Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Why Buy Travel Insurance ?

For most of my life I have traveled without travel insurance. The first time I purchased insurance was for a tour in Europe at the insistence of the travel agency. It certainly paid off and I am now an advocate for flying only with insurance for long tours or expensive vacations. Could anyone have predicted 9/11? My dream vacation of a grand tour of all the major European castles coincided with this world changing disaster. Without the insurance I took out, I would've had to pay for a week's worth of hotel rooms in one of the most expensive cities in the world for accommodation- Munich. I had to pay for all my meals at that point and I never saw a McDonald's. To top it off, one of my bags became so damaged I had to replace it. This and several other problems created by my delay in returning home became a source of loss that would've been financially devastating.
I'm sure most people think of travel insurance as a waste of money because there are so many insurance policies we have to deal with and pay for continually. I can clarify my position with one sentence. Bad vacations happen to good and bad people alike. Accidents and injuries can happen along with delays, emergency situations back home and baggage is lost and delayed every day of the week. Everyone should carry travel insurance each time they fly big ticket trips. The convenience of paying for insurance far outweighs the expenses and aggravations if you don't carry insurance, depending on the severity of the problems which can occur.
Your coverage is often determined by your own needs and there are many choices out there, as far as companies go, but you should go with a company that specializes in travel insurance if you want to get the best rates and a comprehensive array of coverage. What should you look for in insurance? Make sure that the company offers these basics:
1. Cancellation, interruption or delay coverage.
2. Medical expense and evacuation coverage
3. Lost, delayed or damaged baggage coverage.
4. 24-hour emergency assistance
Many people assume that their medical insurance will cover them outside the U.S. but in fact, most do not. A good travel insurance company will offer coverage for injuries or medical treatment that requires a visit to a physician, transport to a medical facility or home. Evacuation coverage is key and is often preferred in cases of sudden sickness especially in severe cases. The most important aspect of buying a policy is that the carrier comes highly recommended and several web sites give you the opportunity to review the terms and costs prior to using an unknown company. I recommend or to get more information about what's available and what to look for concerning each individual policy. Don't wait until you receive the papers for the terms of your policy. Find out specifically what you will need and make sure the terms make sense before you have bought the farm. The trickiest part of buying travel insurance is knowing what coverage you will need before you need it.
When I went on my castles trip my carrier was Trip Mate who were courteous on the phone when I made my claim. They gave me a time frame of how long it would take for them to make a decision on my claim and they did follow-up to my phone call reassuring me, by mail, that they would process it quickly. Within two weeks I had my check by mail in the full amount I requested for hotel bills, meals and intercity travel. I got a refund on the amount it cost to replace my bags and the hotel bill amount was there in full. Travel Guard is another good carrier which covers all four of the basic policy coverage with the same courteous and quick handling. Once you've done your homework in checking out the company your agent approaches you with or the recommendations you garner and everything checks out you're good to go. Travel insurance generally doesn't have a high cost. You'll pay more in landing fees and taxes and if you have to make a claim you'll be glad you took my advice.

Just keeping my readership happy and informed.

Kisses !

The Castle Lady


dellgirl said...

Wow, Evelyn! This is so very informative and helpful. Thank you for taking time to do this post, it really puts the subject of whether or not to purchase travelers insurance into perspective, a perspective I am sure not many people have thought about.

I got it!

Evelyn said...

Good to see you here Leona! I didn't believe in the expense before but I surely did after that trip! I hope I get a high response to this because I know people are leery of insurance costs. It was the best money I ever spent !

Thanks for the good word !