonrefundable losses.
Sometimes, it’s just minor mishaps that threaten to ruin your trip and leave you counting your losses. From canceled flights to lost bags, minor annoyances can have a big impact on the quality of your trip. Since these issues occur through no fault of your own, there’s no reason you should miss out because of them.
Fortunately, your travel and baggage delay benefits can help overcome the difficulties. If your flight is late by more than six hours, then you’ll receive reimbursement for any additional accommodations, meals and transportation you need.
The baggage benefit usually gives you a set amount per day, until your luggage finally arrives, to make up for the inconvenience. It could be $100 or more per day, plus full reimbursement for your belongings if the airlines has lost your luggage for good.
If you suffer injuries or other losses due to the negligence of another party, you may need legal help. The same goes if you are liable for another person’s injuries or property damage. Getting help from a lawyer can be rather expensive, but thankfully, travel insurance can help.
Most policies come with a personal liability benefit that covers property damage and bodily injuries if you’re deemed at fault for the incident. You may also be able to seek advice from a skilled lawyer free of charge.
Every policy is different, so you will need to check with your broker to figure out how much legal help yours offers. Other benefits of travel insurance, like medical coverage, can reduce the need for legal help, but it’s nice to have legal coverage anyway.
Jetting off into the horizon is definitely exciting, but that doesn’t mean it’s not stressful too. You may have a million worries on your mind as you buy your plane tickets, book your hotel room and make other arrangements. Even as you hop on the plane, your mind might swirl with possibilities, including absolutely everything that could go wrong.
When you sign up for a quality travel insurance policy, the coverage can help quiet those worries. Then you can focus on the good times ahead. Otherwise, you might obsess on trying to figure out how to manage any obstacles that could come your way.
If you have any doubts, simply review all the benefits of travel insurance. You’ll see how the policy can help you get medical care, cover nonrefundable losses and otherwise cope with major to minor challenges.
Although you might need to forgo a few extras to afford travel insurance, it’s often well worth the expense. You can make up the difference by looking to your credit card, hotel reward programs and the like for free travel upgrades.