Travel Insurance: What are my options and why do I need it?

Let’s talk Travel insurance. What are your options and why would you need it? When a client books a trip, there are usually several options for trip insurance and they vary. I’ll narrow down some of these for you.

Insurance is nonrefundable

Insurance is always nonrefundable, just like your car or house insurance. You are not getting that money back. That’s important and I get that question a lot.

Cancel for any reason coverage

The easiest and usually the least expensive is cancellation for any reason insurance, with a travel credit refund. This is offered by a few vendors we use. If you cancel, any of the payments you make toward your trip are turned into a travel credit. You typically have 13 months to book a new trip and travel. We get a specific expiration date for this type of credit. It is non-transferable and nonrefundable if you don’t use it. This insurance typically has clients rebooking immediately so they don’t forget. I also send reminders.

There is also cancellation for any reason, with cash back or form of payment refund. This means if you cancel you get an actual refund to your card or a check if that’s how you pay. The pricing on this varies, some options are inexpensive and some are not.

With cancel any reason insurance, there are no forms to file. You simply have to cancel your trip before the departure. If you no-show it’s not covered. There are some cancel for any reason insurance policies that are inexpensive, starting at around $65 per person but they don’t have any coverage during travel. They are simply cancellation policies and that is all.

Emergency coverage insurance

We also have insurance with AIG (Travel Guard) that we are licensed to sell to clients. This is coverage for emergencies and you must have a covered reason if you cancel. These policies also include coverage during travel, like medical, dental, and baggage. They do offer a cancel for any reason but you don’t get a full refund. I don’t normally recommend this option to a client. It doesn’t seem worth the expense.

During travel coverage

I get asked about coverage during travel, especially if a client is traveling out of the States. Your medical insurance typically won’t cover you internationally. It’s rare but I have had clients that have to visit the hotel doctor or the emergency room. If you don’t have insurance with during-travel coverage these visits are very expensive. If you have insurance that covers this you still have to be prepared to pay out of pocket but you will be able to file those expenses when you return. It’s important to keep all receipts and paperwork.

The during-travel insurance also helps if there’s a delay or the airline or cruise line loses your luggage. I’ve had clients with canceled flights without insurance who had to pay out of pocket for hotel nights and meals related to the cancellation. The airline is not always going to cover these expenses. Insurance is usually less expensive than a hotel night.

You will always be offered trip insurance if you purchase a trip from me. And if you decline insurance, it will have to be in writing.

If you need information about trip insurance or help planning a vacation, I’d love to earn your business. You can reach me at Lake Pointe Travel at sarah@lakepointetravel.net or 469-698-4071. This is my personal lifestyle blog but I’m a travel agent by day.

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