Travel insurance: Can you leave home without it?Today, definitely not! And the recent volcanic eruption has created a huge insurance buzz, as companies try to figure out who is covered and who isn’t.
Travel insurance: Can you leave home without it?
Today, definitely not! And the recent volcanic eruption has created a huge insurance buzz, as companies try to figure out who is covered and who isn’t.
Generally, regarding Eyjafjallajjokull’s untimely explosion in Iceland, the rule of thumb seems to be this:
• Ticketed passengers who are waiting to take off to Europe but who can’t, can file a trip interruption claim and hope for the best.
• Stranded passengers who can’t get home are in the best position for assistance from their insurance companies who are obligated to help with accommodations, re-bookings, medical attention if necesary.
• Travelers planning to leave on a European holiday will almost certainly not be covered unless they bought their insurance before Eyjafjallajjokull’s eruption because in this case, it was a foreseeable event.
|From Blogger Pictures|
Damian Tysdal, publisher of the insurance site TravelInsuranceReview says that most American insurance companies are considering this a weather event, which, he says, is included as a covered reason in travel insurance policies. “Any policies with trip cancellation, trip interruption or travel delay coverage will provide coverage. But keep in mind there are policy limits,” Tysdal cautions.
More good news, perhaps, is that Access America the largest travel insurance company, said yesterday that in intends to cover “all claims related to the volcano ash, as opposed to limiting coverage under its “natural disaster” policy exclusion.”
Granted few travel injuries or accidents require an emergency trip home, and volcanic explosions are far and few between, but what if your costly cruise has to be cancelled because of a death or illness in the family?
Or your traveling companion gets sick before you leave… or even while you’re mid-trip?
To be airlifted home, domestically, can cost on average $10,000 to $20,000, and Internationally, the cost can exceed $75,000.
You have to have Travel Insurance to cover these kind of real possibilities.
Travel supplier bankruptcies, hurricanes, the cost of travel are driving alert travelers to purchase travel insurance big time.
But buying travel insurance from a travel agent or a cruise line or any other travel supplier is a bit like having the fox watch the chickens.
If a tour operator or cruise line goes bankrupt, and it does happen, you’re not covered since the travel supplier won’t cover you in the case of their own financial failure.
While most vacations go as planned, kids do get sick, accidents happen, emergencies do occur throwing travel plans and money out the window.
And since much travel is intergenerational including grandparents, maybe even great grandparents on Medicare, they will not have coverage outside the United States.
The U.S. Travel Insurance Association, an industry watchdog, strongly advises always buy from a third party supplier. USTIA are pretty helpful in figuring out what to buy and from whom.
For example, I found that www.insuremytrip.com did the research I needed, and came up with per diem cost and coverage options from several companies I could chose from.
Big guys like Travel Guard International have been in the business a long time and are always upgrading their products, adding more and more options and coverage.
Beyond all the bells and whistles, you really just need a policy that covers two basic events:
• Medical evacuation and transportation home if you’re injured or sick on the road.
• Trip cancellation or interruption because of the death or illness of the insured or a family member…or any other legitimate reason. And acceptable reasons are more and more numerous.
If you’ve paid big bucks for a cruise and a week before you sail, you get sick or get sick while at sea, you need a policy that gets you your money back, even if it’s just the unused portion of your travel.
We recommend buying Travel Insurance on a pay-as-you-go basis. You pay per trip, per length of time, age, and destination.
For the short bucks, Travel Insurance is a must. It’s not great reading, but do read your insurance policy, paying close attention to the parts covering “natural disaster” and “weather -related incidents.”
Have you needed it?
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.