Planning a bucket list trip soon? I am! If you are, you may want to check your annual travel policy or the box you check off when purchasing an airline ticket to make sure the policy covers COVID since not all companies provide this coverage. Vaccines are 88%-90% effective which means you can still catch the virus while traveling and wind up in a hospital although it’s fair to say you won’t die … that’s the good news. The bad news is that it will totally disrupt your travel plans, becoming an unexpected cost to you and your loved ones.
Because I am a frequent traveler for both leisure and work, I always purchase an Annual/Multi-trip policy. Last year, I let it lapse due to travel restrictions and only recently began researching policies for travel plans in the coming 12 months.
There are so many options for travel insurance, enough to make you dizzy and it is why you need to determine first what is most important to you, particularly as it relates to your travel destination. Here some things to consider when deciding what to buy.
First thing — Travel insurance is a must to financially protect yourself on a trip. You can recoup your money if you have to cancel or get sick while traveling as well as protect yourself from COVID.
Second thing —- Insurance policies can be tricky if you are not careful about how best to protect yourself.
1. Read carefully what the policy covers on trip cancellation and determine if that is sufficient for you before you upgrade to Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage which can be pricey. Reimbursement is generally 50% or 75% of your trip cost.
2. The earlier you purchase insurance the sooner you are protected, especially if your travel destination is experiencing an unexpected weather disaster or a sudden coup d’état and you need to cancel. By the way, check to see what type of incidents the policy will cover, some can be a bit stingy.
3. If you are traveling internationally, you must have travel medical insurance and emergency medical coverage. Beware, most health care plans including Medicare are not accepted in other countries. A medical evacuation to the nearest well-equipped hospital or home can range from $50,000 – $100,000 based on your destination and sometimes higher if you are traveling to a remote island.
4. As boring and confusion as it may be you must read the fine print of a policy to understand what is covered or excluded and what documentation should be submitted when filing a claim. Most insurance companies allow you to preview the policy referred to as a “reading period” before they charge you.
5. Don’t forget to amend your policy if there are inaccuracies or your travel plans such as the size of your travel party has changed.
Below are some links to help you travel safely. Bon Voyage!
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