To Insure or Not to Insure… That is the Question
(and also why it’s more important than ever to utilize the services of a travel planner)
Travel is a very hot topic. It always has been, but even more so these days. Because of the pandemic, everyone is wanting to go everywhere, and they want to go right now. But also because of the pandemic, travel has been and still is extremely problematic. Now more than ever, the hot button topic of travel insurance is incredibly important, as is utilizing the services of a travel advisor is incredibly important.
Travel insurance itself is a broad subject, so for this instance, we’ll discuss some very recent actual issues our clients have been facing.
We recently had a group that booked a trip to Georgia for the weekend. Because of weather issues, their flights were cancelled, and they had nonrefundable tickets. The hotel reservation was also nonrefundable. They had declined travel insurance, so now they’re left paying extra money for new flights, as well as adding a night to the stay for the one missed.
In any type of situation, whether Covid or weather or the myriad of other matters, you can’t rely on the hotel sales manager being lenient. They’re in no win situations also. More on this subject in a bit.
What if you’ve planned the perfect trip (international or domestic). Then, a few days before you leave, you or someone in your travel party tests positive for Covid. If the flights were nonrefundable, you’re out that money. If the hotel is nonrefundable, that’s a double whammy. “But,” you might say, “hotels should be more flexible, especially in a pandemic.” Because cancellations are now happening so often, though, they really can’t be.
We had a client test positive a day before their Christmas trip. Nonrefundable hotel reservation. The hotel had so many incoming guests that tested positive that they had to say no to everyone. Everyone lost their money. Thankfully this client did heed our advice and Travel insurance protected their investment.
Where We Come In
And speaking of covid and vaccinations, I have been getting A LOT of questions surrounding where people can go if they’re not vaccinated, or just partially vaccinated. As you know, there are entrance requirements for international travel. However, maybe you can get into the country, but then other requirements restrict you from patronizing restaurants, utilizing local activities, etc. Then, there are testing requirements for returning home, where you run a big risk of having some kind of issue.
This alone showcases why you need both travel insurance and the advice of a travel planner. One to help you plan for all unforeseen events as well as you can, and the other to protect you if one of those events arises.
Be Safe, Not Sorry
If you purchase travel insurance at the right time (soon after your deposit), it will protect you. If you test positive for Covid, it can help reimburse your expenses. It will help with issues when Mother Nature wreaks havoc. And these are just the smaller issues. Get ill or something happens to you in a foreign country? Without insurance, the costs could be insurmountable.
We do realize that there are a lot of times that travel insurance is not needed (and obviously we hope that is always the case). However, travel is fragile and mercurial. Why not spend a little bit of extra money in order to ensure a big peace of mind? Especially on luxury trips, where the expenditures are extreme, a little extra can potentially save you a lot.
And, as mentioned earlier, the help of an experienced travel advisor (like the entire Shameless Tourist team) can solve many, many issues you may face well before you leave (as well as knowing all the ins and outs that will make your vacation unforgettable).