Category: Travel insurance

Examples showing why Americans should buy travel insurance

The Witchita Eagle asks why Europeans buy travel insurance while Americans often don’t. They have a long list of things that can go wrong:

We Americans, by contrast, are the eternal optimists. We fling ourselves to Italy and France without the slightest premonition that a transportation strike might hinder our ability to come home on time, as those work stoppages so often do. We clamber over the wet stones of Roman ruins without considering that we might slip and injure ourselves (as so many tourists do). We traipse to Mexico, Egypt or China sensing that we might get sick from the food, but take no steps to assure ourselves of medical care or even emergency evacuation home. And we remain oblivious, in general, to the real possibility that a business or medical emergency, suffered by us or a relative, may require that we either cancel or interrupt a trip, incurring heavy penalties or costs.

The article certianly makes a strong case for travel insurance although the one about slipping on some steps in the Roman ruins might not be too bad. My wife cut her finger in Assissi and we went to the Emergency room. The bill came to something lik 17.00 but there was no one there to collect our money (it was late at night) so the doctor sent us to a machine that didn’t work. Even if we had been able to pay, it would not have been too bad. Of course it was a very minor injury.

American Express Travel insurance urges cruisers to buy insurance

American Express Travel Insurance urges people going on a cruise to buy travel insurance before sailing off.

Joanne Field, marketing manager at American Express Insurance Services, said: “When people are taken ill at sea and need urgent treatment, transportation from the cruise shop to the nearest hospital can be an added complication.” She added that an emergency medical transportation service could cost “four if not five figures”.

American Express Travel Insurance has a “Premier Plus Policy”, which offers overseas cover for travellers for up to 120 days. “By opting for a cruise, your holiday begins the moment you board, so make sure travel insurance is something that you never set sail without,” concluded Ms Field.

Medical evacuation is certainly rare, but it is expensive. Make sure that wheatever travel insurance you use covers emergency medical evacuation.

Where do you buy travel insurance?

A British article about Travel Insurance reveals that buying travel insurance through a travel agent means paying more than buying insurance direct from a company:

Produced together with the Centre of Economics and Business Research (CEBR), the report reveals that just under a third (30 per cent) of travellers are paying double the price they could find elsewhere.

While I see the attraction of buying direct to save money, most consumers simply don’t know where to buy travel insurance. You need a reliable company but which companies are reliable. You need the right coverage, but which plan would that be? A good travel agent will know these things and unless shoppers are willing to take the time to really learn how travel insurance works, what they need, and who to get it from, buying insurance from the travel agent is going to remain common.

Types of travel insurance

The ads are a bit irritating but the information in this article about different types of travel insurance is worth reading. Here’s a sample:

Comprehensive Coverage

A travel insurance policy usually offers two types of coverage: trip cancellation and/or interruption and emergency medical evacuation. Reimbursements for lost baggage or trip delays are nice if they come bundled with trip cancellation/interruption or emergency medical evacuation, but they’re usually not good buys on their own. Generally, a comprehensive travel insurance policy will cover every need you can anticipate and costs 5 to 7 percent of the price of your trip, so a vacation package valued at $US5,000 can be insured for $US250 to $US350, and is well worth the piece of mind.

It’s also possible to buy year-round policies. Frequent travelers can buy insurance for a length of time, rather than for a certain trip. I’m told it can be quite inexpensive (sometimes less than $100 USD per year). Always read the policy for any limitations and exclusions that may apply.

Travel insurance

The Miami Herald lists some good reasons to buy travel insurance, but only when you’re booking an expensive vacation. There are a number of good travel insurance tips. Here are two:

Take care that your travel insurance purchase is complete and the policy is in place before you go. Another tip from Harvey is to be sure to get a policy number before you go away. If your travel insurance company says they’ll send it to you later, you may find out that coverage doesn’t begin until after your departure.

Don’t buy travel insurance from the same company that’s providing you with a vacation package, says John Hawks, executive director of the nonprofit Consumer Travel Rights Center. Two years ago, a travel supplier called Far & Wide Travel went out of business, leaving 15,000 people holding the bag. You want to buy what’s called supplier default insurance.