By Alex Higgins
Is travel insurance right for you? Millions of travelers ask themselves the same question every year. Odds are, your future plans include a relaxing vacation, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Under the best circumstances, travel insurance ensures peace of mind. Under the worst, trip insurance can save you thousands of dollars and countless hours of worry and inconvenience if you’re forced to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances.
But before purchasing travel insurance, check to see what kind of coverage you already have. Some major credit cards offer coverage for medical emergencies, lost luggage and/or the cancellation of trip components that were paid for with that card.
If you’re traveling overseas, check to see if your health plan includes out-of-network overseas care. Many U.S. health plans do not cover you outside of the country and, if you’re a senior citizen, you should assume that Medicare will not cover you while you’re in a foreign country.
It’s always a good idea to do your homework before purchasing travel insurance. In many instances, insurance costs can be relatively inexpensive, but well worth the investment. Trip cancellation or interruption insurance averages $5 to $6 per $100 of trip costs.
Mike Rhead, AAA Travel Insurance manager, says trip cancellation and trip interruption are very important benefits. “When your vacation and cruise costs are non-refundable, it’s imperative that AAA Members protect that trip cost. The Allianz plans AAA offers include cancellation for things like injury, illness, jury duty, job loss, natural disasters, severe weather, terrorism and much more.”
Smart Benefits — benefits paid without the need to show a receipt — are great, Rhead says. “Historically if a travel insurance company was going to cover an event a receipt was required to show loss. Travel Delay of three or more hours on the Allianz TripAssist Choice plan pays the traveler $100 for simply having experienced the delay. In fact, Allianz tracks flights worldwide and will proactively pay the $100 Smart Benefit if flight details are included on the policy.”
Baggage Delay is another Smart Benefit available. “On the TripAssist Family Care and Choice policies when bags are delayed for 12 or more hours the policy holder gets the $100 Smart Benefit,” Rhead says. “The third Smart Benefit, Missed Port of Call, is a AAA exclusive benefit. On Family Care and Choice policies if a cruise misses a port of call from the original itinerary, Allianz will pay $100 per missed port, per person, up to 3 ports or $300.”
The qualified travel professionals at AAA can help you learn more about the benefits of purchasing trip insurance and can help you select a travel insurance policy that’s right for you.
(Traveler Spring 2020)