Travel insurance is one of those things in life that you probably don’t think about until you need it. I know that I never bothered with buying trip insurance in the past, but when I jumped into the world of African photo safaris in 2007, I quickly learned how important it can be. Here’s a quick primer on our top 5 reasons why we think you need travel insurance!
Reason 1 – You are forced to cancel your trip due to illness. If you’re unable to travel, or if anyone on your trip can’t travel, OR if a family member of any member of your party becomes ill, You’re Covered (Keep this in mind, too, if you have aging parents)! This is especially important since non-refundable deposits for big trips are made months in advance, and sometimes up to a year!
Real Life Story 1: Sean tripped down a flight of stairs (we don’t believe there was any drinking involved?!)
and injured his back making it impossible for him to sit on a plane to South Africa for 14+ hours. On his doctor’s advice, he cancelled his trip, had the trip coverage, and got a full refund!
Reason 2 – Your flight is unbelievably cancelled or you miss your connection. If your trip is interrupted for any reason and you have to make alternate arrangements these any change fees or rebooking expenses, You’re Covered!!
Real Life Story 2: Jack and Jackie were on their honeymoon as Superstorm Sandy pummeled the east coast. Their flight home was cancelled and they had to add 4 nights at the airport hotel to their honeymoon, and then also had to purchase new tickets on another airline to get back to NYC. All of their expenses for this Trip Interruption were reimbursed!!
Reason 3 – On your trip, if you have an accident (even a small one) and you need local medical care, or more dramatically, you need a medical evacuation back home, You’re Covered! If you have an unfortunate accident or some unfo Real Life Story 3: Our dear friend Louise was on a shore excursion on a cruise in Spain, tripped on a curb, and broke her hip (and she’s not that old!). She needed surgery, but wanted to have it done back home in Texas. In order to repatriate, she had to charter a private air ambulance at a cost nearly $50,000 — She wasn’t covered!!
Reason 4 – Your perfect destination is destroyed by a hurricane! If a natural disaster occurs in your destination and you are unable to travel there, You’re Covered!
Real Life Story 4: Larry was planning to vacation in Ecuador but the recent earthquake caused his trip to be canceled. Guess, what? He got a refund, since he was covered!
Reason 5 – You arrive but your luggage, sadly, does not! If your luggage is lost or delayed, you’re covered!
Real Life Story 5: Alexandra spent hours agonizing over the perfect travel attire and accessories. Realizing she was the only person at baggage claim without baggage, she was crushed, but she was covered! After spending the afternoon shopping and replacing a few smart outfits, her original fabulous wardrobe arrived the next day!
Bonus Reason 6 – You lose your job! Many policies allow you to file a claim if you lose your job and are unable to travel. And there some travel insurance policies that allow you to cancel for any reason, which is great if you worry that your crazy boss might cancel your honeymoon because he needs you in the office (yes, that has happened!)