Do you take a good, hard look at travel insurance when planning a trip?
You should. A travel insurance plan that provides the best coverage for your trip can make all of the difference, especially in 2020. The current pandemic changed the way we travel and, while we may be taking more domestic trips in 2020, finding the right travel protection plan is still necessary.
Without it, things can get messy – and it's impossible to make up for a lack in coverage after a medical emergency or cancellation has occurred. That's why buying a plan that meets your needs should be at the top of your to-do list when booking travel.
Now, let's get into 7 reasons why travel insurance is worth it in 2020 – no matter where you plan to travel.
1. High Deductibles and Out of Network Providers
Domestic travel is the most popular form of travel in 2020. The pandemic has stripped international travel down and left many travelers making plans to visit beaches, national parks, and lake houses. Travel insurance may seem like an unnecessary purchase, but that’s because you might not be considering how your health insurance changes when you move across state lines.
The Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) may have made your health insurance available nationwide, but that doesn’t mean every provider is in your network. Even worse, deductibles are different depending on where you go and what you need.
“The average deductible can range anywhere from $6,000-$14,000 for the American middle-class family of four,” says Jessica Walb from Chester Perfetto Insurance Agency. “Then we start the conversation related to PPO and HMO plans. If you’re out of network, you're out of pocket costs can double or triple.”
That’s where travel protection comes into play. Primary medical coverage takes the stress off of your current ACA health plan, meaning you won’t have to worry about high deductibles or out-of-network costs. You won’t have to deal with the headache of filing more than one claim, because your travel insurance’s medical coverage can save the day by saving you money.
2. Strict Cancellation Fees for Rental Properties
Whether you go through Airbnb or a rental agency, cancellation fees can be strict and cost a pretty penny. Travel insurance offers trip cancellation coverage, so if you cancel for a covered reason within your plan, the rental properties cancellation policies won’t matter. You’ll be eligible for a cash refund, assuming your travel protection comes from a third-party provider like TravelSafe.
Imagine this: you planned a week-long getaway at a lake house in the Adirondacks of New York. Only, dad came down with the coronavirus a week before the trip. While he’s asymptomatic, it’s been determined that he is not medically able to travel. With travel protection that does not exclude COVID-19, your family’s trip cancellation is eligible for coverage. Meaning, you won’t lose thousands of dollars spent on the week’s rental.
3. Bad Weather
While the coronavirus is not going away in the near future, there have been some other players in the game of chance who have been wreaking havoc on travel plans for decades –– like hurricanes. Hurricane season runs from June 1st until November 1st every year. It’s an unpredictable time that impacts the coasts of the Caribbean as well as the United States.
A travel protection plan with trip cancellation coverage for hurricane warnings can be a huge help. Imagine that you’ve rented a beach house in Ft. Lauderdale. You spend $3,000 for a week-long rental for you and family. Nothing is going to get in the way of utter relaxation. The kids fighting? That will mean nothing when you’re laying on the beach basking in the sun.
But what if there’s a hurricane warning issued by NOAA …
Travel protection plans with trip cancellation that covers hurricane warning can help you get a full refund for your nonrefundable and prepaid travel expenses, including those vacation rental fees.
4. The Pandemic is Changing Travel Culture
The pandemic is changing the way we view travel. Europe has temporarily banned Americans from visiting, and some of us just aren’t ready to hop on a plane and head to our favorite islands and on amazing cruises.
However, many of us are ready to begin planning an adventure for 2021 or even in 2022. People are booking travel accommodations far in advance than ever before. Purchasing travel protection when you know you have a trip a year away is perhaps one of the most financially responsible decisions you can make as a traveler. When you buy within 21 days of your initial trip deposit, depending on the company and plan, you are eligible for the Cancel for Any Reason benefit, the Waiver of Pre-existing Medical Conditions, and coverage for Bankruptcy of Travel Supplier.
We don’t know what the future holds for travel, especially as we learn to live with the current pandemic. However, travel protection can provide important benefits like trip cancellation coverage, cancel for any reason, and coverage for emergency medical expenses and evacuations.
5. Credit Card Protections Might Not be all They're Slated to Be
My credit card offers travel protection when I use it to book a trip. That’s all I need, right? No, not usually. Not all travel credit cards operate the same, and many offer limited protections. For example, most credit card trip protections exclude pandemics and epidemics across the board. For today’s travel climate, that just isn’t a smart choice.
Things like the waiver of pre-existing medical conditions, non-medical emergency evacuation, and cancel for any reason aren’t available for travel protection provided by the credit card company. Travel insurance offers more benefits and broader coverage, giving you the option for benefits your credit card simply doesn’t offer.
Additionally, not everyone traveling with you will be covered by the credit card. It may only cover the cardholder. That means your family and loved ones might not have coverage, leaving you and your travel companions exposed to unnecessary risk.
6. Cruise Insurance Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
Cruise insurance may seem like a great investment while booking your trip, but there are some major differences between travel protection and the cruise line’s coverage. Claim payments from cruise lines typically come in the form of a voucher. If your trip cancellation is covered by your cruise line’s plan, you’ll receive a future credit for travel. With third-party travel protection like TravelSafe Insurance, you’ll be eligible for a cash refund if you cancel your trip for a covered reason.
Cruise insurance won’t cover your independent travel arrangements, meaning any excursions, flights, or hotels that you have booked outside of the cruise ship won't have coverage. If you cancel your trip, your voucher won’t go towards the cost of these additional expenses.
Cruise lines can’t cover their own potential bankruptcy. That means, if the cruise line goes bust, you might not get a single penny back. Third-party travel protection with coverage for bankruptcy of the travel supplier is your best bet in regards to this. Also, do yourself a favor and look for a plan that doesn’t have any supplier white or black lists, meaning more coverage.
7. Political Evacuation - It’s There for You When You Really Need it
Non-medical evacuations are one of the lesser-known benefits of travel insurance. That is, until you need it. Political and civil unrest is a popular reason for non-medical evacuation. We’ve seen it in times of political unrest in Egypt and Greece.
It doesn’t typically cover travel warnings, so if a travel advisory suggests travelers leave a specific country and return home, coverage might not be available for this reason.