Before booking a holiday flight from San Francisco to Miami, Stefan Mitrovic asked, “Do I need travel insurance?”
Then he remembered his luggage.
“I’m going to bring some precious Christmas presents,” said Mitrovic, who runs an internet consulting firm in Los Angeles.
Harding Bush, security operations manager for Global Rescue, which provides travel risk management services, said this holiday season will be unlike any other.
“More people are traveling,” he said. “Airlines have staffing issues, and dealing with surges is a challenge for them.”
In other words, your vacation trip is more likely to be canceled or delayed than it was last year, and perhaps never before.
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Do you need travel insurance for your vacation trip? This is the time to find out. Travelers typically purchase insurance to protect their expensive international trips. But since the pandemic, they’re buying more insurance than ever before. Is holiday travel riskier this year? Also, what kind of insurance should I take out?
Mitrovic just wanted to cover the load. The US government limits an airline’s liability for delayed baggage to $3,800 on domestic flights. However, the claims process is difficult and airlines exclude many items from coverage. Through Travelinsurance.com, he found a policy that covers checked luggage up to 75% of the current market price.
Experts say Mitrovic got it right. He considered the risks of vacation travel and took out insurance to cover himself.
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What demanding customers want:“Travelers have very high expectations of travel.”
Allianz Partners USA spokesperson Daniel Durazo said: “It’s all about your individual specific needs and concerns about where you travel and what financial investments you want to protect.”
These concerns range from minor inconveniences like delayed suitcases to major issues like last minute trip cancellations and medical emergencies.
Do I need travel insurance for my vacation trip?
Conventional wisdom holds that travel insurance is not necessary for short domestic trips. This is because the insurance only covers prepaid non-refundable travel elements. So driving to your aunt’s house on a holiday weekend is likely not covered by insurance.
However, other trips may require a policy. Usually people consider insurance if he spends more than $2,000 on a trip. But insurance can also cover unexpected expenses such as flight cancellations.
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Manny Fernandez, Vice President of Global Operations, CAP Travel Assistance, said: “With trip cancellations on the rise, reassurance about trip interruptions and cancellations is important.”
TripInsurance.com president Dan Skilken says travelers with insurance will be at an advantage if the holiday season is a repeat of summer this year. Please allow for weather delays. Airlines are under no obligation to help travelers. “The cost of the delay will be covered, so there is no reason to spend the night at the airport,” he said.
Weighing the risks of vacation travel
Vacation travel is also more dangerous than in years past, experts say. Geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe, Israel and Asia are making travel to those regions more dangerous, said John Gobbels, chief operating officer of air medical transportation and travel security company Medjet. increase.
But also consider what you will do at that destination. A beach vacation in Mexico may be less risky than heli-skiing in Canada.
“Several factors need to be considered when choosing travel insurance, such as domestic or international travel, travel costs, whether you do adventure sports, or whether you bring your own gear,” says Christina Tunnah. General Manager of Americas for World Nomads.
Travel insurance companies can now customize their policies. Sites like InsureMyTrip.com and Battleface.com allow you to add or remove coverage until you have the exact policy you need. For more information on the best policies, check out our free guide to buying the best travel insurance.
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What should I look for when choosing vacation travel insurance?
According to Pallavi Sadekar, Head of Operations at VisitorGuard.com, the two major coverages for vacation travelers are medical and trip cancellations.
“Medical insurance, especially HMO plans, may not cover medical emergencies for international travel,” she said. I can.”
The trip cancellation plan allows you to reimburse prepaid, non-refundable travel costs if you have to cancel for covered reasons, she said. That way, you can get your money back and book your vacation on another date.
This is what Harry Wenkart looks for when buying travel insurance for his vacation trip. “The coverage we care most about is medical services, medical evacuations, and travel cancellations,” said Wenkert, a retired pharmaceutical marketer from Pittsburgh. He’s heading to the Canadian Rockies later this year and has already made his plans.
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What type of travel insurance do I need for my holiday trip?
Regular travel insurance covers you for the duration of your trip. If you feel you need to cancel, you may also consider our ‘cancellation for any reason’ policy. This policy allows you to cancel your trip for any reason and recover between 50% and 75% of your prepaid non-refundable costs.
But for Mark Beals, a retired mortgage banker from Mill Creek, Washington, the uncertainty of the past two years has led him to New Year’s decisions to buy travel insurance.
A friend was on vacation visiting relatives in Canada. She didn’t buy travel insurance. “She fell and was taken to the hospital and then to a rehab center,” he recalled. She then had to pay medical bills to return to America.
“The cost was outrageous and it hasn’t been covered by Medicare since it happened in Canada,” recalls Beals. “So our friend paid those costs out of pocket.”
He decided that he would never be without travel insurance.
You may not need travel insurance on your next trip. But for this upcoming holiday travel season, you should probably consider it.
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Avoid These Travel Insurance Mistakes
Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance, says travel insurance could be a smart purchase for your next trip, but many travelers make mistakes when buying insurance. . “For many, it’s still a foreign concept,” he said. “The most valuable advice I can give travelers is to do a little research and avoid guessing who covers what.”
► No need to wait to buy insurance: “We recommend that you take out suitable travel insurance well in advance of your trip.” You must purchase travel insurance within
► Remember to read our policies: Many travelers are unaware of the common travel scenarios that qualify for reimbursement if they have travel insurance. “This includes flight delays and lost luggage,” said Faye Travel Insurance spokeswoman Lauren Ganport. Please check.”
Read all the way through. Faye Travel Insurance spokeswoman Lauren Ganport said she has seen many customers who do not understand the company’s policies. I realized that I didn’t know the common travel scenarios that were covered,” she said.
► Don’t buy the cheapest insurance: It may be tempting to skip travel insurance or buy the cheapest insurance for your vacation trip. ,” warns Angela Bowden, product marketing strategist at Seven Corners. “Protection of travel expenses becomes even more important during the year-end and New Year holidays, when the possibility of unexpected events such as flight cancellations and lost luggage increases.”
Christopher Elliott is an author, consumer advocate, and journalist. He founded Elliott Advocacy, a non-profit organization that helps solve consumer problems. He publishes Elliott Confidential, a travel newsletter, and Elliott Report, a customer service news site. If you need help with a consumer issue, contact him here or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.