You’ve heard about travel insurance from a travel agent, on the news or from a fellow world traveler, but the real question is whether or not you need it. Like most insurance, the answer is a question of risk and your tolerance for taking risks. However, with travel insurance, many vacationers aren’t aware of what may be at risk and the solutions available to protect them. MH Ross compiled this list of top 10 reasons you need travel insurance to help travelers make a more informed decision for themselves.
- Your Belongings Are Important
Think about the last time you packed a suitcase for a flight, what was the total value of those items? Once checked in for the flight, your belongings are entrusted to the care of the airline. Everybody hopes to meet their luggage at the destination, but this doesn’t always come to fruition.
Travel insurance includes two coverage benefits that can help with luggage fiascos. In the short term, someone without their luggage will need a change of clothes, toiletries and other essentials. The Baggage Delay benefit can reimburse for these necessary items if your bags are delayed by the airline or other common carrier by at least 12 hours.
For luggage that is permanently lost, damaged or stolen, the Baggage and Personal Effects coverage can help. Similar to a homeowners or renters insurance claim, this can reimburse the actual cash value of those items, up to the limits in the plan.
- You Are Called In To Work
One of the first steps in travel planning is making sure the scheduled dates are approved by your employer. However, work emergencies can happen, and even the most cautious planners could have this backfire. MH Ross plans can cover Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption if your employer revokes previously approved time off and is requiring you to work.
- Flight Delays Are Too Common
You will be hard pressed to find a frequent traveler who has never experienced a flight delay. Sometimes, the delay is short and a little extra anxiety is the only outcome. Other times, delays can be excruciating, resulting in unplanned expenses and causing a domino effect on your itinerary. MH Ross travel insurance plans can help travelers in this type of situation with the Travel Delay benefit. If the airline delays your flight more than 6 hours, you can be reimbursed for food and lodging, as well as additional transportation costs.
- Small Costs Add Up
A single flight delay may not seem like enough to significantly impact your trip, but the totality of expenses and non-refundable payments could be more than you realize. The best case scenario is that you wait longer than expected in an airport, ultimately making it to the destination unfazed. The opposite end of that spectrum could include a variety of expenses. There could be multiple meals and hotel expenses in a city you had not planned to stay. A longer delay could mean a missing a connecting flight or a cruise ship departing without you. In addition to extra expenses to reach the destination, it is possible that you’ve missed the first day or several days of the original trip, and won’t get a refund. MH Ross plans offer Trip Interruption, Trip Delay and Missed Connection coverage benefits to help recoup these types of unplanned expenses and prepaid costs that are not refunded.
- Hurricane Season
It happens every year, for much of the year and during prime vacation months. Hurricanes are unpredictable; planning months ahead means you won’t know if there will be a storm, and if a storm is forming as the departure date approaches, you cannot be sure of the path it will take. MH Ross plans include multiple covered reasons for Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption that can apply to hurricanes: mandatory evacuations, flight delays, damaged accommodations, and hurricane warnings. To learn more, please review the Hurricane Season Guide For Travel Insurance. For those who rank hurricanes high on their list of concerns, consider Cancel For Any Reason coverage, which is explained in number 5.
- You Decide To Cancel
This one may sound strange, but you could just change your mind about the trip and have a travel insurance claim paid. The one coverage benefit that allows you to make this choice without having to explain why is called Cancel For Any Reason. There are requirements to qualify for this coverage: the plan must be purchased within 15 days of the initial trip deposit date, the full trip cost must be insured, and the last chance to cancel the trip is 2 days before departure. If these requirements are met, you can make this decision yourself and still be reimbursed 75% of your trip cost.
- The Relative You Didn’t Know Was Sick
Sickness, injury or death of a family member is one of the most commonly claimed reasons for Trip Cancellation. Many people will consider the health of aging parents or grandparents when planning a trip, but MH Ross travel insurance plans cover more family than that. Family also includes Aunts, Uncles, In-Laws, Step Children, Foster Children, Domestic Partners and more, even if they are not traveling with you. Travel insurance can reimburse your pre-paid and non-refundable expenses if you cancel or interrupt for this reason, as well as other reasons discussed in number 3.
- Your Trip Is Non-Refundable
You made an investment by booking your vacation. What would happen if you couldn’t go? Often, travelers make the mistake of assuming the airline or cruise line will refund their money if there is a valid reason they cannot take the trip. Sadly, more often than not, travel suppliers will abide by their strict cancellation penalties, leaving the traveler with no money back and no vacation. Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption coverage in travel insurance can reimburse the pre-paid and non-refundable expenses if the trip is cancelled for a covered reason. These can include medical reasons, weather delays, terrorist attacks and financial default of a travel supplier, among other reasons. If your concerns don’t fit into the covered reasons, consider Cancel For Any Reason coverage discussed in number 5. Please refer to the plan documents for details, or contact MH Ross to discuss your specific needs.
- An Evacuation Could Bankrupt You
Medical emergencies take the top 2 spots on this list, and these are particularly true for international travelers. All MH Ross travel insurance plans include Medical Evacuation coverage. This benefit can cover the costs of medical transportation to a facility to receive treatment, to a different facility for specialized treatment or back to your home hospital if medically necessary. The cost for emergency medical transportation is often multiple thousands of dollars and this service is rarely covered by traditional health insurance plans. Without travel insurance or other adequate coverage, this type of unexpected and large expense could leave travelers in a difficult financial situation.
- The Trip Is “Out of Network” For Your Health Insurance
Emergency Medical coverage during the trip is the number 1 reason to consider travel insurance, and should also be travelers’ number 1 item to check their own health insurance while in the planning stages of a trip. If your health insurance adequately covers you during the trip, you may consider a travel insurance plan with low medical limits to save money, while still protecting against delays and cancellations discussed in this list. However, if you know there is zero coverage or large out of network costs to use your health insurance during the trip, a higher Emergency Medical limit on your travel insurance plan is more valuable. MH Ross travel insurance plans can make up for gaps in traditional health insurance, including reimbursing you for deductibles and co-payments. With Emergency Medical Coverage, travelers should also consider whether they are concerned with any Pre-Existing Conditions. If so, this is another reason to shop for travel insurance early, as all MH Ross plans offer a Waiver of the Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion if the plan is purchased within 15 days of the initial trip deposit date.
Please contact MH Ross to discuss your travel insurance needs. Agents are happy to answer your questions 24 hours a day.