Yes, you REALLY need it!
So just picture in your mind you’re in Saint Lucia and you’re hiking up the famous Piton mountains. You and your significant are enjoying an exploration day of beautiful Saint Lucia. You take one wrong step and twist your ankle. There’s significant swelling that starts to appear, you can’t bear weight on your leg, and you have intense pain. What’s next? You feel as if you need to seek medical attention but are worried about how much it will cost being that you are in a different country.
Buying vacation insurance is IMPERATIVE when planning any vacation. You are investing money on gaining a unique experience, sometimes thousands of dollars. Purchasing vacation insurance can help you in case the unexpected happens while you’re traveling abroad.
Vacation Insurance also covers a host of other things too! Look at the list that I’ve compiled below to see what other unexpected circumstances that vacation insurance can cover.
- Trip Cancellation and/or interruption | No one wants this to happen, but what if you need to cancel your trip before you go? You get a new job and can’t take the time off work for a vacation, an unexpected medical issue keeps you from traveling, or a pandemic comes, and halts travel for a few months- sounds familiar, huh? Or what if you need to depart your trip early due to an issue arising back at home? Having travel insurance gives you an array of options to cancel your vacation or depart early, while protecting your investment. There are several options: CFAR or “Cancel for Any Reason” or a standard insurance plan which gives you the option to reschedule your trip for a later date for the vacation amount you’ve already paid.
- Baggage delay or lost bags | A lot of times, we use airlines to fly to our destinations and some travelers check their bags. While we hope our bags will arrive to our destination with us, airlines can sometimes lose your bags, due to weather, mechanical issues with your plane, or other circumstances which are out of our control. No one wants to arrive in Saint Lucia, without their swimsuits or pants for that matter.
- Sickness and Accidents | If you were to have an accident or get sick while on vacation and need to see a doctor abroad, your health insurance plan you have back home won’t work in Jamaica. Seeing a doctor abroad will be an out of pocket expense for you if you don’t have vacation insurance to cover your unplanned emergency.
Here are a few other key points that you should consider when purchasing travel insurance.
- Travel insurance should always be purchased upon the initial purchase of your vacation. If you choose not to purchase travel insurance initially, some options are not available if you decline travel protection initially and then chose to purchase it down the line. Don’t’ worry though. If you declined insurance initially, but then decide to purchase it before your vacation, there are third party insurance providers that can supply you with a policy of your choosing.
- If you initially purchase travel insurance, but then decide later on to remove it from your vacation package, it is ALWAYS nonrefundable. I like to use the example of your auto insurance premium. You pay a premium for your car insurance. If you were to cancel your auto insurance, you don’t get that insurance premium back that you’ve previously paid. The same principle applies to vacation insurance.
- If you want the option to receive the money back you’ve paid in case you need to cancel, you will need to choose the “Cash Back” insurance plan if it is offered. If it is not a cash back insurance policy and are covered, most likely you will receive a voucher or gift certificate for the amount you have paid that can be applied to future travel.
- You should also look at the policy to see what the policy covers for canceling. Some policies only provide coverage for “covered reasons.” Covered reasons are those that you would have to show documentation for. For example, medical reasons, death certificates, and etc. Cancel for any reason policies allows you to cancel for ANY REASON and be able to recoup your vacation investment without any penalty.
Now, more than ever, you will need to protect your vacation investment with the purchase of travel insurance. It should no longer be an option, but now a NECESSITY. As a trusted travel advisor to my clients, I am always advising them on the insurance options for their travels. Ultimately, it is my clients decision to choose which option works best for their situation and everyone’s situation and preferences are different.
So, do you really need it? YES, YOU DO! Would you drive your car without auto insurance? Would you live in your home without home owners insurance? The answers to those questions should be NO! Then don’t travel the world without travel insurance.
Don’t take the risk! It’s a small price to pay up front to feel secure and covered in case of the unexpected!