Why you should consider travel insurance for your next trip
When planning a trip, there are lots of things to consider: finding flights, booking a rental car, confirming lodging reservations and scheduling activities. But one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your investments is buying travel insurance. And, surprisingly, it’s pretty affordable.
Especially in these uncertain times with factors like coronavirus – or maybe your trip is during wildfire season – it is a good idea to look at travel insurance as an option to provide some peace of mind. And we’re here to help break down how to research your options, provide some recommendations and point out some things to look out for to make sure you find the right travel insurance that will actually provide you some benefit in the off chance you need to make a claim.
As with any purchase, it is important to do your research and read the fine print to have a good understanding of what the insurance will (and will not) cover. You can get insurance that covers anything from trip cancellation, flight changes, medical care, to lost luggage. There are also companies that offer coverage for specific things, like insuremyrentalcar.com or Blue Ribbon Bags, that will help locate and expedite delivery of lost luggage, and if your bag is lost for more than 96 hours it will pay $1,000 per bag.
Forbes contributor and consumer advocate, Christopher Elliott, outlines some of the best and worst travel insurance companies. The best companies offer extensive coverage with claims paid in a timely manner. But Elliott warns to beware of companies selling travel “protection” that isn’t really insurance, and these companies have a history of refusing to pay what appear to be legitimate claims.
When considering travel insurance, it is also important to understand your trip’s cancellation policies so you can determine the appropriate level of insurance to purchase to cover any gaps. For example some tour operators only offer credit instead of a refund if you have to cancel, and some hotels charge non-refundable deposits.
To avoid these travel headaches, here are a couple of top-rated travel insurance companies Elliott recommends to get you started in researching which might be a fit for your trip.
- Allianz Travel Insurance is the largest travel insurance company and because of its size it can offer better insurance at a lower rate.
- Generali Global Assistance’s parent company, The Europ Group, has been around since 1963 and has long been a trusted name in travel insurance.
- Seven Corners cases tend to get resolved quickly and with minimum publicity.
- Travelex covers medical care abroad and pays claims quickly.
- Travel Guard is known for processing claims quickly and following up to make sure the customer is happy.
While no one wants to be put in a position to have to use travel insurance, we hope these options provide a little extra satisfaction knowing you are covered in the eventuality of a worst-case scenario.