In these troubling times, it makes a certain
amount of sense to prepare to handle situations
we hope will never arise:
- A trip is cancelled by war, weather, terrorism, or other unforseen cause
- You have to change or cancel your plans due to work, family, or other unexpected situations
- A trip is interrupted due to unforseen events
- Emergency medical evacuation is needed because of an accident or illness
- Baggage or other belongings are lost or stolen
Sometimes this simply means being prepared, having a backup plan, or responding
appropriately when things happen. Other times, your only recourse is to have
planned ahead for these eventualities. This may include getting information
from your current supplier for insurance, and purchasing insurance for the
duration of the trip.
In this discussion I would like to hear from members of the group regarding
their experiences, recommendations, and questions. Over time I'll add some
tips I've found in my reading or travels.
In an article in the Wall Street Journal (April 24-25, 2010) titled
"Is Travel Insurance Worth the Cost" they answer their own question
as you might expect: it depends.
They do reference two online services that let you comparison shop:
note that both companies also sell insurance,
so comparing using both sites may end up giving you a more
A few other points from the article that are worth mentioning:
- It is best to buy trip-cancellation insurance as soon as your itinerary is
final, or at least within 7-14 days of booking
- The Better Business Bureau recommends buying trip insurance with a charge card,
which gives you more leverage in case of disputes, and from an indendent
firm rather than the tour operator
- Travel-policy language is very exact, so it is important to read the fine
print, check for exclusions, and ask questions before you buy
You can either buy a single comprehensive policy or pick and choose the
components that fit your specific needs. Consider:
- Trip cancellation / interruption
- Baggage loss
- Accidental death
- Flight accident
- Medical emergency
- Emergency medical evacuation
Note that emergency medical evacuation is included in the trip package!
(Still, you may want to consider an inexpensive short term travel medical
Work to avoid unnecessary duplication: check you home-owner,
life insurance, medical insurance policies as well as charge cards
for whatever travel-related coverage they may already include.
In fact, you should probably do this check first!
Here are some tips and suggestions regarding insurance culled from
International Travel Newsletter (ITN) over the years: