Media contact: Janet C. Hart, APR, CFEE (704) 927-8617 office
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Before you finalize your vacation plans for the summer, the BBB suggests that you consider whether you need to purchase travel insurance.
There are circumstances that could cause you to cancel your trip, return home early, or force you to seek emergency medical treatment while traveling. Travel insurance may provide the extra protection you need.
Before you purchase coverage, check your homeowner’s or medical insurance policies to avoid paying for overlapping coverage.
Expensive items such as your video camera, laptop computer or jewelry may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance should they be stolen while you are traveling. If the airline loses your checked luggage, it is required to reimburse you for your bags (up to a certain dollar amount).
If you become sick or injured while traveling, your personal medical insurance may cover the cost of your medical bills.
Travel insurance may include these types of coverage:
- Trip cancellation/interruption - This coverage may cover your lost travel costs if your trip is interrupted or canceled for a limited number of reasons or events, such as, injury, sickness, death of yourself, a family member, a traveling companion or business partner. Some policies will only cover medical reasons, and many travel insurance companies will not cover pre-existing conditions.
- Travel delay – This coverage is designed to reimburse you for hotels and meals incurred when your travel plans are delayed. However, it will only cover certain types of travel delays.
- Missed connections – This coverage may pay for airfare cost associated with missed connections. However, as with other types of coverage, the covered ‘events’ are usually restricted.
- Emergency medical evacuation – If you are going on an adventure vacation or to an area that is far from modern medical facilities, it may be a good idea to buy this coverage. If adequate treatment is not available at a local hospital, you would be transferred to the nearest adequate medical facility.
- Baggage Loss – This coverage reimburses you for lost, stolen or damaged bags. Before packing, be sure to make a list of everything in your bag. If your luggage is lost, you may be reimbursed for some contents, but not all.
Before you buy trip insurance, the BBB suggests taking these four steps:
- Read the fine print. Know exactly what is covered and is not covered.
- Consider buying your travel insurance from an independent firm, rather than from the tour operator or cruise line.
- Protect yourself further by paying with a charge card.
- Be sure to check your homeowner’s policy to see if it covers your property while traveling. Baggage-loss protection is only necessary if you are carrying more than $1,800 worth of items in your bags.
For more information, please visit BBB or call 1-877-317-7236 toll-free in N.C. and S.C.