Travel Insurance. Do you really need it? **PLEASE READ**

YES. And here is why.

I think we can all agree that a wide array of situations can occur to either ruin or delay or revise our travel plans. There is SO much more to travel insurance that people don’t talk about, or know about, other than the medical aspect. This is where the insurance comes in.

Keep reading, grasshopper! I will start with the medical portion, because even with the medical portion being the biggest and most widely known part of travel insurance, I see people constantly screwing themselves by not purchasing it!

Insurance companies do not cover you medically outside of the country. Things happen. Medical costs are EXPENSIVE.

I am a full time travel agent. I love my job and its what allows me to travel for nearly nothing. But, being a travel agent, I have heard every excuse in the book as to why people think they don’t need it and I have also heard absolute horror stories from people who don’t go with the insurance and end up screwing themselves. I have also heard horror stories that end up being not so bad because people did listen, and went with the insurance. So here, I am going to break down the insurance for you. Coming from someone who knows travel, laws, regulations and how insurance works (I used to sell car insurance as well…its not the same, but its close)..listen. Coming from a travel agent, people think you are just trying to sell them something and get more money out of them..

Let me tell you, as a travel agent, we typically make about 20% of the total package price of a vacation. Our commission is paid by the vendor like the hotel or tour company etc..we are a completely free service to you. Now, insurance companies only pay us about 5-7% on the total cost of the insurance which can range from $49 per person to 10% of your entire booking. So, the insurance isn’t expensive at all, and we make basically nothing on it. So, what I am trying to say is…we are sales people if we wanted to make money off of you, we would sell tours or transfers or upgrade your room etc.. there are plenty of ways to upsell a vacation. Insurance is NOT one of them…we offer it to protect you because we know how things work in foreign countries. It’s what we do.

So, if you aren’t sure if you need the insurance, I can almost guarantee that you have never been to a hospital in a foreign country.

Most countries require written documentation that you have some sort of medical insurance that will cover you before the hospital will even acknowledge that you are ill/injured. If you cannot provide the documentation, they will require some sort of credit/debit card with a minimum (MINIMUM) of $2500 on it and yes, they will put a hold on this to cover costs that you may incur while at the hospital.

While in a foreign country (most, at least), there are no regulations that depict how much is to be charged for medical procedures and this is very widely taken advantage of. People think ‘Oh, it wont happen to me’ but everyone get sick. Everyone gets hurt.

I am going to share  3 wild stories that I always share with family and friends, because I care!

  1. My client just arrived in Aruba. She was as happy as could be as her driver brought her and her husband and her son to the Hilton resort. When they arrived, she walked into the lobby and as she stepped down the ONE STEP to get to the front desk, she stepped incorrectly, rolled her ankle and ended up with a hairline fracture. This can literally happen to anyone! We are human, by nature we are clumsy! Good thing she had insurance or she would have ended up with a $14,000 bill for a $4000 vacation!
  2. I received a call from my client who was in Mexico. She began vomiting profusely the first day of her vacation and ended up needed a hospital. Her resort set up transportation for her and her and her husband were on their way. When they arrived, they were greeted my a large man in a suit, Not a doctor, not a nurse or a tech or anything of the sort. A man who wanted either paperwork or money before she could even speak to the registration desk. They knew she was American, she didn’t have insurance and were going to get everything they could out of her. The man called one of his coworkers over when the woman and her husband began to push back a bit as he was being super aggressive towards them asking for a credit card. They refused as they had no idea what was wrong with her and had no idea how much it would cost. He wanted a card as well as all forms of ID available. The 2nd man then began to threaten the couple saying they were going to give her a mandatory hold for a minimum of 24hrs if she could not provide the minimum of $2500 deposit on her medical costs. Her and her husband ended up leaving, and the rest of the story is irrelevant to be honest, but she did call me being her agent, she had no idea what to do. I ended up having to get her a flight home immediately at her doctors urgent request.
  3. Last story..but a good one. My client was in her early 40’s or so and seemingly pretty healthy and fit. Her 2nd day in Costa Rica, while on a hike up a volcano, her appendix burst. You can imaging how scary it must have been but thank god she did have the insurance. While it didn’t make the hospital process 100% seamless, it did take away a huge burden off her shoulders. If she hadn’t had the insurance, she would have ended up with a nearly $50k bill!!

So there, you have it…medical reasons can happen to anyone, anywhere and any time, Its not always only something that can be predicted. Most big health issues aren’t, like heart attacks, strokes…these things are serious!

Now, we went over the medical. Do you know what else your travel protection does for you? If your flight is delayed for more than 12 hours, it will reimburse you up to $200 for a hotel stay so you don’t have to come out of pocket. Granted, if there is a delay, the airline should be covering the cost, but sometimes they wont if it is something out of there control, like weather.

Did you know that if the airline loses your bags, they don’t care! HA! Well, they do but they won’t pay for it. But guess what, your insurance does! Most (Good) travel insurance policies with repay you up to $1500 for a lost bag and its contents. Yes, you will have to lay out the money to buy yourself new clothes and flip flops etc…but its nice to know it wont cause a big dent in your savings account, right!

I think another thing we can all agree on is how uneasy our world is right now. God forbid you were in a destination and needed to get out immediately, whether it be for medical reasons or reasons related to your safety etc…how would you get home? Most airlines over sell their flights so the likelihood of you getting out immediately are slim. If you need to be medevac’d out of a destination…it costs..you ready for this?…upwards of SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS… Do you have sixty thousand dollars sitting in the bank? I doubt it,,and if you don’t, even more reason for you to splurge on the $49 insurance boo boo!

Next. accidental death. Do you have life insurance? What would your family do should you die on vacation? See, now it isn’t only about you any more..its about your loved ones. Se, if you don’t go with an insurance plan and do god forbid die and don’t have life insurance (even if you do most will have a clause about out of the country death)..you’ve now put your family in debt to cover your funeral costs a you flight home in a body bag, Not cool!

Going on a fun trip with your boyfriend/girlfriend? I bet you are sooo excited…till you find out the asshole was cheating, or maybe you did the cheating and they found out..or maybe you just had a blow out fight…I don’t know but o know you aren’t traveling with that jerk any time soon! Sooo now what? You bring a friend? Most airlines AND hotels do ot allow name changes to passengers so you friend would need o repay for the entire trip to go. Do you cancel? Your air is 100% non refundable (991.9% of the time) and its completely ip to the hotel to offer you anything at back and they don’t have to. Even if they do..you aren’t getting it all back…

Guess what! Your trip insurance jumps in ad saves the day! Your trip insurance (Should) come with a cancel for any reason waiver. It provides you with a 100% refund of your trip minus the cost of the trip protection plan. And I mean, its not only about relationship probs. What if you mom falls and gets hurt and you don’t want to leave her, or your boss is in an accident and you now cant take the time off…this is life, this is what happens,

A lot of people don’t consider all of the benefits of trip insurance. Yesterday after I posted my first log, I started searching and reading. I found a really well written blog from a seemingly well traveled girl and it was all about trip insurance. Her basic gist was, if your an adrenalin junky like her, then yes, get the insurance. If not, then reconsider….I am sure she meant no harm, but I cringed, I cringed HARD…

Oh.. for those of you that think your credit card covers you… take a look and what they cover and what they don’t. For everything that they do cover, there’s about 5-6 more exclusions ..and if you read thoroughly, there are almost always loopholes when it comes to credit cards and the insurance they offer.

For those people telling you that you don’t need it..they are right. You don’t. Until you do.

I can’t make you do anything, but I can offer knowledge. AT least now if you do chose to travel without it, you are fully and correctly informed!!

P.S…If you don’t like the insurance being offered to you, just Google travel insurance and tons of pages will come up with legit companies. If you need help or aren’t sure etc, feel free to send me a message. I am more than happy to help you pick the best and most economical policy for your travel plans ❤

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