Travel Insurance: Wise Choice For Business and Leisure Travel

By Jody Yetti

Things happen, especially when we least expect it. But the last thing you want to worry about before heading out on vacation is an unplanned event that could ruin your long awaited holiday. That’s why purchasing travel insurance may be the wisest decision you make before going on vacation or a business trip.

As a travel agent, I can’t tell you how many times, when asked about purchasing travel insurance, people have said to me, “I’m going. I need this vacation no matter what happens.”

What’s important to realize is travel insurance is not only about not going—it’s about not losing everything because your plans change unexpectedly.

The biggest advantage of travel insurance is flexibility. It’s having the option to cancel in an emergency and not suffer unnecessary financial loss.

Travel insurance comes in many forms and with different restrictions. Although these should be explained in detail by your travel professional, here are a few examples.

Lost at Sea

What would happen if while on a cruise, there is a family emergency, or you end up in a hospital because you slipped by the pool? Of course you would want to get home ASAP.

If you had travel insurance, chances are your policy would cover your hotel room when the ship leaves you behind and it may also cover your airfare home.  In addition, your travel insurance will reimburse you for your remaining vacation days that were lost.

Natural and Other Disasters

Perhaps you didn’t know anyone who had a trip planned to New Orleans during one of the worst disasters in recent times, but did you do know there were thousands that couldn’t get there or leave for weeks?

In extreme cases such as these, airfare penalties are usually waived due to lack of options if you had travel insurance.

The same situation applies to terrorism. On 9/11, all travel was suspended for days. Would you want to pay all your hard-earned money to an all-inclusive resort if the airline you chose said it wouldn’t fly you there? Try asking for your money back in Italy because there’s a problem in New York.

People Problems

Being single and traveling with a friend can be your greatest joy but it can also become your greatest nightmare.

Ever plan a trip with a friend only to have them back out at the last minute? Traveling with a companion, especially when single, is a lot trickier than traveling with a spouse whose schedule is usually entwined. It’s not the case with a friend whose own life complications can deter travel plan, leaving you to sightsee alone or lose your money because he or she canceled. Insurance can safeguard such situations.

When Outside Issues Interfere

We can’t control weather, sickness, death, loss of a job, airline strikes, bankruptcy, swine flu or natural disasters, and we can’t control others. But we shouldn’t accept the loss, especially when it’s within our control to prevent it.

Anything at any time can force a cancellation. Without protection, money will be lost especially if it’s not outside the required time to cancel without penalty. If you don’t opt for travel insurance and there is a problem within the penalty period, it will become your loss because you neglected to take the protection offered to you.

The rule of thumb when deciding whether or not to purchase travel insurance is to protect what you can’t afford to lose. Remember, loss of loved ones, hospital stays, pandemics, and extreme weather all happen when we least expect it. You must consider the cost of insurance as part of your overall vacation expense not an additional cost that can be “saved.” The loss that can be incurred by not taking insurance can make future vacations a thing of the past.

Jody Yetti, a single woman business owner and seasoned traveler, has been in the travel industry for more than 20 years. She owns Jody’s Travel & Concierge, a full-service lifestyle management company for single women and other savvy travelers, located in Moriches, NY. Jody can be reached at jjy510@aol.comor www.jodystravelagency.com.

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