Last year, a projected 37.2 million Americans traveled more than 50 miles from home and on roads that are typically clogged. And while Memorial Day is synonymous with hitting the road, more and more Americans are opting to fly, with approximately 2.6 million people taking flight during one of the busiest weekends of the year.
When you’re getting ready to go on vacation, you’re in an optimistic frame of mind — envisioning yourself sitting on the black sands of Caribbean Costa Rica, sipping a Mai-Tai on the porch of a deluxe Florida vacation rental or backpacking through Bavaria — not what could go wrong during your trip.
“Losing luggage, missing your flight, getting sick or encountering adverse weather are not typically top-of-mind when planning a trip, unless you’re inclined to worry,” says Bob Chambers, vice president of operations at CSA travel Protection, a travel insurance provider that also offers 24-hour emergency assistance services from anywhere in the world. “Anyone planning a trip, whether domestic or international, should consider travel insurance to help protect them and their traveling companions in case things don’t turn out as planned.”
Whether traveling by plane or in a packed car, travelers should review their own insurance coverages, see where the gaps may be, and consider travel insurance based on their specific needs. Here are some reasons why:
Chances are, this is the only trip you’ll take all year. It’s no secret that Americans are vacation-starved. A survey by online travel publication Skift found that 40.5% of Americans didn’t take a single vacation day in 2015. Some 32.2% took 10 days or less. If this is your one and only trip in 2016 and you or someone in your family gets sick, then you could be out of luck if you rented that deluxe vacation home or have non-refundable airline tickets. For a relatively small fee, travel insurance may reimburse those non-refundable, prepaid trip costs.
Problems happen more often than you think. One in six U.S. adults had a trip cut short or changed travel plans. And of those affected, only 22% had travel insurance according to a recent U.S. Travel Insurance Association survey. Travel insurance plans are designed to help protect travelers from certain unexpected events that can occur before and during their trips.
Your insurance may not apply overseas. If you have a medical emergency in a foreign country, you may be stuck paying your bills because many insurance plans don’t apply once you leave the U.S. Medicare, for instance, typically doesn’t cover such instances. When selecting a travel insurance plan, be sure to choose one that offers medical and dental coverages that fit your individual needs.
Chances are you’ve worked hard to make this trip happen. You can’t rule out all of the what-ifs. But by being proactive, talking to experts such as CSA Travel Protection, and thinking through various situations without dwelling too much on the negative, you can enjoy peace of mind as you sit on that beach.