Dissecting Travelers Insurance

As a travel professional I always recommend travelers insurance to my clients. Not just because it is an extension of our services but because it protects your investment. Most trips that I sell are over $1000 per person based on double occupancy with most if not all components being Non-Refundable. We often get upset when we can’t get our money back even if we were advised in advance what the cancellation/change penalties are. Why, because no one likes loosing money and I understand that. On our show, The Traveling Eye, this Friday we’re Dissecting Travelers Insurance. What does it cover, What does it cost? and Do you really Need it? Below are the answers we will provide:

What does it cover?
This depends on the policy itself much like any other insurance policy. So, make sure you look at the policy to determine what you’re getting. The basics are as follows:

  • Trip Cancellation provides reimbursement of non-refundable or unused trip expenses you are prevented from taking as long as the reason for cancellation is covered.
  • Trip Interruption provides the same as Trip Cancellation but also reimburses for additional expenses you may incur should you need to depart earlier than expected or take a detour.
  • Travel Delay will reimburse your incurred expense because you were delayed in arriving at your destination. The reasons for delay, the type and amount of expenses are described in the policy. For example, your flight was delayed, you missed your cruise and had to stay over. The policy might include reimbursement for accommodations, meals and other transportation. Missed Connections can also be part of this or listed separately.
  • Baggage Insurance: There are two types of insurance for baggage. Lost and Delay. The coverage for lost luggage is more than delay because delay will reimburse you for the emergency purchase of necessities and most policies will require that the delay is more than 24 hours. Lost baggage will cover for the loss, theft or damage and your personal effects. Keep in mind that airlines have responsibility and will reimburse up to a certain amount so the insurance company will only cover what the airline has or will not.
  • Medical Expenses: Emergency care costs are covered should you require or incur these expenses while you are traveling. This is often overlooked but I have had trips where someone needed to be hospitalized for major surgery and because of this insurance coverage their out of pocket expenses we little to none. Major accidents can happen when you’re on vacation! Also, keep in mind that your at home health insurance policy may not adequately cover your medical expenses outside of the U.S.

Travelers Insurance vs. Travel Waiver Plan

  • Many companies sell a “Travel Plan”. This is not insurance! This is a plan that will allow you to reschedule your travel within the said companies brochure. They may issue you a voucher or certificate that will allow you to use it with that “company only” for future travel and it is usually valid for one year.
  • Travelers Insurance is an actual insurance policy provided by an insurance company to reimburse travel expenses due to cancellation or interruption.

Cost of insurance:

The cost of insurance varies and will depend on several factors including but not limited to; the travelers age, cost of trip, inclusions, destination and pre-existing medical conditions. That being said a policy should cost around 7% of your total trip price with the average price in the United States being $200 per person. It can be more to cover a traveler with a pre-existing medical condition and will increase with the age of the traveler.

Travelers Insurance? Is it worth it? I believe so, especially for international and high priced packages.

Ja’Vonne Harley

Co-Host, The Traveling Eye

President, Advantage International