As vaccinations rise and restrictions ease, moreplans for the summer and beyond. But many are proceeding with caution amid the lingering uncertainty about the future of COVID-19 and memories of frantic trip cancellations in 2020 ― hence the increasing interest in .
“Travelcoverage,” Amy Danise, chief insurance analyst at Forbes Advisor. “The pandemic showed us how unpredictable travel can be. Frankly, travel has always been unpredictable ― after all, you don’t going to get injured or ill before or during a trip. But the pandemic spotlight on insurance fits that bill. People quickly bought as the coronavirus escalated last February, and the interest continued. But is travel insurance worth it now? Below, Danise and other their guidance.
Consider the trip in question.
Your financial situation and the amount you’re splurging on the trip are significant factors when assessing the need for travel insurance.
“If you have just dropped a large amount of money on non-refundable trip deposits, travel insurance is already a necessity for you ― unless you can easily afford to lose that money if something goes wrong,” Danise noted.
“On the flip side, if you’re staying in the U.S. and you have refundable airline tickets and a hotel with a good cancellation policy, you may not needinsurance because you don’t have much to lose,” she added.
Make sure the plan covers what you want.
If you decide to purchase travel insurance, it’s essential to read the details before committing to a particular plan. “The biggest mistake that people regularly make with insurance is buying it with just a hope that it’ll be useful and protective, but only looking at the fine print when they need to use it,” said Scott Keyes, author ofand founder of . “It’s all well and good to , but it’s important to recognize if you need to use this product, it might not be as protective or expansive as you assumed.”
Many peoplethat their travel insurance didn’t necessarily cover flights or accommodations they canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus because they hadn’t purchased “cancel for any reason” plans. As the name suggests, this type of insurance allows travelers to cancel their trips for any , including fear.
Naturally, theincreased interest in this benefit. Last week, the travel insurance company Seven Corners of “cancel for any reason” insurance plans in 2020 compared with 2019. It noted that this upward trend has continued into 2021.
“Unless you get ‘cancel for any reason insurance, travel insurance is mostly worthless for pandemic-related circumstances,” said Konrad Waliszewski, co-founder and CEO of the travel app. “It can still certainly help for all the typical pre-pandemic related issues, such as sickness, injury, or common airline cancellations, but it’s unlikely any of the covered reasons will help you with the recently added uncertainty of traveling in the world of COVID-19.”
See how you’re already covered.
“Be cognizant of what is covered from the beginning,” Keyes noted. “I understand that people under-account for how much protection they already have without buying anything extra. In some cases, your travel concerns may already be covered without the need to purchase insurance. People worry about ―what happens if there’s a big delay if the, the irony bag gets lost ― generally speaking ,,if those things happen, the airline itself will give you compensation if you reach out and ask. It varies, but it’s not as if anything can happen to you, and you’re left completely alone.”
He added that manyalso carry some form of travel protection, so the card you used to pay for your flight may cover you or offer money to buy a new flight or a new bag and clothes if yours was lost.
“Find out the ways you’re already protected and then, with that in mind, ask, ‘Is itextra? Are there other things I’m concerned about?’” Keyes suggested.
Don’t forget about travel medical insurance.
Travelflights, accommodations, or activities. If you’re concerned about health and safety amid the pandemic, you may want to invest in . This is more often a consideration with international trips.
“If you’re traveling outside the U.S.,is necessary,” Danise said. “That’s because U.S. and Medicare generally have little or no coverage outside the U.S. You simply don’t want to travel abroad without the safety net of medical coverage.”
Take advantage of your coverage.
If you decide to buy travel insurance, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with everything it entails to ensure you get your money’s worth. “People may not realize the range of problems that travel insurance can cover ― fromto medical expenses to lost baggage,” Danise said, adding that travel insurance may also cover the hotel room, meals, or toiletries you need to buy if you wind up stuck somewhere due to a flight delay.
“People also may not be aware of the assistance available beyond the coverage,” she added. “For example, travel insurance companies typically have 24/7 assistance lines. They can help you locate a pharmacy or help you with a lost passport. Some companies even haveto assist you with fun things like restaurant reservations.”