Travel insurance is one of those things you think you’re never going to need. Why spend the extra money? What could go wrong? You’re probably like me, once you pay for transportation and a fabulous resort, your thoughts are more on some adorable new sandals or a few cute outfits than on travel insurance.
The truth is that there is a lot that can go wrong. Have you ever thought how much all new clothing for a trip costs after the airline loses your luggage? And most people have other people to think about. Illness or death among family and friends can certainly cause anyone to miss a flight, or an entire vacation. And you don’t want to travel with the flu yourself, do you? Flights are canceled, people get hurt while on vacation – lots of unfortunate things can happen. You may very be saving money by buying travel insurance.
My reluctance to buy travel insurance was tested a few years ago on a flight to Florida where I was planning on joining friends on a cruise. Because of work I had cut times pretty close. I was only going to be in Florida a few hours before the ship left port.
I was fine, my tickets were fine, and I had all of my necessary paperwork. Life was good. As we were flying somewhere over North Carolina, there was a surprise announcement over the plane’s loudspeaker. Was there a doctor on the plane?
I had seen flight attendants going back and forth to a passenger’s seat a few rows up but hadn’t thought much of it. It turned out that the passenger was having a heart attack.
Luckily, there did happen to be a doctor on board and we had an emergency landing in South Carolina. An medical crew came quickly, the poor man was hurried off the plane, and from what we heard, was rushed to a hospital and did well. End of story, right? Not so fast.
By the time the flight got permission to land, and the ill gentleman was taken from the plane, and then the plane was given permission to take off again…that delay was just long enough to get me to Florida a short while after my ship had sailed. And with my ship sailed the non-refundable money that I had spent on the trip. Do I wish I had had travel insurance? You can be sure that I buy it every time I travel now.
A friend of mine took a trip to the Greek Island of Rhodes a couple of years ago. I was excited for her. It was a dream vacation. She went off-season to save a little money. She also refused to buy travel insurance for the same reason. In accordance with “Murphy’s Law” the airline lost all of her luggage. She didn’t even have a toothbrush. It was the off season for travel in Rhodes. It was evening and dark out. There weren’t many people around who spoke English and she spoke no Greek. No stores were open. She didn’t even have a toothbrush. It was a traveler’s nightmare. Then she had to buy an entire new wardrobe for her trip. Do you think she saved money by NOT buying travel insurance? You can be sure that she has routinely bought travel insurance ever since.
Travel insurance covers a lot of things that may not sound like calamities but are when it comes to making a flight or spending your entire vacation at your vacation destination. Perhaps the best thing about travel insurance is that it eliminates so many little worries that are totally unforeseeable. Buying insurance takes a lot of the worry out of travel and allows you to enjoy the time leading up to your vacation as well as your vacation itself.
There are different levels of travel insurance, from basic travel insurance that covers everything from illness to jury duty. (Really, have you ever thought what you’d do if you couldn’t get excused from jury duty that popped up a couple of weeks before your planned trip?) to more deluxe travel insurance which even covers dental and medical emergencies while you’re away. In fact, it covers the possibility that you might become separated or divorced between the time that you make your vacation plans and the time of the vacation! And, of course, there’s mid-level coverage. It all depends on your vacation and what you can afford.
I just remembered the time my ex-husband and I planned to fly to Ireland on a Sunday for our anniversary….and he had our passports….in the safe deposit box…..at the bank….on a Sunday. No, it’s not why we’re divorced. But I’m going to look into whether travel insurance covers instances like that right now!