Do I need to buy travel insurance?

Do I need to get trip insurance?

As a traveler, I never did seem to avail myself of the option until I learned more about the risks and rewards associated with trip insurance. The risk for me was that I would lose the money paid for the trip in the event that I could not go. The other risk was that I would assume liability for any medical expenses incurred during the duration of my vacation. The reward was that I could purchase door-to-door coverage that would include reimbursement for costs associated with trip cancellation, delays, medical expenses, evacuations, loss or delays, and 24/7 assistance if necessary.

As a travel agent,  I always presented the option of purchasing trip insurance. The biggest reason I presented trip insurance was to cover my ass in the event that a client had to cancel a cruise and then found out they were not able to get a refund. It was a bit of a buzz crush to present trip insurance options to folks when they were basking in the glow of making a vacation decision and putting money on the table. However, I did not want to be the person responsible for telling clients that they would not get a refund if they had to cancel a trip.

A recent cruise news story captured my attention about a family that did not get a refund from Norwegian Cruise Lines due to a sudden medical emergency.

 Around the Web Headlines: Cruise line refuses to re-book family vacation

Around the Web
Headlines: Cruise line refuses to re-book family vacation

I read the comments on a Huffington Post article about a Parents Outraged Cruise Line Won’t Reschedule Their Trip In Light Of Son’s Cancer Diagnosis. In short, there were a lot of comments to the effect that the cruise line can’t make exceptions to the refund policy. And from the cruise line, they offered the following:

“Our overall policy states that any cancellations made within 14 days or less of the sail date are subject to 100% cancellation fee.”

In the end, the decision to purchase trip insurance is a personal choice. Travelers take responsibility for their vacation dollars and in the end, have to choose if self-insuring their trip makes sense or if they want the added protection of trip insurance.

When choosing a trip insurance plan, make sure to know that there are plans available from the cruise line as well as third-party companies that offer more extensive options that cover the cruise as well as flights, hotels, car insurance, etc.


FAQ question from Travel Guard website (source listed below): Is travel insurance a waste of money?
A travel insurance plan can cover you for unexpected costs incurred before or during your trip. So that costs are less likely to come out of your own pocket, a travel insurance plan can reimburse you for the pre‐paid, non‐refundable portions of a trip if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason. A travel insurance plan can also include medical evacuation coverage (the price of which may cost upwards $100,000) 1 and medical expense coverage, plus reimbursement for lost, damaged or stolen luggage and personal effects. Most travel insurance plans also include 24/7 assistance services to re‐book flights and hotels on your behalf and act as a personal travel assistant while you are away from home. As with all travel insurance plans, always carefully read each DOC (description of coverage) to learn the boundaries of your coverage before purchasing the plan.

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