Travel protections isn't the sexiest topic, but it is very important. It's an often overlooked detail when planning a trip. You'll likely travel on many trips without ever needing it, but when you do, it's best to understand what is and is not included in various travel protection options.
When designing a personalized itinerary with Undiscovered Sunsets, we include a travel protection quote with each of our itineraries. We are working with many clients on a daily basis and have experienced scenarios in which travel insurance saved our clients from losing hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars. We have also worked with clients who opted not to include travel protection with their trip design and regretted this decision when an unexpected emergency occurred during their trip.
Each time you travel, you’re investing both your time and your money into that trip. Time away from work, time away from friends and family, and most importantly, your hard earned dollars. This investment is one that creates lifetime memories, checks experiences and destinations off your bucket list, and fuels your curiosity for the world. Travel protection provides peace of mind before and during these trips.
Below are some questions, objections, and concerns that I frequently receive. I hope this helps further explain the importance of travel protection. If you have detailed questions based on your personal situation, please don't hesitate to reach out!
What is covered with travel protection?
Trip cost protection in case of trip cancellation, trip interruption, a missed connection, or a travel delay for a covered reason. A covered reason includes a covered illness, normal pregnancy, employer termination, loss of accommodation, among many others. Knowing that your investment is protected in case of an unexpected event which occurs between the time you begin planning and the time you return home from your trip can offer peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your time away stress free. Not only do these covered reasons offer protection for you and your travel companions, but they also offer protection for your immediate family back home.
- You plan a trip one year in advance and you or your travel companion becomes ill or is injured and can no longer travel.
- The destination you plan to visit becomes uninhabitable due to a fire, flood, or natural disaster, so you therefore need to cancel your travel plans.
- During your trip, a member of your immediate family falls ill back home and you must return home early.
Emergency Medical and Dental coverage will reimburse you for medical and dental expenses incurred during your trip due to covered medical and dental emergencies.
Baggage protection covers the loss, damage, or theft of your baggage and personal belongings. You can receive reimbursements for the purchase of essential items if your baggage is delayed or misdirected for more than 24 hours. As part of Assistance Services, Allianz can also help to locate your bag.
Assistance Services (emergency medical transportation, luggage locator, 24-hour hotline, concierge)
Optional add-on: Required to work (Provides trip cancellation and interruption coverage when the following reasons stand between you and your travel plans: you are required to work due to business/company merger, because your workplace becomes unsuitable for business, or simply because your boss tells you so.)
If you want to plan in advance, but you never know your schedule: with a Cancel Anytime travel policy, you can receive up to 80% of your travel investment back if you decide to cancel your trip.
Rental car protector: For $9/day, Rental Car Protector provides primary coverage for covered collision, loss and damage up to $40,000, along with 24-hour emergency assistance. This is a much better value than purchasing your rental car protection at the counter when picking up your car.
When should I purchase travel protection?
Immediately upon making your first payment or deposit. This provides maximum coverage and it can be increased as your investment increases.
As soon as you’ve made any non-refundable payments for your upcoming trip, no matter how far in advance, it’s time to purchase travel protection. Confirming your travel protection within 14 days of your first payment is ideal to benefit from the maximum coverage.
If you’ve only purchased your flight or if you’ve only made a small deposit in order to save your space, the cost of your travel protection will be small for this initial amount. As you invest more in your trip, the cost of your travel protection will increase accordingly.
I already have travel protection through another source
(credit card, cruise line, my personal health insurance, etc.)
Domestic health insurance plans and Medicare offer very limited out-of-country coverage for medical expenses.
Credit card coverages vary. It is important to read your credit card’s benefits to understand what it includes and what it does not include. In general, credit card travel protection usually only offers reimbursement for death, injury or illness of the insured or a family member.
Travel insurance doesn’t just cover you. It also provides coverage if you need to cancel or return home if something covered happens to your: Traveling companion, Children, Spouse, Parents, and other family members.
Coverage purchased through suppliers (cruises, etc) does not offer the same benefits as a third party travel protection plan. Cancellation coverage is often offered in the form of a voucher rather than a refund and this voucher often has a deadline before which it must be used.
If you believe your credit card, cruise line, or domestic health care plan is robust enough to protect you and your travel investment, please consider asking these questions to your credit card provider:
What percentage of my investment is covered for trip cancellation or trip interruption? (100%? 150%? Less than 100%?)
Who is protected? Are my children covered if they are traveling with me? If something happens to my travel companion, is my investment protected? If something happens to an immediate family member back home, is my investment protected?
Am I protected if I miss a connection or experience a flight delay? What is the maximum reimbursement I can receive in either of these situations?
Am I protected if my bags are lost, damaged, stolen, or delayed for more than 24 hours? What is the maximum reimbursement I can receive in any of these situations?
In the case of an emergency, do you offer Emergency Medical Transportation? If yes, what is the maximum amount offered? ($500,000? Less than $500,000? More than $500,000?)
Are my kids covered with your travel protection? What about our travel companions? (Friends? Grandparents?)
Whichever credit card you use to pay for your trip, remember its travel insurance shouldn’t be a replacement for more comprehensive coverage you can buy yourself from a travel agent or travel insurance company. Read the fine print of your credit card’s travel coverage and make sure any exclusions are covered by your own policy.
How much does travel protection cost?
Rates vary depending on your overall travel investment and the age of each traveler. Kids are covered for free when traveling with their parents or grandparents. Overall, it’s only a small percentage of your total investment, and there are options to choose which level of coverage suits you and your family best. When considering the cost of travel protection, just consider: If you had to cancel your trip or if your travels were interrupted, could you afford to re-book?
Download our easy reference, 1-page PDF on travel protection
From January 1, 2018, a travel protection quote will be sent to all clients confirming their travel itineraries with Undiscovered Sunsets. If our travelers opt not to protect their travel investment, we will kindly request that they sign a waiver that will be kept on file with their travel documents.
Editorial Note: Opinions and suggestions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, or travel protection provider and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Travel protection is unique on a case by case basis and it is the sole responsibility of your travel protection provider to decide what reimbursements will be offered, if any. We encourage you to reach out to your travel protection provider with specific questions.
Whitney’s love of experiential travel began when she studied abroad in New Zealand. Upon returning home, this seemingly small decision led her on an unpredictable path to do everything in her power to continue exploring the world. Within one year, she headed to Africa for one month to visit a friend who was volunteering with animals in need of rehabilitation support, and upon graduating only 6 months later, she moved to France for no other reason than the study the language and experience the culture firsthand. Fast forward 8 years, 2 languages, and 20 countries later, Whitney has successfully combined her passion for foreign languages and experiential travel with her professional experiences and launched Undiscovered Sunsets, a bespoke, experiential travel agency.