‘“Be sure when you step,
Step with care and great tact.
And remember that life’s
A great balancing act.”
Dr. Seuss was one the most brilliant poets of our time – and apparently a travel insurance expert as well! The help is appreciated, especially now that folks are ‘stepping’ out and traveling again after a long lull. According to the U.S. Travel Foundation, travel is expected to increase in 2023, not only from last year but from pre-pandemic 2019 levels as well. Pent-up demand and inflation will play a role in this year’s increased travel costs. Either way, the more you spend, the more you have at risk, which is why it’s important to consider travel insurance before your next trip.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Travel insurance covers many contingencies, including but not limited to the following:
- Reimbursement of non-refundable travel costs in case you have to cancel your trip.
- First-dollar medical expenses, should you get sick when traveling away from home – especially overseas.
- Emergency evacuation, either for medical or security reasons.
- Overnight accommodations should your stay be extended due to illness or extenuating circumstances.
Although travel insurance can be helpful in various circumstances, it’s important to read the fine print when reviewing your plan.
- Be sure your plan covers pre-existing conditions, which can typically be accomplished when you purchase coverage within 15 days of booking your trip. This way, if you, your traveling partner or a family member fall ill due to a pre-existing condition (before your trip or while traveling), you can be sure of full coverage even if an ongoing condition causes the illness.
- Look for policies that cover medical expenses “first-dollar” instead of plans that pay secondarily to your group medical plan. And for those older than 65, keep in mind Medicare pays very little in overseas medical, making the need for travel coverage even more paramount.
- Confirm your plan allows you to be treated at your hospital of choice. While some plans will only take you (and treat you at) the nearest adequate hospital, stronger plans will allow you to be taken to your hospital choice as long as you’re stabilized and fit to travel.
One question still asked is how travel plans cover COVID-19. Despite popular belief, COVID-19 is certainly covered and treated the same as any other illness.
What Do Travel Insurance Premiums Look Like?
Typically, premiums could cost anywhere from 4-10% of your total trip cost depending on your age, length of travel and the total non-refundable fares you need to insure.
Ironically, as valuable as travel coverage is, a recent Travel Penguin survey suggested more than half of Americans planning to travel in the near future will not insure their trips. Additionally, CNBC recently reported only 23% of travelers would insure their upcoming trips.
What would the great Dr. Seuss say about all this? Let me give it a try:
While traveling can be interrupted
By things you don’t expect,
It’s the joys of travel you’ll cherish
And the one you’ll want to protect.
I think I’ll stick to insurance rather than poetry.
Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.