Many travelers opt to forego purchasing travel insurance, considering the added expense not worth it unless you have underlying health issues. Sure, trip insurance does cover costs related to medical emergencies you might experience while away from home, but, according to Forbes Advisor, it’s much more likely you will need it for situations such as lost luggage or a stolen cell phone. The magazine reasons that when minor disasters like that strike, you can’t afford not to have travel insurance.
Here’s a rundown of why you might need to cash in on your travel insurance policy:
- If you get to your destination but your luggage is still sitting at home, the “baggage delay” section will reimburse costs for toiletries and a change of clothes needed to get by until your suitcase catches up with you. If it is lost and cannot be tracked, you can file a claim for the value of your personal belongings and the suitcase itself under the “baggage and personal effects” loss coverage.
- If you accidentally leave your backpack on a train, lose your passport or wallet, or have your cell phone stolen, do not panic. Travel insurance can help you get replacements or reimbursements, provided you took reasonable care of your items (meaning it was an accident not neglect). Should you fall victim to a crime, be sure to file a claim with the local police department. And experts advise you not to travel with expensive pieces of equipment, like cameras or laptops, as they might not be fully reimbursed — it all depends upon your policy.
- Foul weather can wreak havoc on your travel plans. “Trip delay” or “trip interruption” coverage could protect your pocketbook from weather related delays or cancellations. It could cover the cost of an overnight at a hotel and meals if your flight is delayed or cancelled. In worst case scenarios, it could pay for a one-way ticket home and the unused portion of your trip if the weather incident prevents you from fulfilling your vacation, such as a tropical island impacted by a hurricane.
- Finally, travel insurance often provides access to a 24-hour travel assistance hotline, where agents can help with any problems you might be experiencing. They can track missing bags, find the closest consulate or embassy, or rebook flights and hotels.
With the average travel insurance policy costing about $110, according to Business Insider, it’s typically money well spent. That investment would certainly cover the costs of any major medical issues, but it would also pay for itself should you need to purchase emergency supplies if your baggage is delayed or lost.
Do you purchase trip insurance when you travel? If not, are you starting to rethink that decision? Message The Seniors Trust on Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you think. And feel free to share a story on when you needed to cash in on a policy. Perhaps you might inspire someone else to sign up.