By Amanda Roberts

You’re planning the trip of a lifetime! It’s probably more than you have ever spent on a vacation! Now, you’re presented with the question of adding one more expense: travel insurance. You have to decide if you want to click the box that says, “Yes, protect my investment,” or the one that says, “No thanks, I don’t want to protect this trip.”

What does that even mean?!

It seems very tempting to click the “No thanks” box. Most people think, “I’m going on this trip no matter what, so why bother spending the money?” Insurance, however, means so much more than just coverage if you don’t go.

There are so many unexpected things that can happen during travel, and the reality is you just never know what could happen until it does. Insurance is such a minimal expense in the grand scheme of things, and it can pay for itself many times over.

Most major airlines have crazy change fees (up to $250 per ticket). This means that if you’re running late, miss your flight or have to book another flight, the airline has every right to charge you these fees. Plus, if you get stranded and end up having to get a hotel, the airline doesn’t usually pay for it, even if it is their fault.

A lot of insurance policies have a provision for reimbursement for medical expenses incurred during travel. It can be expensive to get medical treatment in a foreign country, and your primary insurance may not cover all, or any of it! It can cost $500 to receive IV fluids on a resort, and up to $30,000 to be medically evacuated from a cruise ship. Talk about an expense you didn’t budget for!

honeymoon travel insurance

Insurance policies can include emergency concierge services during travel. This is huge! Imagine you are on your honeymoon and your new spouse gets sick and needs to go to the emergency room. You are panicked and not thinking clearly. In some countries, the hospital will keep your passport and not give it back until you have paid in full for medical services, or they will require payment via credit card before treatment in order to administer life saving medical services. Luckily, travel concierges are trained professionals that can help you deal with this situation and make the right decisions.

Travel concierges can also assist you with things like lost or stolen passports, natural disasters, and a whole list of other unexpected things. If a hurricane is brewing, for instance, travel insurance allows you to cancel your entire trip and reroute to a different location entirely. You may also choose to cancel and re-book for a later date.

It is important to read the fine print and research the product that you are purchasing because not all insurance plans are created equal. There are many different policy options out there. In general, prices range from about $30 per person to over $500 per person depending on the type of trip and the type of coverage you are getting.

If you have planned your vacation through a certified travel professional, chances are they will offer you a comprehensive policy. Agents have access to some really great policies that can cover the airfare and land portion of your trip with a “cancel for any reason” provision for as little as $100. These types of policies typically need to be purchased within a few days of booking. There are other policies that can be purchased up until you board the plane.

The next time you are faced with the decision on whether or not to fork over the extra money for travel insurance, you may still choose to decline it. But at least now you can make a more educated decision. And have a better idea of what travel insurance actually covers.

Amanda Roberts is a certified travel specialist & owner of The Vacation Chic. To learn more about how she can help plan a trip of a lifetime for you, please visit www.thevacationchic.com.