From time to time, I get asked, “Why do I need travel insurance?” As of this writing, there are two tropical systems in the Atlantic: Hurricane Earl and Tropical Storm Fiona. Earl has already been disrupting cruises in the eastern Caribbean. The affected ships are either re-routing to the western Caribbean or juggling their order of ports. Some are even canceling calls at certain ports all together and adding in extra days at sea.
At this time, it does not look like the actual cruising time will be affected and the ships will arrive back in and depart from their home ports on time. However, there are times when a ship could spend extra days at sea or even arrive into a different port than its home. Did you know that travel insurance will cover trip interruption? This means it will assist and even reimburse you for expenses incurred with flight changes or even transportation expenses. The biggest benefit in this case is having someone to call who will handle all of your arrangements. You could wait around with the thousands of others on your disrupted vacation to find out what arrangements will be made for you, or you could place one phone call and have the peace of mind knowing you are ahead of the pack!
Moving away from the tropics to your personal health is one of the biggest reasons to have travel insurance. The plans we sell from Travel Guard include two important coverages: Medical Evacuation and Repatriation. In layman’s terms, this covers the cost of an air ambulance to return you to your home hospital from an island in the Caribbean to the Spanish Steps in Rome and everywhere in between. An air ambulance from Mexico to the United States STARTS at $25,000. Repatriation has to do with the cost of transporting a body back home.
Why would repatriation coverage be important? Let me share a story of a colleague and their elderly client. This client never purchased travel insurance and on his final trip, he passed away in Italy. He had one daughter who lived in California who was listed as his emergency contact. Her daughter ended up having to have his body shipped home for the burial at an expense of over $75,000. Not only was she dealing with the grief over the loss of her father, she had to deal with the expense of getting him home as well as the logistics of phone calls with a huge time difference between California and Italy, but a language barrier as well.
We believe you need travel insurance any time you travel not only to replace the cost of a canceled trip, but especially if you are traveling outside of the United States. Remember, every time you set foot on a cruise ship, you are setting foot in a foreign country as nearly all cruise ships are registered in countries outside of the U.S. When you are planning your next vacation and want to talk more in depth about the benefits of having a travel insurance policy, please give us a call.
Chuck and Laura Flagg own The Flagg Agency in Canton, GA and our number is 770-355- 9569
We are fee-based cruise consultants and our specialty is the selecting,
planning, marketing and administering cruises for groups of all sizes.
We help people find a cruise experience that matches both their wants AND their needs.
Photo Credit: Audreyjm529/Flickr Creative Commons