In my opinion, travel insurance should be a staple in a well planned trip. Nothing can ruin a dream vacation faster than lost luggage, unplanned medical care, and unexpected expenses. No one single travel insurance policy or provider is right for everyone, so it's important to consider a few key factors when deciding if travel insurance is right for you. These are the things to think about when making your decision:
Know what needs to be covered
Most major policies cover trip cancellation or interruption, emergency medical care, medical evacuation, and baggage and personal item loss and delay. A good insurance company will also provide 24/7 worldwide assistance for claims and emergencies. Depending on your needs, you might look for a policy with coverage on a combination of these risks or on all. When selecting a policy, remember to evaluate your needs and what's important to you before you make your selection.
Read the details
Unfortunately, insurance providers sometimes try to sneak in loop holes and secret clauses. Read the fine print and make sure you are getting the coverage you want. Don't be afraid to ask questions, do your research, and be skeptical. For more details on travel insurance policies, your local travel agent can be a great place to start.
Test the customer service
You'll want to make sure your provider is there for you when you need them. They should be able to help you choose the right policy, file claims easily, and be able to help with any other questions or problems along the way. If they're a headache to deal with when choosing a policy, you can pretty much guarantee that filing a claim with them won't be easy either. You can have the best coverage in the world and it won't mean anything if you can't get through to customer service when you need them.
In my 11 years as a travel consultant, I've seen many clients have unexpected situations and emergencies. In some cases, some of them were protected, but other times they weren't. Do your research, know your needs, and make the right decision for you and your travels.
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Ann Jones, CTC, MCC