“Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.” ~ Peter Hoeg
Travel insurance, what a nightmare! Should I get it or not? What will it cover? How much will it cost me? These and many others are the questions we may ask ourselves when booking a trip. And it’s a valid concern. After working so hard and scraping up enough for your dream vacation, the last thing you want is for something to happen, such as an illness, act of nature or any type of emergency, which will jeopardize your travel plans.
I was once in this situation. Ever since I began traveling abroad, I got travel insurance. Fortunately for me, I never had a reason to use it. The one time that I did not pay for travel insurance was when I needed it. The trip was to Amsterdam , Bruges, and Paris and it was three people traveling. A family situation arose where we needed to either cancel or reschedule for a future date. But we didn’t purchase travel insurance. It meant we were going to lose all the money paid towards the trip if it’s canceled. And, if we rebooked for a future date, we needed to pay an extra fee for each person traveling. With no other option in sight and not wanting to lose our money, we opted to reschedule for a future date and time. This was a gamble too because we were not sure when exactly we’d be able to travel but we gave it a shot and booked for when we thought it’d be best. The extra fee was $50 per person for a total of $150. Unfortunately, the date we chose was not a good time for us to travel. And we ended up having to reschedule for the following year at an additional cost of $150 per person totaling $450. This trip has already cost us $600 more in extra fees, which could have been avoided if we’d purchase travelers insurance! What was meant to save us money cost us more in the long run!
This is not the only situation that can arise. It could be that your luggage is lost like it happened to us. During one of our trips from London to the U.S. aboard British Airways, our luggage did not make it to the connecting flight. When we arrived in the U.S. and didn’t see our luggage in the carousel, we approached a British Airways representative who informed us that our luggage was still in London. The representative assured us that we would receive our luggage no later than 8:00 a.m. the next day. Our luggage arrived at 3:00 a.m. at our front door. Frankly, after that long exhausting flight, I wouldn’t have minded waiting until the next day. We were lucky to not have lost our luggage, but, this is another situation in which travel insurance would come in handy had we not received our luggage. In this instance, we did have travel insurance, so I was not too worried – except that there were a few bottles of wine which I would have missed.
Just because we did not use it on our previous trips doesn’t mean that it will never be needed. It is better to be safe than sorry. The cost of travel insurance does not need to be high since you can customize it to your needs. Travel insurance covers trip cancellation or interruption, emergency medical, dental care and transportation, baggage loss and/or damage and even 24-hour concierge service. You can even include vehicle insurance if you plan on renting a vehicle.
I learned my lesson. Never again will we travel without travel insurance. I urge everyone who travels to look into it because you never know. Traveling without insurance is a risk I’m not willing to take. Do you travel with insurance? Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to use your travel insurance? Let us know.
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