Of all the expenses that come with planning a big trip, there’s one “must-have” that is often overlooked by travelers — travel insurance. You’ve probably heard about it, but do you understand why it’s important and when you might need it?
Let’s take a closer look.
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a tool that protects travelers from unanticipated losses during their trip. Think of it the same way you think of the insurance you buy to protect other major expenses, such as your home or car. Except it’s for travel expenses.
Travel can be expensive. From hotel reservations to plane tickets and everything in between, the costs can really add up before you even get to your destination. So how do you make sure that all of your hard-earned money doesn’t go to waste? Doesn’t it make sense to protect yourself in case something goes wrong? And what happens if you need to see a doctor while on your trip?
The fact is that travel insurance is an absolute must for every traveler these days. To show you why, we teamed up with the travel insurance experts at Seven Corners to give you the top 10 reasons why you need travel insurance for your next trip.
Why you need travel insurance
1. Your home insurance doesn’t cover you abroad
Many travelers assume their usual medical insurance policy will cover them while they’re abroad, but this often isn’t the case. Many insurance providers don’t cover expenses incurred while out of the country. Those that do often only provide very limited coverage and high deductibles for emergencies that arise abroad.
From treatment for sudden illnesses and injuries to situations that require emergency medical evacuation, it’s important to make sure that you’re covered for whatever comes your way.
2. Coverage for the Coronavirus and other pandemics
In just a short time, the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, completely upended the world of travel. At the beginning of the pandemic, border closures and travel restrictions were being implemented left and right, leaving many travelers stranded.
To make matters worse, many of those stranded were left without coverage if they were affected by the virus. This is because many travel insurance companies had sold policies that specifically excluded pandemics from their coverage. Of the few companies that did offer coverage for COVID medical expenses, many had travel advisory restrictions tied to their coverage, so travelers had to keep up with government travel warnings and border closings until their coverage eventually became virtually useless.
Now it looks like it will still be a bit longer before COVID-19 goes away so it’s important to be covered for Coronavirus as we get back out into the world. When buying travel insurance, look for companies like Seven Corners that offer policies with COVID-19 specific coverage, from treatment to emergency medical evacuation. They’ve recently added 4 new plans with specially designed COVID-19 coverage.
3. You need to cancel your trip
Many of your travel expenses — bookings, flights, reservations — are nonrefundable. So, if you need to cancel your trip, you could be out hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
What if you or a loved one gets sick? What if you’re unexpectedly laid off from your job and you can’t go on your trip anymore? The right travel insurance can help you recoup some of the potential losses related to canceling your trip for events like these.
Be sure to choose a travel insurance plan that offers an optional Cancel for Any Reason benefit. This way, in the event of any unexpected issues, you can cancel without worry for absolutely any reason you wish.
4. You missed your cruise or tour connection
You’ve been waiting all year for your cruise to the Caribbean. All you’ve got to do is fly down to the port in Miami, climb aboard, and forget all of your troubles for the next two weeks. But now a nasty storm has rolled in. Your flight to Florida is canceled, and you’re not going to make it in time for departure.
Without the right coverage, you could be stuck eating the entire trip cost in this situation. Fortunately, some travel protection plans actually cover missed cruise and tour connections. With this plan, you could catch up with your ship at the next port and be covered for any additional transportation costs incurred while getting there. Vacation saved.
5. Your personal belongings were stolen
You never know what can happen. A thief could steal your favorite coat while you’re dining out or your suitcase could be snatched from a faulty hostel locker. Theft unfortunately happens to travelers much more often than you’d think. That’s why it’s so important to have a travel insurance plan that covers you in these situations.
Not only does being covered for theft give you peace of mind, but it also prevents you from having to completely wreck your travel budget by trying to replace stolen personal items.
6. Your baggage was lost or delayed
You’ve just arrived in sunny Aruba for a destination wedding, only to realize that the airline lost your luggage. You now have no suit for the wedding, no change of clothes, not even a toothbrush.
You could be out a ton of money trying to replace all of your lost items before the wedding. Or, if you have travel insurance that covers lost or delayed baggage, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be reimbursed for any necessary personal purchases you make until your luggage turns up.
7. A terrorist incident or political event at your destination
If in the weeks leading up to your trip, there was a terrorist incident in the country you were planning to visit, you’d probably – and understandably – want to cancel your trip. Even if you had already spent a lot of money on it.
Instead of trying to talk yourself into going into a situation where you don’t feel safe just to save some cash, travel insurance that covers these kinds of occurrences makes it easy to cancel your trip.
8. You’re traveling during hurricane season
After weeks of no luck, you finally scored a great flight deal to Puerto Rico in September and you’re ready for a beach vacation. Of course, the reason you got such a great deal is that you’re traveling during the Caribbean’s hurricane season.
While you’d be perfectly fine in most cases, you still want to be covered. Under certain situations, your travel insurance policy could allow you to cancel your trip due to inclement weather.
9. You need to find a doctor but you don’t speak the local language
When you don’t speak the local language, it really pays to have someone who can help. When you’ve fallen ill on your trip, the last thing you’ll want to be doing is searching for quality medical care when you can’t read any of the Google search results.
That’s why you need travel insurance that offers 24/7 travel assistance. Whether you need a second medical opinion or help to recover a lost passport, you can rest easy knowing that you’re not alone on your travels.
10. Weather cancels your ski trip or golf outing
For trips centered around specific activities, it’s not just the plane tickets and hotel rooms that cost money, there are also the upfront costs for things like equipment and admissions.
A family ski trip to Denver comes with added costs such as lift tickets. That golf getaway to Sandy Lane in Barbados means that you’ll be paying for the resort’s greens fees. And if the weather doesn’t cooperate on either of these trips you could end up wasting money on those upfront costs.
If you plan trips around skiing or golf, don’t just cross your fingers and hope for good weather. Protect your investment by choosing a travel insurance plan that lets you add coverage for these kinds of activities.
Our pick for the best travel insurance
As travel experts, we know that not all travel insurance is created equal. Even more so, we understand the importance of having a well-rounded travel insurance policy that covers all of your needs as a traveler. That’s why we decided to partner with Seven Corners.
Seven Corners offers a wide variety of insurance plans that cover every item listed above and so much more. To meet the ever-changing needs of today’s travelers, they’ve even recently added new plans with COVID-19 coverage, as well as their ARMOR plan to insure your next road trip.
Wondering which Seven Corners travel insurance plan is right for your next trip? Just click here, answer a few quick questions, and they’ll guide you to the perfect travel insurance plan for you!
BY: ZACH ANDERSON, CONTENT MARKETING & FLIGHT EXPERT
Zach is a digital marketer, copywriter, and flight deal expert at Dollar Flight Club where he helps 1 million people travel more. As a digital nomad, he is deeply passionate about location independence, Thai food, and helping others see the world affordably.