When you travel, you can protect your travel investment from financial loss by buying travel insurance.
Travel insurance covers a wide range of situations, and whether you’re planning a trip for business or pleasure, it’s essential to focus on the details. For example, if you want to cancel due to a “fear of traveling,” that probably won’t be covered.
Chances are if you booked travel recently, your insurance policy won’t cover changes and cancellations related to the coronavirus now that it’s become a “foreseen event.”
All policies have limits on what they cover and how much they’ll reimburse you. Most travel insurance policies have to be purchased when you book your trip, or before you make your final payment. While your credit card may provide you with some coverage, travel insurance will typically be more extensive.
Here’s a rundown on different types of insurance policies that travelers can purchase for business or vacation.
Cancellation and interruption policies cover specific reasons that will keep you from traveling or cut short your trip. Those issues commonly include illness or injury, unforeseen weather delays or natural disasters, a family member’s medical emergency, or if you have to change plans for a business-related emergency. Under some policies, you’ll only be reimbursed for the portion of the trip that you didn’t complete.
Emergency medical and dental insurance can help cover costs associated with illnesses and injuries during your trip. But check on restrictions for preexisting conditions. Also, check with your regular health insurance company to see what kind of coverage you have while traveling. You may want to get a supplemental policy for deductibles and expenses your regular insurer doesn’t cover. Evacuation insurance will cover the cost of transporting you to a medical facility for treatment if there’s no adequate hospital locally. Some policies include the cost of transportation back to the United States as well.
For maximum flexibility, consider buying “cancel for any reason” coverage that will reimburse a portion of prepaid and nonrefundable costs. This is usually an add-on to a basic policy. The time frame to buy the coverage and cancel the trip, as well as the amount of the reimbursement, will vary by the insurance company and sometimes by state laws. For example, until recently, residents of New York were not able to purchase this type of insurance, known as CFAR, but state regulations have been changed to allow it.
Insurance that covers lost or delayed luggage can be especially important. For example, if your business suit or swimsuit is in checked baggage that doesn’t arrive, you may need coverage to buy new clothes.
For help planning a trip, contact your travel advisor or connect with one through WorldVia at worldvia.com.