Travel insurance. You’d think it would be a priority right? But only around 30% of Americans purchase travel insurance before leaving to go on vacation.
When you think about the fact that travel insurance is usually only 5-12% of the total trip, why do so many people travel without travel insurance?
For some, it’s the idea that bad things happen to other people, so why pay an insurance company a few hundred bucks when that money could be spent on cocktails or activities at their destination?
Others have decided that insurance companies are basically just scam artists and they probably won’t pay out if anything happens anyway.
Your travel agent has a duty of care, and a responsibility to offer you travel insurance and explain the benefits of each policy. If you choose to take travel insurance you’ll usually have a “cooling down period” of around 14 days where you can cancel the policy and be refunded once you’ve read the policy disclosure statement.
Here are some reasons why you should take the travel insurance for your next trip:
This happens all the time. You’ve finally booked that river cruise in Europe and your partner breaks their leg. Or you end up in hospital with pneumonia, or your father-in-law has a heart attack. A good travel insurance company will refund you the cost of your trip so you can go at a later date.
This is one of the most common claims. The world is getting smaller, and as comparatively wealthy westerners head to places like Southeast Asia and Africa while flashing iPhones and jewelry, they’re often targeted. In Cambodia bags are routinely snatched by men driving by on motorbikes, and in parts of Europe pick-pocketing is rife. What happens if your bag is stolen and contains your passport, phone, and wallet? Insurance can help you with emergency cash and a replacement passport.
This is perhaps the most important and compelling reason for travel insurance. Medical emergencies happen every day, all over the world and a good insurance company can make all the difference. A small burn from the full moon party in Koh Phangan can quickly go septic without proper care, and then there are the thousands of people who are in accidents driving scooters around the rest of Asia.
Whether it’s a heart attack in Europe, or malaria in Africa, travel insurance will cover your evacuation to the nearest hospital with acceptable medical care, and even back to America. The insurance company will give you advice and let you know where the best hospital is, and in some cases will even fly over a family member to be by your side.
If you miss a flight and need a new one, or are stuck somewhere while a volcano erupts you’ll be glad you bought insurance. Natural disasters happen frequently around the world, and hotel prices skyrocket as soon as thousands of travelers are stuck in one place.
Without travel insurance you’re on your own, which can be scary when you’re sick and in a developing country. Travel insurance gives you piece of mind, and allows you to stop worrying about “what if’s” and enjoy your holiday stress-free.
If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.
Do you usually take travel insurance? Do you think you will next time you travel?