Buying trip insurance can be confusing. From getting quotes and comparing plans, to hard-to-understand lingo and legalese in the policy document fineprint, there’s a lot to unpack. With flight disruptions, baggage loss and trip delays becoming increasingly common, every seasoned traveler knows the value of trip insurance. The trick is to find the best trip insurance for your needs with all the benefits you might need at a premium you can handle.
Who Should Buy Trip Insurance?
It really depends on your particular situation, but in general, any American resident traveling more than 90 miles from their home should think about it. This is particularly true if you’re planning on staying at a hotel or vacation home while you’re traveling, as well as if your mode of transportation is something other than your own vehicle. Trip insurance can cover expenses related to getting your trip back on track in case of a flight disruption, a delayed train, or a missed cruise ship. If you’re renting a car for your trip, trip insurance often offers a broader range of accident and collision coverage than the rental agency.
In addition to helping to protect your transportation and accommodations investment, trip insurance is great to have in case you have to cancel your trip plans. Any basic trip insurance plan will usually come with its own standard list of covered reasons for cancellation. For example, if inclement weather, death of a loved one, or sudden illness stops your trip before it even starts, trip insurance may reimburse you at 100% for any prepaid nonrefundable expenses.
Cancel For Any Reason trip insurance is an add-on benefit that travelers can purchase for even more cancellation protection. It allows you to cancel your plans for any reason and still recoup most of your prepaid nonrefundable expenses. So, if you find a great vacation bundle with an amazing limited time offer, you can go ahead and book that trip with confidence, even if your dates aren’t firmed up yet. If you purchase trip insurance with Cancel For Any Reason, and you end up having to cancel your trip due to schedule issues, you can recoup a lot of your prepaid nonrefundable travel expenses and save the money until you can reschedule your trip.
Why Buy Trip Insurance?
Trip insurance covers you against unexpected fees resulting from things like trip delay, flight disruptions, baggage loss and much more. Most people assume that a trip insurance policy premium is expensive but in reality it’s usually no more than 10% of your total trip cost (this is the dollar amount that you want insured). On average, coverage costs travelers between $100 to $200, depending on add-ons and length of coverage, which is a small price to pay when you think about the money you’d save if a new sickness or injury disrupts your trip or if you have to cancel your trip altogether.
As we’ve seen, travel of any type is unpredictable. What trip insurance gives you is certainty and flexibility. Even if you don’t end up having to file a claim, knowing that you’re protected against the loss of your trip investment, gives you the peace of mind and focus you need to enjoy your trip.
When to Buy Trip Insurance
As a best practice, buy trip insurance after booking your hotel and flight reservations. Though, you’re able to buy trip insurance at any time before or during your trip, you would lose cancellation benefits (including Cancel For Any Reason coverage) if you purchase it less than 48 hours before your departure. If you purchase it in the middle of your trip, you would only be covered once the premium is paid. If you lose your luggage or are injured during your trip and you don’t have trip insurance, you wouldn’t be able to purchase trip insurance after the fact to cover these issues. Keep in mind that coverage only begins on the policy effective date. In general, the earliest a policy can begin is the day following the purchase.
Where to Buy Trip Insurance
These days it seems like every hotel, airline and credit card company offers some form of travel insurance. Buying trip coverage from these sites may be very tempting, especially when they come up as part of the buying process. However, you’ll likely find that these trip protections are rather limited and do not offer the medical protections that come with standard trip insurance’s Sickness & Accident benefit. The policy maximums for add-on trip protections may be up to $10,000 while the Sickness & Accident benefit policy maximum can be up to $500,000. Filing claims through these add-on trip protections is often more difficult and claims are more likely to be denied.
Alternatively, a global travel insurance marketplace like VisitorsCoverage can offer you quote generation and plan comparison tools that make researching policies easier. These marketplaces work with a variety of insurance companies and products so you can trust that you are getting a full, unbiased picture of each plan’s benefits as well as their limitations.
Our marketplace has a dedicated claims assist team that will act as an intermediary between you and the insurer. Though we cannot control the outcome of your claim, we can make sure it gets processed as efficiently as possible.