Taking a cruise? Travel Insurance
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Is Travel Insurance Worth it? – Travel Insurance explained

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Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

By Jaunty Staff

Is travel insurance worth it? Two years ago Bev & I booked a family cruise on the Baltic. With stops in Sweden, Estonia, Russia, Finland & more, we were really excited to get our family underway!

With older kids,  dialing in four schedules, locking down hotels, flights, and finding excursions we’d all enjoy, wasn’t an insignificant effort. Nor was the cost!

At the urging of our travel agent, we shopped for & purchased travel insurance.

I’ll be the first to admit that I did it begrudgingly. We just laid out lots of cash for this adventure & plunking down another $1500 was a buzz kill!  We’d never used travel insurance before and it was never an issue.

Then my Mom got really sick, 10 days before our departure…

So the story doesn’t take a sad turn, my  Mom is fine and fully recovered. But in the days leading up to our trip, it wasn’t clear what the prognosis was and we made the decision not to go on the cruise. While electing to stay home was a done deal, eating the entire cost of  the trip would have been brutal! Fortunately, even though my Mom wasn’t going on this trip with us, a family illness was part of our travel insurance policy and all our funds were promptly returned.

 

Is Travel Insurance really necessary?  – depends

Travel insurance can absolutely be worth it for the type of trip that requires a substantial upfront cash out lay, trips that involve a moderate to substantial amount of risk (think hiking in the mountains, river rafting etc…)  and more complex journeys (multiple flights, hotels etc…). If you asked me “Is travel insurance worth it for a cruise?” I’d invariably say Yes! Other vacations, however, may not warrant travel insurance or your current sources of insurance might suffice.

 

Let’s get into some of the details…

 

Jaunty’s Travel Shop Page…

 

What does Travel Insurance Cover?

Most travel insurance policies cover:

Trip Cancellation – Typically involves, unforeseen emergencies such as illness or death in the family, a medical crisis, an unexpected work situation, a travel provider declaring bankruptcy or a disaster with your home. Because the cost of changing or cancelling reservations is exorbitant, trip cancellation Insurance is a great reason to get coverage. Situations that are out of your control, as those mentioned above, are what the policy is designed for. Simply changing your mind about the trip will not cause the policy to go into effect. Any policy you consider will specifically list what they are willing to cover.

Accident Coverage – If you or one of your traveling companions is injured (or God forbid killed) during the trip, you would receive compensation. I won’t get into nauseating details here, but accident coverage drills into the value of losing a thumb versus a limb and so on…much like a regular insurance policy.

hiking trip? Consider travel insurance

Medical Care – During a trip If you’re involved in an accident or become ill, you’d be covered if you require medical care and transportation (usually there’s limitations or exclusions to this)

Personal Possessions – Bags and your belongings, including cameras, computers, cell phones, &  jewelry. Many policies also cover lost cash and passport replacement.

 

 

What’s not covered?

Pre-Existing medical conditions -Most policies have exclusions for pre-existing conditions. If you’ve had a major illness or require ongoing treatment, you’d need to find a policy that offers a pre-existing condition waiver.

The game of lost luggage – While covering lost luggage is typically included in travel insurance, the “when does coverage begin” is worth noting before you select your insurance. A couple hours is one thing; a couple days is another. As a rule of thumb, throwing your most needed medications and a change of clothes in a carry on, is always a good idea!

Bear in mind that the coverage mentioned above can vary from policy to policy.  The type of policy you ultimately select is dependent upon several factors, including:  The company you select, how much you’re willing to pay, your destination & general health. To ensure you find the right policy, a little due diligence and comparison shopping will be in order.

 

Doesn’t my Credit Card have Travel Insurance?

Many credit card companies provide some level of travel insurance as a benefit to cardholders. That said, it generally falls well below the type of insurance required for an expensive or elaborate vacation. I researched my American Express Card to see what insurance was available to me &  was pleased to find more coverage than I would have thought. While my credit card insurance might complement a purchased travel insurance policy or lends a hand for a short trip, it certainly wouldn’t have covered the cancellation of our cruise. When buying separate travel insurance, choose a plan that covers what the credit card company excludes or lacks.

My American Express  includes:

Trip Cancellation Insurance up to $5000
(about 15 percent of credit cards offer any form of trip cancellation coverage)
Legal assistance up to $1000
Bail – up to $10,000
Medical evacuation – Up to $100,000
Cash Advances – UP to $1000
An return ticket home for an emergency or death in family
Lost bags or trip delay up to $1000
Rental Car Insurance – up to $50,000
Accidental Death & Dismemberment – up to $500,000
similar to life insurance and typically only covers death or dismemberment.
Medical travel insurance is still needed

 

How much does travel insurance cost?

Travel insurance typically costs about  5% to 10% of the cost of your total trip, though that amount can be influenced by multiple factors, including:
The age of you & your spouse
The overall cost of  your trip
The amount of coverage you choose
The number of people covered under your policy
Shopping with Insurance aggregators is the quickest way to compare policies and find the one that fits your needs.

 

Recommended Travel Insurance Sites

While it’s not uncommon for your travel agent to recommend a travel insurance company, shopping through an insurance aggregator is quick, easy and provides a wider range of insurance options (& pricing). You know your family needs and what insurance you already have in place better than your agent. It takes about 10 minutes to get multiple quotes and do the research!

Both sites we suggest here, Insuremytrip.com & travelinsurance.com have received A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau.

 

InsureMyTrip.com

A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and over 60,000 customer reviews

 

Travelinsurance.com

A+ rating  from Better Business Bureau

 

Go Direct to a Travel Insurance Provider

If you prefer, go directly to these highly rated travel insurance companies. Each of the below companies has an A+ or better rating with AM Best & an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. AM Best is an independent credit rating agency that focuses on the world wide insurance industry (how much fun is that!). You may not want to party with these dudes, but they know Insurance!

An A+ or better rating means the Insurance company’s Financial Strength Rating is Superior (the highest level) for its ability to meet its financial obligations. In other words, it has the money available to pay your claims!

 

TravelX Insurance

AM Best rating A+, Better Business Bureau A+

 

Generali Travel Insurance

AM Best rating A+, Better Business Bureau A+

 

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

AM Best A++ rating, Better Business Bureau A+

 

Roam Right Insurance

AM Best A+ rating, Better Business Bureau A+

 

Allianz travel Insurance

AM Best A+ rating, Better Business Bureau A+

 

When should I buy Travel Insurance?

You should purchase  within 15 days of making your initial trip deposit
Here’s why –

It’s the easiest thing to forget. After putting down a big deposit, no one thinks. “What else can I spend money on?” Get it done and carry that piece of mind with you. Take the 15 minutes and compare a few plans!

Remember, your travel agent isn’t as familiar with your family history, medical needs, your current credit card insurance etc… You’re the families best advocate for the right insurance at the right price

Safe Travels!

Jaunty’s Travel Shop Page…

Did you see our write up on Ski Resorts in Japan? Click Here!

Bungee jumping? Buy travel insurance

 

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