Why Travel Insurance Can Make a Trip from Bad to Good

by Graham McKenzie

When you plan a trip, the last thing you want to think about is how things could go wrong. Isn’t the whole point of a vacation an escape from the stress and worries of everyday life Realistically, though, no matter where you are, bad things can happen. It’s easier to relax and enjoy your time away if you know you are protected in an emergency.

Travel insurance policies can take care of everything from stolen, lost, or delayed luggage to emergency medical care while you are away from home. Travel insurance policies afford numerous options for you to pick and choose the features that best suit your needs. You can get coverage for a single trip, or buy a policy for year-round protection if frequent travel is on your schedule.

Most basic travel insurance plans cover expenses incurred when you have to cancel or cut short a trip because of an emergency. This includes the cost of getting home as well as reimbursement for any prepaid activities that you will not be able to take part in. In addition, many plans offer 24-hour travel assistance services to help you find a flight or hotel room at the last minute. Coverage for lost or stolen baggage is also a standard part of any travel insurance plan. If an airline loses or damages your belongings, the compensation they are required to pay is minimal and most likely will not cover the value of the things lost. With a travel insurance plan you can choose the level of compensation based on the value of your belongings. You can also receive compensation for the cost of necessities purchased when your luggage is delayed.

One of the more frightening events on a vacation gone awry is losing your wallet or passport. Always exercise good judgment, but know that travel insurance operators are skilled at helping you get replacement documents quickly and may be able to get you emergency funds.

Probably the most frightening experience on a vacation, especially when you are traveling in an unfamiliar country, is a sudden illness or injury. Buy travel insurance that covers emergency medical care at your destination, with a rider that that get you air evacuation home.

Don’t forget, also, to sign up for recreational coverage that will pay for your emergency care after accidents while skiing, windsurfing, or diving. The right travel insurance is essential to get you the care you need should an accident strike.

Travel insurance premiums will add 5 and 7 per cent to the cost of your total trip, but that’s a small price to pay for a stress-free vacation.