The Ultimate Guide to Travel Insurance

Find out if travel insurance is really worth the extra cost.

Our guide to travel insurance covers what it is, what it costs, and when you should purchase it.

Vacations are meant to be relaxing. But what if something goes wrong?

Travel insurance can help manage these disruptions. But what exactly is travel insurance? What does it cover? Is it worth the cost? We want you to be prepared and feel confident about your decision whether you’re booking a luxury travel experience on your own or with Superior Executive Services. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to travel insurance.

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a type of insurance meant to protect against losses you might experience while traveling. Depending on the provider and policy, coverage could include things like:

  • Damage to personal property
  • Damage to rental equipment
  • Emergency medical services and transportation
  • Logistics, such as replacing a lost passport or re-booking a canceled flight
  • Baggage delays, loss, or damage

Policies may also cover some or all your costs if your trip is interrupted or you have to cancel your trip before you depart. Some providers have restrictions on acceptable reasons to cancel a trip or end a trip early, such as illness, a death in the family, or severe weather.

Each travel insurance policy is different, so it’s essential to understand what is—and is not—covered before purchasing coverage. Examples of expenses that are not typically covered include pre-existing medical conditions, pregnancy and childbirth, risky sports and activities, or natural disasters and health crises that are known about before you purchase a policy. Most travel insurance companies declined coverage for interruptions caused by COVID-19 for any policies purchased after the pandemic became “known” on January 22, 2020.

If you want the most flexibility, you may want to add a type of supplemental travel insurance coverage called “Cancel for Any Reason” (CFAR). This is an upgrade to a standard policy that will cost more but guarantees a partial refund, no matter the reason.

How do I purchase insurance, and how much will it cost?

When you book a trip through Superior Executive Services, we can help you arrange coverage if you want it. If you’re making reservations on your own, you’ll find you often have the option to purchase travel insurance through online booking sites, airlines, and cruise lines. Standalone travel insurance companies also offer policies through their websites.

The cost of travel insurance will depend on the specifics of your trip. Rates usually factor in who is traveling (the number of travelers and their ages), where you’re going, and for how long, as well as the total cost of your trip. One recent survey found the average travel insurance policy costs $111.

How to decide if travel insurance is worth it

One way experts suggest you evaluate the pros and cons is to consider whether you can afford to lose out on the entire cost of the trip. For example, insurance costs may feel unnecessary if you’re booking discounted airline flights or hotel stays.

There are some other key questions to ask yourself when considering purchasing a travel insurance policy.

Is your trip refundable? Is there a penalty or fee for cancellation?
If your reservations can be canceled or postponed without penalty, coverage probably isn’t necessary.

Does your existing health insurance cover you where you are going?
Check with your health insurance provider to confirm whether they cover illness or injury outside your home region. If you’re covered by a U.S.-based provider and traveling within the U.S., additional travel medical coverage may be redundant.

Is there a potential for severe weather or natural disasters?
If an unexpected natural disaster could interrupt your trip, travel insurance may protect you against cancellations or interruptions, as well as emergency evacuation. But remember: if you purchase a policy after the event is known and poses a risk (for example, once a storm is named or after a volcano shows signs that it may erupt soon), you likely will not be covered.

Does your credit card provide travel coverage?
Some credit cards include travel insurance coverage at no additional cost for things like lost or delayed luggage, delayed or canceled flights, or rental car damage. Of course, coverage may not be as broad as you’d like; credit card perks usually do not cover all medical expenses or lost items. Review the specific terms of your travel insurance benefits as part of your decision-making process.

The bottom line: the decision to purchase travel insurance is personal, and you may want or need it for some trips and not for others. If you’re not sure, reach out to us!

With nearly 45 years of combined experience in the travel, hospitality, and sports industries, Superior Executive Services will help you consider all the factors — which event you’re traveling to, your budget, and any relevant public health guidelines and recommendations. Contact our team of travel experts anytime online or call us at 608.665.9070.

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