When you’re planning your trip or heading off on your much needed and anticipated vacation, you may not always think about the “what ifs”. What if something goes wrong before or while you’re on the destination? What if your flight is delayed or cancelled? What if your baggage is lost or stolen? What if you get sick during your vacation? It’s probably safe to say that nobody wants to think about these scenarios, but they do happen to a lot of people when they travel near and far.
Unfortunately, flights get delayed and cancelled every day, baggage is lost all the time, plenty of people get sick when they travel to unfamiliar destinations where food and beverages may have different bacteria than at home or too much sun and alcohol and too little water is consumed, etc. It happens all over the world – every single day.
Every person is unique in his or her own way and every trip or vacation you go on is different too. When you’re at home, you most likely have some kind of insurance to make sure your property, possessions, you and your family are covered if anything should happen. Going on a trip should be no different, especially if you travel internationally and go on an expensive vacation that you’ve spent months saving up for and planning to the last detail.
If you are a U.S. traveler, your homeowner insurance or U.S. health insurance may cover you when traveling abroad. Or if you have a rewards credit card, a platinum card or a black card you may have travel insurance included with that card if you’ve used it to pay for your trip. If you don’t have coverage with U.S. insurance or your credit card, consider purchasing a separate travel insurance that will cover things such as your medical expenses on the destination, emergency evacuation, lost, stolen or delayed luggage, cancellations, unexpected expenses, etc.
If your baggage is delayed, your airline may offer you reimbursement after 24 hours, but the amount can be very limited and some airlines will not compensate you.
If you’re traveling to the Dominican Republic, become sick during your vacation and need go to the hospital, it can be very expensive. If you don’t have travel insurance, the hospital will require a cash deposit, or a credit card deposit up front before you can see a doctor. In Punta Cana, for example, the main hospitals are private facilities and medical care can be expensive, depending on what you need.
When purchasing a separate travel insurance, consider your needs and check if the policy covers emergency medical care, medical transportation back to your home country (for yourself and e.g., your spouse), hotel expenses, 24-hour emergency contact phone number to the insurance company or help desk, pre-existing medical conditions, any potentially dangerous activities that you plan on doing on the destination, sports injuries, etc.
Even if nothing ever happens to you (or has ever happened on any of your past trips), getting travel insurance “just in case” is a good idea, because you never know what may happen to you no matter where in the world you’re traveling to.
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