You’ve probably heard of travel insurance and just assumed it was another expense you didn’t need. However, travel insurance can actually save you money from inconveniences and emergencies you may experience before and during your trip. Here are 10 situations that happen on international trips that will show you why buying travel insurance is a smart thing to do:
- Weak immune system: If you’re known for getting sick relatively easily due to a weak immune system, you should buy travel insurance. You may have health insurance at home, but most coverage is not going to be enough to cover you on your trip overseas. International travel insurance packages usually include medical insurance, which can cover non-urgent visits, emergency services, and transportation to another facility should you need these things. Travel insurance with medical conditions is important if you need access to a medical facility at all times, but even if you are just prone to getting colds and fevers, you should definitely consider getting it.
- Things are busy at work: Working for a company brings on plenty of demands no matter what position you work. You may have your vacation set in stone, including approved time off and a pre-paid trip ready to go, but what happens when a client crisis requires all employees to have hands on board, including those with vacations coming up? Your travel insurance policy can allow you to cancel your trip until things calm down, be reimbursed, even if the trip is non-refundable, and reschedule your vacation another time. Your boss may be sympathetic and allow you to reschedule your time off and could be generous enough to give you even more time off, but don’t push your luck.
- Weather has been tricky lately: There are seasons where natural disasters are prevalent. If it’s hurricane or tornado season, there could be flight cancellations and whole airports shutting down. If your destination country has been experiencing bad weather, there’s a chance you won’t be able to make it as you planned. Buying travel insurance can ensure and insure you with coverage that allows you to reschedule your trip when weather conditions improve.
- Destination country has political tension: Depending on where you plan on going for your trip, political tension could be thick. Make sure you check their local news to see if anything significant is going on. There’s a chance that a terrorist attack can put your entire trip in jeopardy. If this is the case, and your point of destination becomes compromised, you’ll want to cancel your trip for your safety. Make sure your travel insurance package includes coverage for terrorism if the country you’re visiting has been having not so positive political discussions.
- You’re studying abroad for either a semester or a year: For the student excited about studying abroad for a semester or year in a foreign country, this could be the highlight of his or her educational career. You have the opportunity to dive into another culture, learn things in school and out, and be independent for a period of time. While the experience can be extremely rewarding, you’ll want to cover yourself by buying travel insurance. Look for a package that includes things like travel health insurance, car rental insurance (if you plan on renting a car), and trip interruption in case you have to go home early due to an emergency. A semester is a long time and a year is even longer, too long to go somewhere overseas unprotected.
- You’re going overseas for business: Corporations don’t just partner with other companies domestically anymore. International business is huge, and you may be fortunate enough to work for a corporation dealing with companies overseas. If you were the lucky employee selected to travel to represent your company, be sure to ask your job if they plan on purchasing travel insurance. This will be in your best interest as well as theirs, as it can cover them for liability and protect you from unexpected mishaps. Ask if they have business travel insurance that includes travel accident, emergency medical, and even kidnap and ransom.
- Family member gets sick: If you’re a parent, you know how important it is to make sure you take care of your child when they’re sick. Kids tend to get sick at inconvenient times, including right when you’re about to go on an international trip. If it’s not feasible for you to go on your trip despite the illness, like if the child is contagious, on bed rest or in the hospital, travel insurance companies understand if you have to cancel a trip. You don’t have to worry about losing all the money you paid for the trip if you have travel insurance. Things will be taken care of for you, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.
- Missed your flight: There are few things that are as frustrating as missing a flight. It could be your very first flight or your connecting one that was supposed to send you to your destination. Travel insurance can take care of making arrangements for your next flight, and/or reimbursing you for additional costs that may have come out of your pocket for fixing your travel arrangements.
- Baggage gets lost: Luggage tends to get lost no matter where you go on a plane, but it can definitely be misplaced if you’re flying internationally. It can be a huge inconvenience if you have to buy replacement items until your baggage catches up to you. If you buy travel insurance, you can be reimbursed for the costs you had to pay to temporarily replace your luggage, such as clothing and toiletries.
- Passports get stolen: It can happen anywhere; you’re walking down the street and check for your wallet, and you notice that someone pick pocketed not only your wallet with your money and identification, but your passport too. With travel insurance, you don’t have to worry about getting home. Contact your insurance agent, let them know what happened, and they’ll help you to get a replacement passport to you, expedited.
Briana Myricks is a 20 something freelance writer and blogger. Striving for financial independence as a newlywed, she blogs about young married life at 20 and Engaged.