With the unofficial start of summer and after more than two years of pandemic uncertainty, travelers are ready to go, regardless of the high prices.
Americans are expected to spend, on average,
However, with the upsurge in COVID-19 cases, Hurricane Agatha is hitting
Fifty percent of
“If you book a trip and don’t worry about losing all that money if an accident or illness or a hurricane interrupts the trip…then fine, but I think most people don’t ‘don’t have that luck’, said
Travel insurance can help cover unrecoverable vacation costs, but it’s especially useful when trips go wrong.
Is it worth paying
for travel insurance?
It depends. For relatively common things like flight disruptions, domestic travelers already have some protections through the
“Your credit card is phenomenal…for disputing any type of transaction,” said an independent personal finance expert.
Hotels and vacation rental companies may make exceptions or rebook stays for guests in extenuating circumstances, even where stated policies do not provide refunds for last-minute cancellations.
Theme parks generally don’t refund tickets, but often work with customers dealing with emergencies and COVID-19.
Many cruise lines, like Carnival and Norwegian, will offer future cruise credit to guests who contract COVID-19 within days of sailing, but they may not be as flexible if guests cancel for other reasons.
Travel insurance can help customers who want a refund rather than a postponement and other perks, but it’s more crucial for travelers who become ill or injured while abroad. “Accidents happen with people. That’s the reality. So travel insurance becomes important just for your own protection, not just financially,” Murchland said.
Does my health insurance
cover international travel?
Many times, no.
“A lot of national health insurance plans won’t do that,” Murchland said. “They either won’t provide any sort of out-of-country insurance or it’s out of the network; you have to pay out of pocket. They won’t provide evacuation or repatriation services. So it’s very limited .”
He says overseas hospitals may also want to keep personal credit cards on file or require payment guarantees before services are provided.
“So we get involved,” Murchland said. “We work with partners who give what’s called a payment guarantee to get you the care (and) cover you financially while you’re there.”
What is not covered
by travel insurance?
A little, so travelers should read the terms carefully.
Medical coverage may not be included or even offered to domestic travelers because their regular health insurance covers medical care within the
“It depends on the partner offering the insurance and what coverage and benefits they think their specific customers might need,” Durazo said. “Some domestic travelers like to purchase travel insurance with emergency medical coverage because they may have a high deductible health insurance plan. Travelers who want emergency medical coverage should read their policy to see if it is included and call their insurer if they need a product that includes it.”
Pre-existing conditions aren’t covered by most policies, but travelers can get waivers for certain diagnoses to avoid coverage claims being denied. Hurricane coverage depends on the timing. Travelers should purchase insurance plans before hurricanes are named.
“The thing you need to remember about travel insurance is that we only cover unknown and unforeseen events,” Durazo said. “Once a hurricane is named, it is then considered a known event. … Insurance does not cover foreseeable circumstances.”
Granite warns that there may also be clauses to watch out for in the event of hurricanes.
“It’s really important to note that a lot of the insurance only kicks in if your trip is directly affected by the path of a hurricane, so it’s not cut and dry,” he said. -he declares. “If you were flying and there’s a chance your flight might reroute you three times, but you have layovers and you can still get to your destination around the hurricane, they might actually deny your claim.”
The reason for the cancellation also matters. In most cases, travelers cannot cancel their trips just because they feel like it. Cancel for any reason plans exist and cost more than other types of plans, but even then travelers may not get back all the money they invested in a trip.
“In most cases, cancellation for any reason is not 100% refundable,” Murchland said. “You are reimbursed up to a certain percentage of the total cost of your trip. It may be 60-75%, but it’s not 100%. But still, 75% of the large number is better than zero if people’s plans change.”
How can I find the
good travel insurance?
There are several ways to purchase travel insurance.
Travelers can purchase insurance plans directly from providers such as
They can also check a travel insurance or travel protection box during the checkout process for some airlines and online travel agencies like Priceline, Kayak and Expedia, which work with
“The goal is to provide the consumer with the best product for their particular trip,” Durazo said. “And it helps give people the coverage they’ll need for their particular route, and it also prevents them from buying coverage they may not need.”
Granite generally recommends sticking with free travel protections offered by major credit cards, instead of buying travel insurance, but for travelers who want extra protection, he recommends comparing shopping on SquareMouth and InsureMyTrip.