Spring break is a much-awaited vacation for most families and young adults. Whether you are traveling domestic or to an exotic far off location, insuring your trip always comes in handy should the unexpected happen. Wherever your travels take you, vacation travel insurance plans can ensure the investment you have made is protected with proper trip coverage.
Depending upon the types of plans you purchase, travel insurance covers a wide variety of expenses including but not limited to:
If someone in your party gets sick and cannot travel, you will be able to recover most of the expenses for covered reasons if you purchase trip cancellation coverage. Remember to read and clearly understand what your plan defines under the trip cancellation benefits. Typically, trip cancellation policies cover injury/illness, hurricane, terrorism, weather or natural disasters, death, and theft/loss of passport. It is however, important to understand the benefits thoroughly when you purchase this coverage.
Missing Connecting Flights
Airlines are generally responsible for compensation for missed connections, but this benefit is extremely limited. If your trip involves multiple carriers, there are no rules that cover the missed connections. The airline responsibility ends with the completion of their leg of the journey. They are not required to help you make the connection with the next carrier. Having missed connection coverage reimburses unused pre-paid expenses and reasonable additional expenses including meals, transportation and accommodation. It is important to note this coverage does not cover all travel situations. Exclusions include missing a flight because you overslept. This coverage also deducts any refunds you may have received from the travel suppliers. These benefits are only paid on a one-time basis up to the maximum benefit amount per the policy.
Canceled Flights or Trip Interruption
This coverage reimburses up to 150% of your unused trip costs. It is therefore important to read through all of the covered reasons that fall under this category. Because of the high rate of reimbursement, this coverage typically requires that you purchase your plan within a specified number of days of making your initial deposit. It also requires that the alternate arrangements be of the similar quality as the original tickets or reservations. Travelers are also required to insure the entire trip cost to be eligible for this coverage.
Hurricane Damages at the Destination
With protection for hurricane or weather damage, you will be able to recover all your pre-paid costs of a vacation. Your reimbursement is based on the travel expenses and up to the policy limit. Although this coverage is for damages at the destination, weather-related damages at your primary destination are also covered under this benefit. It covers weather-related natural disasters including hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, earthquakes and floods. Knowing the geography and the climate of your destination is important before you make your travel plans so you can purchase the needed coverage for your trip.
Some travel insurance plans have this as a standard covered reason for trip cancellations. But some plans do not account for it. So it is important to verify before your trip to see if this is a covered benefit. If not, it is advisable to purchase this coverage. Under this coverage, the insurer will reimburse you for mandatory evacuations, missed connections, and travel delays (but not trip cancellations or interruptions). The limitations for this policy states you cannot receive coverage if there has been a terrorist event within 30 days before your plan is effective or if there is a current U.S. travel advisory warning for travel to the destination and the event must also occur after the effective date of your policy.
Injury or Sickness During the Trip
Sickness or injury can strike anyone, anywhere. But while on a vacation, being prepared for it will take some of the burden out if you have travel medical coverage. You will not only be reimbursed for the medical services you received, but you will also benefit from other assistance services in your own language, locate a suitable medical facility, and arrange transportation in a foreign land. However, it is important to remember that there are different types of travel medical coverages:
- Coverage for primary medical issues will cover primary care related hospital visits and the plan will pay the hospitals and medical facilities directly.
- Coverage for emergency medical transportation will cover your transportation charges and travel to get back home.
- Coverage for recurrence of a pre-existing medical condition will cover the medical services requested for a condition you have sought treatment for in the few months prior to your trip.
Lost or Delayed Baggage
If you are attending an important occasion or an out-of-town conference, you are expected to travel with your own luggage. With the airports being as busy these days, there is a high likelihood of having your bag lost or misplaced. You could arrive at your destination only to find that your bags did not make the same journey as you. With coverage for delayed bags, you can relax knowing that you have help recovering your bags. Insurers will reimburse you up to the maximum policy limit for the essential items including new clothes and personal items until your bags arrive. They may even reimburse you for a completely new suitcase in the case that your bags go missing.
This coverage is especially important when traveling to a foreign country. If your passport is lost, stone or otherwise misplaced, you will have help expediting the process of replacing and paying for your lost passport. In addition, lost passport coverage also reimburses up to 100% of your pre-paid, nonrefundable travel costs if you become stranded in a foreign country because of a lost or stolen passport. As soon as you realize your passport is missing, you should file a complaint with the local law enforcement authority and then contact your insurance provider with the documentation.
Points to consider while planning your trip and trip coverage
Consider your spring break destinations carefully to avoid any mishaps. Keep these simple guidelines in mind to make your trip as memorable as possible.
- Choose your destination wisely and avoid places with travel bans and advisories.
- Be aware of crime at your destination and keep away from the red zones.
- Make sure your medical insurance is valid at your destination and know about local medical facilities and hospitals beforehand.
- Understand the effects of alcohol on your coverage as policies are void if you are intoxicated and willfully risking your well being.
Insurers base travel insurance costs on your age and the cost of the trip. As young adults have minimal trip costs and minimal medical emergencies, their travel insurance will likely be inexpensive. Additionally, when emergency strikes, it is better to call a 24/7 emergency assistance line provided by the insurance plan instead of calling your loved ones for help. With all these benefits to make your trip a pleasant one, it is advisable to consider purchasing a travel insurance while making plans for the upcoming spring break.