Travel Tips: Do I Need Travel Insurance?
The staff of The International Kitchen travels a lot, and I can honestly say that we never do so without travel insurance, regardless of how much—if anything—the trip costs. Why do we recommend travel insurance for our clients? From whom should you order it? What does it cover? These are a few of the things we'll be discussing in today's blog.
There is nothing worse than being contacted by a client who did not purchase travel insurance who has to cancel a trip due to a medical reason and having to remind them that their trip cost was non-refundable. "But I didn't know this was going to happen," is a common refrain, and of course, that is exactly why insurance exists. We feel terrible when it happens, but we have a strict non-refundable policy because we promise payment to our partners once a trip is confirmed: this is how we are able to offer such amazing itineraries to groups as small as 2 people (and sometimes even for 1 person)! So the first reason to purchase travel insurance is to protect your investment. If you cancel for a covered reason, you can file a claim for 100% reimbursement.
Traveling is full of surprises, and not all of them are good! What if your flight is delayed and you miss a connection? If you arrive on time but your luggage does not? Travel protection plans can provide coverage for hotels, meals, re-scheduled transfers, or even an emergency shopping trip for clothes and toiletries. Shopping in Italy is fun: having to spend your travel budget purchasing new underwear and shampoo is not.
What about if you get sick or injured during your trip? Will your medical insurance cover it? It depends on your insurance, but usually at least a deductible will apply. Emergency medical coverage while traveling ensures you've both the assistance and the resources needed to find adequate medical care. The insurance we recommend even has a 24-hour hotline to help out.
To be clear, travel insurance won't "make it all better." It will still suck if you have to cancel a trip, if your luggage is lost for a few days, or if you need to seek out emergency medical care abroad. But travel insurance can make it suck much less.
These are just a few of the many reasons we recommend travel insurance; you can see other reasons here. We offer to order travel insurance for our clients through TravelEx, a reputable company with whom we have worked for many years. The plan we offer is TravelSelect. But there are many travel insurance companies out there that you can use. The important thing is to understand fully what the coverage you're purchasing provides: 100% reimbursement for cancellation or trip interruption? Lost baggage allowance? After how many days? Emergency medical assistance? Up to what amount? If the insurance company's brochure or website doesn't spell out these issues, call the company and ask, the more information you have, the better you can protect yourself and your investment.
In short, travel insurance is our #1 travel tip, because it means peace of mind, which is just what you want when you are on vacation!
By Peg Kern