Between now and the end of the year, people will travel in droves to visit family and friends – across town, across the country and across the globe. Taking time off and being with those you love go hand-and-hand with the holidays, but unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate.
While there is something magical about this time of year, between the weather and the crowds, unexpected disruptions can derail one’s holiday travel plans. Travel insurance can help minimize the financial burden and frustrations when something does go awry. Not to mention, travel insurance is affordable, with comprehensive plans ranging from 4% to 8% of the total trip costs.
When considering travel insurance, here are some questions you should ask yourself:
Where are you traveling?
Depending on your destination, hurricanes, snow storms or flooding can impact your plans. While some destinations are more prone to issues during the holidays, you never know when weather can act up. Trip cancellation coverage can help protect the investment in your trip due to severe weather and trip delay coverage can make those annoying airport delays more tolerable by covering meals and hotels when the airlines don’t.
When are you traveling?
It seems hard to believe another major hurricane could hit in 2017, yet hurricane season lasts through November 30. With snow hitting as early as October in some places, it is worth considering your dates and the likelihood of weather-related issues. Also, the holiday season can be the busiest and most crowded travel time of the year, making delays and service disruptions more likely.
What will you be doing?
Will your vacation consist of sitting on the beach, skiing throughout New England, or hitting your dream golf course? Many travel insurance plans are designed for the more adventurous or sporty vacations. Look for plans that offer coverage for hazardous sports, lost ski days or lost golf rounds. Traveling with your own equipment? Look for a plan that covers loss or theft of your equipment.
Who are you traveling with?
Do your kids, spouse or travel companions always seem to be the first to get sick when the weather turns cold? If so, travel insurance is even more important to consider during flu season. Most comprehensive travel insurance plans will allow you to cancel if a family member or traveling companion gets seriously ill before your trip.
What are you bringing with you?
While we recommend you ship as many gifts as possible, for items you take on with you, keep in mind that luggage can, and does, get lost. According to airline information technology company, SITA, more than 23 million pieces of luggage are mishandled a year. Travel insurance can provide coverage for each holiday traveler’s baggage and personal belongings, so if something does get lost, replacement items are covered (up to a certain limit), even in the short term. Certain travel insurance can even play a role in offering peace of mind if you are bringing your pet along, knowing that if something does go wrong, beloved animals will be taken care of or be transported home in certain circumstances.