The travel industry has been in the spotlight a lot in the past few months, with COVID-19 wrecking havoc on everyone’s summer travel plans.  The one topic that has come up consistently is travel protection, and whether or not it would help those travelers unlucky enough to have their travel plans derailed.

Travel protection is one of those items that absolutely must be built into your travel budget, particularly if you are taking an overseas trip.  People get sick or injured, life gets in the way, and you don’t want to end up in urgent care or emergency room stressing about how to pay for your care.

Here are 5 reasons you should never leave home without a travel insurance policy.

  1.  Trip Cancellation

No matter how thoroughly you plan your trip, you cannot predict certain things that may stop you from going on vacation.  Maybe you or one of your immediate family members got sick and are not permitted to travel. Or, you recently faced a layoff from work, or your leave was canceled.  With the right coverage, travel protection will help you recoup  any cancellation fees and non-refundable costs associated with this cancellation

  1.  Baggage loss or delay

I wish we could say the airlines were 100% reliable and always took care of their passengers’ luggage, but that is unfortunately not the case.  3 years ago, my son’s soccer team took a trip to Italy.  One of the player’s and his dad’s bags never arrived.  As a result, they had to purchase new clothes and toiletries to get them through their 10-day trip.  Fortunately, they had travel protection that covered all their purchases.

  1.  Trip Interruption or delay

On occasion, our trips are interrupted and we are forced to return home early.  Sometimes it’s due to an emergency situation that arose at home that you need to tend to, and sometimes it’s due to the trip supplier.  For example, you are on a cruise and mechanical issues forced the cruise to return home early.  As a result, you incurred fees to change your travel arrangements, maybe had to reserve a hotel reservation, etc.

  1.  Medical emergencies

Imagine you are on a trip celebrating a milestone birthday.  You were looking forward to that trip for months, and have wanted to go to that resort for years.  And the day before your birthday, you fall and break your leg which results in a trip to the resort’s medical center, a local medical center, x-rays, painkillers.  You are out of pocket almost $2,000 in expenses, which are not covered by your regular insurance since you are out of the country, but are covered by your travel protection.  That’s exactly what happened to me on my 50th birthday trip to Jamaica (absolutely not the fault of the resort – just me being a klutz).  It was unfortunate, but we had peace of mind with our protection which covered us 100%

  1.  Medical evacuation

Along the lines of medical emergencies, you may need to be evacuated through an airlift or a medically equipped flight back home.  A good travel protection policy will cover you in the event it happens.

Of course, this is just a quick and brief overview of what travel protection can offer.  As of this time, most policies will not cover cancellation due to the pandemic, unless optional Cancel for Any Reason Coverage was purchased, but they will cover you if you get ill on a trip due to it.  When booking your trip, a good travel advisor will work with you to find the best policy for your needs and will advise you of all your coverages and exclusions.