Insuring that Summer Vacation: When to Buy Trip Insurance

Posted on 07/12/2010

Travel insurance may seem like just another cost to tack on to your summer vacation, but it can be an extremely valuable investment. According to the US Travel Insurance Association, about one in three Americans purchase travel insurance. That’s a ten percent jump since before September 11th. If you’re wondering whether to insure your summer vacation, here are some tips for when to buy trip insurance.

You’ve Invested in the Trip of a Lifetime - You may not want to insure that bargain airplane ticket you picked up as a last minute deal. But if you saved ten years to take an African safari, trip insurance may be a great way to go. That way if you get sick, the airline goes out of business, or a tsunami hits, you’ll be covered.

Your Health Insurance Doesn’t Work Outside the US - Most people assume their health insurance works wherever they are. But that’s not necessarily true. Check with your insurance company and if the answer is no, you may want to purchase travel health insurance. This will be especially valuable to you if you end up in a foreign hospital that won’t let you leave until you pay all of your medical bills.

You’re Packing Your Furs and Jewelry - You may think the airline is required to replace your belongings if your luggage is lost. But you would be at least partially wrong. According to the pros, airlines are often only forced to pay a maximum of $3,000 if your bag disappears, but many items (like jewelry and furs) are excluded. So if you’re planning on packing lots of very expensive items you may want to look into getting insurance to cover it in case your bag goes missing.

You’re Headed to the Hurricane Zone - Summer falls in the heart of hurricane season. If you’re headed to Mexico, the Caribbean or Central America, hurricanes are always a possibility. Research an insurance policy that would protect you in case a big storm creates waves in your travel plans. Then you’ll be able to reschedule your trip for a time with a better forecast.

By Alison Storm

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