If you're getting ready for the trip of a lifetime, whether it's across the country or overseas, there's one person you don't want to forget to visit before you go: your insurance agent. Having the right type of insurance before you leave home for distant parts is an absolute must in order to protect your personal and financial well-being while you're away. Here are two types of insurance you should absolutely consider before departing.
1.) Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a sort of catch-all term for when things don't go as planned. For example, if you have an accident and break your leg the week before a non-refundable trip to the Andes, travel insurance can reimburse you for the canceled trip. It will also cover you in the event of other disasters. For example, if a hurricane forces you to evacuate your hotel and return home early, travel insurance will cover your losses—which could make it possible to redo your trip when the weather is better.
Another thing that it does is cover your losses if your luggage goes missing. While most luggage ends up at the right destination, over 24 million bags went missing in 2014 alone. While the airline is required to reimburse you (up to $3,300 for baggage lost on domestic flights and $1,742 for those lost on international ones) if the bags are gone for good, that doesn't help you defray the costs of having to replace your clothing while the airline searches for your bags. For example, if you have an important event planned for the day after your arrival—like your daughter's wedding—you may have to go hunting for a replacement gown in a hurry while the airline hunts down your suitcases. If you end up spending several hundred dollars on a dress you don't really intend to use again, plus the additional costs for shoes and accessories, the airline won't cover those losses. You'll only be compensated if the airline determines that the bags are truly gone for good—not for anything you had to buy while you were waiting for the luggage to show up.
2. Short-Term Health Insurance
Even if you already have health insurance, short-term health insurance for travel is something you don't want to forget. Many health insurance companies these days have limited areas of operation with preferred provider networks and other restrictions that can be confusing and hard to follow when you're traveling and a health issue strikes.
Travel health insurance will cover you in a variety of unfortunate circumstances:
- Your prescription medication gets lost or stolen Your travel health insurance can help you locate a pharmacy and get you an emergency prescription.
- You need to find a doctor—fast Something as small as a scrape on your leg from the rough edge of a picnic bench could turn into a medical emergency if that scrape gets infected.
- You need to pay for medical care up front If you're traveling in a foreign country, you may have to pay for emergency care in advance—which could run into thousands of dollars, and your regular health insurance won't help you in that situation.
- You need a medical evacuation back home If something happens and you get injured or fall seriously ill, travel health insurance will help you get home by arranging for a medical transport with the care that you need.
Talk to your insurance agent about what type of plans will work best for you. Make sure that you understand the limits of your regular health insurance so that you know exactly what coverage you might need on a temporary basis. Also, be sure to discuss the limitations of each policy that's available, so that you know the limits on the coverage. For more information, talk to an insurance agent in your area, such as those found at Taylor Insurance Agencies.