You’re a savvy traveler. So you probably understand that even for travelers such as yourself, sometimes the best-laid plans can fall apart. Life happens.
However, you might be wondering if Travel Insurance is really necessary and what type of benefits it offers. At GET, we tell travelers that having Travel Insurance is a security blanket for when the unexpected happens and serves to protect your vacation investment from life’s unexpected events.
Travel protection plans sometimes called insurance, often cover a variety of things. They’re a popular choice for travelers, with the U.S. Travel Insurance Association estimating more than 1.9 billion dollars are spent annually on such plans.
More than 80% of our travel guests opt for Travel Protection through GET. Here’s what the plan includes:
- Trip Cancellation: Many travelers prefer to book their experience many months, sometimes up to a year or more, in advance. With a trip cancellation through Grand European Tours travel plans, you can cancel up to 48 hours prior to your trip without losing the money you’ve already spent.
- Trip Interruption: This clause applies either when you’re already on your trip, but need to leave for home before its completion or when unforeseen circumstances cause you to arrive at your vacation location late. These interruptions are generally the result of unexpected health or medical incidents, family emergencies back home, or travel complications. A condition in your travel insurance package that covers trip interruption can help get you home fast, and potentially refund part of the cost of the trip that you’re forced to leave.
- Baggage Loss or Delay: Every traveler’s worse nightmare is lost baggage. No clothes or toiletries and no time to wait for the bag to surface can ruin the spirit of your trip. This clause, in many travel protection plans, will allow a daily spending surplus in order to help you replace the items you need in order to enjoy your trip.
- Medical & Emergency Assistance: Having US-based health and medical insurance doesn’t mean much when you’re traveling to other countries. Often these policies are outright refused by international providers or, if they are accepted, claims are likely to be denied by the agency once filed back home. This can add up to a crippling bill. Travel and protection plans offer medical coverage that will cover unexpected medical costs while abroad.
You Can’t Control Everything
Even with these attractive features, you may find yourself thinking that travel protection is simply something you wouldn’t utilize. Many travelers feel as though, fever or fair weather, they won’t miss their trip. That’s fair, but you may also want to consider the unlikely event that things outside of your control can cause your trip to be interrupted.
For example, the weather is simply unpredictable. When you’re traveling from afar just to get to the starting point of your trip, you will be traveling across thousands of miles and several weather systems to reach the start of your trip. It is not unlikely that you’ll encounter foul weather somewhere along the route. This could lead to delayed or canceled flights that mean a missed connection or missing the start of your trip. In these cases, travel protection plans are ideal for covering your accommodations for trip interruption.
In addition, while it’s not a topic we like to think about while planning a grand adventure, some parts of the world are more subject to civil unrest or acts of violence than the US. In the rare occasion in which something like this were to occur, your travel could be canceled or rerouted. Or, you may have second thoughts about traveling to an area that’s recently experienced a major incident. With travel protection, you could be covered to cancel that trip without losing your investment.
Finally, Travel Protection covers you in the unlikely event of a major health scare. While it’s uncomfortable to imagine your own health being a potential complication to your travels, it’s harder yet to consider a health crisis in the region in which you are traveling, such as Asia’s Avian flu outbreak in 2012 that left hundreds sick, or the more recent travel advisories due to concerns over the mosquito driven Zika Virus.
In any case, accepting that you can’t control everything is a good reason to opt for travel protection.
Feel free to compare plans
Just like choosing your trip, you might feel that you want to do your own research on different plans, and that’s okay.
Reputable companies will make their plans readily and easily available for review online. The best companies will even offer a “review” period wherein you can cancel your trip protection policy within a specified period of time (usually a day or two) from purchase for a full refund.
You should also look into if the coverages of the plan will truly benefit you. Some travelers have incredible health insurance that will cover them while abroad, and that certainly warrants a call to your individual provider. However, as stated above, it will do you little good to have a plan at home that agrees to cover your medical expenses abroad, if the medical facilities abroad refuse to accept your US-based plan.
Finally, consider how simple is it to claim your benefits, and how quickly can you receive them. You should seek out plans with access to 24/7 assistance, a key point of the Grand European’s Travel Protection Plan, as well as a solid, outlined process complete with timelines for reimbursement or compensation in the instance of lost or delayed baggage and costs associated with trip interruption.
It’s acceptable to ask questions before opting in on a plan. The goal of travel protection is to offer peace of mind, so feel free to ask questions and voice concerns.
To learn more about our Travel Insurance Plans, click here.