4 Reasons Why You Should Always buy Travel Insurance When Traveling Abroad

There is a fine line between “travelers” and “smart travelers.” Travelers understand the value of a planned trip. They are aware that traveling the world is not only a large investment (figuratively and literally speaking) but almost always provides a rewarding experience. What distincts the “smart travelers” from the rest? Smart travelers protect their investment, especially when they are traveling abroad. And by “protection”, we refer to travel insurance.

The definition of travel insurance is vague to many and it’s important for travelers to learn that travel insurance does not only offer financial security. Depending on the coverage of your policy, travel insurance can ensure the monetary safety of your vacation, your valuable possessions, your luggage, your health and more. According to the US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA), “one in six Americans say their travel plans have been impacted by medical conditions, natural disasters, including severe weather; or mechanical or carrier-caused problems”.

Reality is unpredictable and until science discovers a method of foretelling the future, travel insurance will be your guardian throughout your journey. Below are the top reasons why you should always buy travel insurance when traveling abroad.

Your destination has received a terror threat

After 9/11, there has been a 10% increase in travel insurance purchases. Airlines do not offer a refund for your flight ticket. Travel insurance acknowledges the dangers of possible strikes of terrorism around the world and offers coverage for these incidents. Whether you’re interested in cancelling the trip or wish to hop on a flight back home immediately, travel insurance can help you receive reimbursement for your canceled trip or cover the cost of your trip interruption.

Medical emergencies abroad

An estimated 40% of travelers abroad become sick or injured abroad. According to the US Center of Disease Control and Prevention, Food poisoning, falls, burns, vehicle accidents, contracting an infectious diseases, pre-existing medical conditions and drowning are some of the top causes for traveler hospitalization abroad. Most health insurance policies do not cover hospital or medical costs outside of the United States. And in cases where an American traveler’s health insurance policy does include medical coverage, not every hospital overseas accepts health insurance. Some hospitals only accept cash before treatment while others may admit you but will not allow you to leave without full payment. Travel insurance with medical coverage can help you with this unforeseen medical cost.

Lost, damaged, delayed and stolen luggage

In 2011, it was reported that about 26 million luggage items for international flights went missing and about 1 million of those missing were never found. They were either possibly stolen or the luggage’s ID tags snapped off some how which makes it difficult for proper placement. The odds of a traveler experience a luggage disaster while traveling abroad are incredibly high. Depending on the carrier, airlines offer little to no coverage for checked-in bags. Travel insurance offers coverage for baggage delays, damages or losses, and will also assist travelers in replacing items that may be needed right away.

Economic crisis

It is no secret that traveling is a large expense. We are living in era where economical stability is volatile. Even if a traveler has planned a trip well in advance, sudden unemployment, lowered income or unexpected bills may require him or her to cancel the trip. Travel insurance can help travelers receive their money back during these tough financial obligations.

Date of publication March 9, 2015

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