When many people plan their vacation they choose where to go and generally what to do on vacation. Timing of the vacation may be random, tied to low season discounts, or high season when children are out of school. All of these factors help determine the final cost of a vacation. Costs for vacation vary widely based on all of the above factors as well as what someone can afford.

travel insurance

Often vacation costs represent one of the biggest annual expenses outside of housing and transportation for many travellers. Many vacations require up-front non-refundable deposits in order to book them. Many, such as cruises, require full payment well ahead of the actual trip and have big penalties for cancelation well in advance of the trip. Thus, if something happens to cause cancellation or delay of the trip the vacation investment can quickly be lost.

Travel insurance is one of those additional expenses to consider when booking that exciting well deserved vacation (holiday). To many it seems getting one is just wasted money because nothing ever goes wrong or if it does they roll with the punches and take it in stride, because the cost of the delay is minimal. Often these people have never had a major surprise cost they had to cover themselves; though every policy can be easily compared and thoroughly evaluated at the AardvarkCompare travel insurance marketplace to avoid any insurance pitfalls. Others swear by travel insurance because they know the costs associated with things going wrong. Also, they understand that when things go wrong it is not always someone else’s responsibility to cover their additional costs, which can mount rapidly depending on circumstances.

One thing many people don’t fully understand is that vendors typically have limited liability to consumers, to cover costs related to delays or cancelations. For instance each airline has its own policies about what is due to customers in certain circumstances. There are some provisions mandated thru various laws. One example that often affects cruises are weather delays while flying to the embarkation port. In a situation where a weather delay causes the cruiser to miss the cruise departure, the airline has no obligation to fly the passenger to the next port or pay any of the lost cruise days. Further flying to catch up with the ship at a later port of call is at the passenger’s own expense. These last minute one way flights can be very expensive.

Airlines are reporting fuller plans and have removed a number of flights from their schedules. This is what the airlines had to do in order to return to being profitable after the double hit from 9/11 and rising fuel costs. With this information travelers must know that missing a connection can easily lead to them not getting to their destination even the same day in many cases because limited mostly full flights can’t always accommodate passengers who missed other flights.

There are so many reasons that favor purchasing travel insurance and even a few legitimate reasons not to have it. For most people vacation represents one of the most expensive purchases in a given year. When people buy a new car or new house they insure it, either because of lender requirements or just to protect the owner should something happen to these high dollar items. Spending thousands, which in many cases are non-refundable, on a vacation trip represents a huge investment, in fun. If for some reason the trip had to be cancelled most people want to recover as much money as possible. Additionally, if they have problems while traveling they want help with the extra expenses as well as someone to assist them with resolving the travel delays and issues.

In a worst case scenario while on a foreign trip a traveler becomes ill or is severely injured requiring emergency treatment or medical evacuation. In many cases medical insurance from home offers limited benefits in these cases, especially Medicare where there is only very limited coverage for care outside the USA, except along the borders. Medical evacuation back home to the USA or more specifically the travelers own hometown is rarely covered by major medical coverage, thus travelers want to that paid for, by someone else as well. These are key features many people cite as their key reason for adding coverage.

medical treatment

With travel increasing in cost and vacations growing as an expense for most, the invested dollars are becoming more important to most travellers. Thus a missed vacation and lost dollars are also more important. The extra costs associated with things going wrong can easily kill the budget for their trip. A medical evacuation not paid by any insurance could easily put most travellers in serious financial trouble when often they cost $15,000 or more depending on when, where, and how far they have to fly. While people are willing to shell out money to relax and play on vacation, seeing the money evaporate while not getting the enjoyment from the spent dollars is hard for many to swallow.

Many different scenarios come up that impact travelers and their vacations. Some are not as apparent as others. Travel insurance covers many different situations that may come up that cause travelers problems with their trip. Policies typically cover things such as cancellation of trip for medical reasons of travelers and their immediate family members. Death of the traveler's relative also tends to be a covered situation. In some policies work related cancellations are possible, but you have to really watch the exclusions there as business owners typically can’t cancel for business reasons. You can buy a rider on some policies that allow cancellation for any reason.

Once the trip starts you usually have coverage for many things that come up such as missed connections and other delays. This helps you catch up with your ship, pay for a hotel room and extra meals on the trip due to issues that come up. (You do have to check exclusions to know when coverage will not occur.) Should your luggage not arrive with you on the flight, most travel insurance providers will keep watch on the location process and ensure the bags get to you timely. They will also offer different levels of coverage for replacement items and in the event the bag never found and returned they will pay you for the lost goods, at least up to the limits of the policy.

Should you have to break away from the trip in the middle of vacation there are typically trip interruption provisions that will help cover the cost of returning home early if that should be necessary. Thus, if you get sick and need to go home for care not requiring a specific medical evacuation this is where that can come into play. If a relative dies or becomes seriously injured or ill the trip interruption provision may come into play.

Another feature of the travel insurance is that they have folks well versed in helping arrange alternative travel when things go wrong. Thus, if your flight gets cancelled you can call them and they will work out new travel plans for you keeping in mind various aspects of the trip important to you. If you are on the way to a ship and need to be at the port by a specific time that can be the guideline in getting the trip reworked. They can also go and find a hotel when the airport is backing up with tons of stranded travelers. These specific items really can make a big difference when you are already under the stress of missing part of your vacation.

Before the trip you can get concierge services from the insurance company. For instance on a recent trip I had them find me internet café’s near to each of the ports of call we stopped at so I would have a list before I even arrived at the ports. The can arrange special meals for you and even help get limited show tickets. They are there to help you make the trip an even better experience for your travels.

Those who say that travel insurance is not worth the expense usually say they never have a need for any of the covered services and will swallow the cost of any loss of the non-refundable trip fees. This may work for some. Unless a traveler lives near the cruise port used for all of their departures or they can drive there or to the land resort where they will vacation and get there, with plenty of time to spare for unforeseen road issues insurance related to inbound travel is pretty important. If the traveler only has Medicare and will be traveling internationally they need medical coverage for the trip because Medicare does not cover care out of the country. Just feeling healthy and because nothing has ever happened is not a good reason to take the full financial risk if something comes up. Some can afford to self insure but very few are in that club of the ultra wealthy.

Safe travels!

Author's Bio: 

Naomi Stone is a personal financial advisor. With even more than 3 years' experience in the finance industry, Naomi has helped hundreds of people reorganize their personal needs and counseled them on how to recognize and avoid financial pitfalls. But beside all that, she’s got quite the passion for traveling and writing. Naomi enjoys traveling near and far and spending time with family and friends. She’s a fan of scrapbooking, photography, and postcrossing. She received a degree in journalism from the York College and covers topics from marketing, style trends, traveling, and everything in between.