March 17, 2015
Today is one of my favorite holidays. I like St. Patrick's Day because it is also my birthday! And not only is it my birthday, but it is my wonderful husband's birthday too! I can remember shortly after we had first met, my husband had somehow found out that we shared this special day. He gave me a real 4 leaf clover. I thought it was so sweet. Ever since then, we always dress in green and celebrate together.
This week I am also celebrating because we are all well again. We had a fabulous trip to Disney with the band, but on the last day, the stomach bug attacked my sweet Sarah. She was so sick, that we could not come home with the group. We extended our hotel stay for another night, and rented a car to drive home the next afternoon. I was so thankful we had decided to purchase a group travel insurance policy to cover us on the trip. The entire ordeal cost me over $800!
With each vacation package that I plan, I extend the offer to my clients to purchase travel insurance. I always want to make it an option, and it is my responsibility as a trusted travel consultant. Before I became a travel consultant, I can honestly say that I never purchased insurance for my trips. I wanted to share with you all why I changed my mind.
Why I use Travel Insurance
Many people think that travel insurance is only to recoup their money in case they need to cancel the trip for sickness, accident, or death in the family. While that is certainly true, travel insurance covers so much more. A good travel insurance policy will take care of so many unexpected things that may happen during your vacation. Here are some examples from my experience:
Medical Care - What you can sometimes forget is when traveling outside of the country, on a cruise or overseas, your medical insurance won't cover medical care should something happen. Most hospitals or care centers will expect you to pay in full if you do not have the insurance to cover it. If you are in the country, like Sarah and I were this past weekend, it will pay your deductible, or co-pays, and all of the medicines you need.
Trip Delays or Interruptions- As I said earlier, there was no way that Sarah could have gone back on the bus that evening without being miserable, and possibly spreading her germs to others. We thought of flying home, but we knew the airline would not let her board with that kind of illness either. We had no choice but to extend our hotel stay. This incurred the hotel expense and meals for another day, plus a one way rental car to get us home. Insurance covered it all for us. At Disney, the insurance will even cover the value of days lost in the parks on your tickets or meal plan. For a cruise or a tour, they will get you to the next port of call or destination at their expense if your flight is delayed or cancelled.
Emergency Medical Evacuation- Although we hate to think of anything happening while on vacation, if it does, do you want to be in a strange hospital somewhere with possible inadequate care? A good plan will cover emergency medical evacuation coverage. This means that if you have a life threatening emergency, and are in Cancun, the company will pay to have you flown back home to the hospital of your choice for care.
So, that's why I purchase travel insurance. It gives me peace of mind that my family will be taken care of if something happens on our trip. One last important note: Be sure to purchase the plan as close to the deposit date as possible. Typically, the insurance needs to be purchased 14 days after deposit or less to cover pre-existing conditions like pregnancy, diabetes, or a known heart condition. Look for a plan that covers other unexpected events like lost baggage, loss of your passport, 24/7 travel assistance services and more.