Quick Reminder: Travel Insurance
It’s hard to believe we’re one year removed from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time in 2020, no one knew what the next year was going to look like. People were scrambling with all sorts of life-altering decisions, from working from home to rescheduling weddings to canceling all travel. It was certainly a trying year. Fast-forward to now, and some of those decisions are still being made. Among them is the question of whether or not to travel.
Traveling means a lot of things to a lot of people. It could mean your morning commute, or it could mean flying for work multiple times a week. It could mean taking an annual family vacation or going on a road trip to see an old friend. No matter the reason, means, or duration, people plan to travel all the time. It is a part of everyone’s everyday life in some capacity. In that same vein, traveling isn’t cheap. Filling up your gas tank, buying a plane ticket, reserving a hotel, etc. — there are a lot of dollars at stake when travel is planned and, likewise, when interrupted.
What is one way to guard against the unknown or unexpected when it comes to travel plans? Travel insurance. You may have seen this before. It’s the offer you always decline at the end of your travel booking because you think “This won’t happen to me,” which, coincidentally, are the most (in)famous five words regarding any insurance. Travel insurance isn’t very commonly taken unless there are a lot of moving parts to the trip, a lot of dollars at stake, or if the trip is to a relatively unstable part of the world. Nonetheless, it seems appropriate to circle back on a few basics.
First, just like any other insurance, there needs to be a trigger for any coverage to apply. That trigger can’t be “I don’t feel like going anymore.” Things like travel bans, weather events, verifiable injury or illness, etc. are the most common travel insurance claims. Other common elements are premiums and deductibles. Just like any other insurance, you have to pay a premium for travel insurance. This premium stems from a lot of variables, which are all relative to the trip being covered. Same with the deductible, likely in the area of $250–$500. All of this is to say that even during a pandemic, you can’t simply decide to abandon your trip and expect to get all your money back. Something has to interrupt or cancel that trip first before you have any chance at a recovery.
Another thing to keep in mind when weighing costs is that even if you have a claim scenario, it isn’t without first paying a premium to get the coverage, followed by a deductible of some sort. All of this is relative to the traveler’s financial and personal risk appetite, as are most insurance buying decisions. One thing to keep in mind: don’t forget to check your credit card’s benefit program. Most credit card companies offer trip interruption/cancellation coverage as a benefit to cardholders.
As always, make sure to read all the fine print before making any assumptions. Give us a call if you have any questions regarding travel insurance.