Part of travelers’ responsibility when it comes to educating themselves about travel insurance includes learning how and when their other travel partners may or may not offer them assistance when a trip doesn’t go as planned.
For example, you may learn that airlines aren’t obligated to do anything when your flights are delayed. When the airlines are the ones at fault, they may offer some assistance, but they’re not bound by law or duty to do so.
There are a number of similar misconceptions that travel insurance can guard against. Insurance comes packaged together with specific coverage benefits – the type and amount will range based on the provider and the package selected – that fill gaps where your travel plans may be exposed to a number of threats.
What kind of threats? Take lost baggage. Sure with the rise of bag fees, airlines are seeing fewer and fewer bags checked. And they’re doing a better and better job of keeping tabs on them. Still, lost and damaged bags are the No. 2 complaint issued to the Department of Transportation. Additionally, while domestic airlines safely transport more than 99 percent of all luggage, international carriers still lag behind. But a lost, damaged or even stolen luggage benefit is just one small benefit of most travel insurance offerings.
Trip Cancellation Protection
This is the big one and includes reimbursement for
non-refundable trip payments and deposits.
Trip Interruption Protection
Sometimes trips start on time and end prematurely due to forces of nature and other circumstances beyond your control. This benefit includes reimbursement for unused costs and transportation costs to return home.
24-Hour Hotline Assistance
While this doesn’t come with a dollar amount, getting real-time help when you’re in a pickle is invaluable. Especially if you don’t speak the native tongue. This can include the arrangement of evacuations for medical emergencies, pre-trip assistance, etc.
Coverage for Financial Default
What if the tour operator for your upcoming family vacation stops answering your calls? And then the line is disconnected and the company is out of business. Travel insurance may be your most reliable means of financial recourse.