You’ve booked the flights, reserved your hotel room, scheduled a few excursions, arranged a rental car. But have you thought about travel insurance?
If you are considering travel insurance, don’t wait until the last minute. Most carriers require that you purchase insurance within 15 days of booking your trip. And don’t try to purchase insurance after some aspect of your trip gets bad press, such as the airline experiencing financial difficulties or a hurricane is forecast to make landfall at your resort. In such circumstances, you might be denied coverage upfront or your claim may be denied when the worst happens.
If you‘ve booked your flights, hotel, car rental, etc. using your credit card, you may find that many essentials are covered—rental car collision, reimbursement for non-refundable travel tickets, expenses incurred as a result of delays or an unexpected need to return early. But remember, there will almost certainly be a maximum pay-out, and some things, such as dangerous sports, emergency medical treatment or transportation, pre-existing health conditions, will not be covered. So be sure to check your policy and talk with the card’s customer service department.
There are times when having travel insurance definitely pays. For example:
The overall cost of your trip is high.
You will be taking part in dangerous sports.
You may have to return home because you or a travel companion has a medical emergency, or a close family member becomes sick at home.
Your travel provider goes bankrupt and cancels all flights.
You are in an area affected by war or an act of terrorism.
Extreme weather or another natural disaster interrupts or prevents your trip.
And then there are times when it’s probably not worth the extra:
The cost of the trip is minimal.
You already have sufficient protection through your credit card or car insurance.
Your travel provider provides reimbursement or rescheduling if you (or they) have to cancel.
Whichever way you to decide to go, remember to always read the small print!