Advice from the US Travel Insurance Association. Reshared with permission.
As winter sets in many Americans are looking to escape the cold weary days of winter for crystal blue water and some fun in the sun on a beautiful island. Wave season is referred to the period of time between January and March, when many cruise lines offer top deals and booking incentives. The US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA) advises travelers to protect their investments with a travel protection plan.
Consumers may jump to take advantage of incentives offered by cruise lines and travel agents to book their travel early. It's important that travelers not let these big savings allow them to forget the financial loss they could face if they have to cancel a trip due to a medical emergency, severe weather, or mechanical problems experienced by airlines or cruise lines. Despite the exciting discounts, a vacation still may be one of a consumer's largest purchases, after their home and vehicles. A flight delay can keep a traveler from reaching their embarkation port in time, or they may miss the ship and need transportation to catch up to the ship at the next port of call.
Imagine: You book a cruise vacation to the Bahamas for you and your family during an enticing Caribbean Cruise line sale. You finally embark on your trip after months of anticipation. The first few days are amazing! Just as you expected, crystal blue water and lots of fun in the sun. But suddenly in the middle of the trip someone in your party experiences a medial emergency. You had to spend the remainder of your money on medical costs and are now stuck in the Caribbean. Not the ideal getaway.
Many travel insurance plans will cover the costs of emergency medical transportation and treatment at a medical facility nearby or close to the insurers home. A travel protection plan can also be an essential resource should a traveler have to interrupt their trip due to illness or injury.
Why purchase travel insurance now
It may be impossible to predict what may happen in the several months between the time a traveler books their trip and travels. Travel insurance protects against sudden and unforeseen events. Purchasing an insurance plan prior to traveling will protect individuals against financial loss if something happens that may affect their ability to travel – illness, injury, job loss, weather, or others.
What to know
UStiA recommends that travelers carefully review the policy and ensure they understand exactly what is covered when purchasing traveling insurance. There are many different protection plans so the UStiA urges consumers to compare benefits and pricing to find a plan most suitable for them.
Travelers should always:
- Review Policy. Before leaving for your trip be sure to review your policy and understand exactly what it covers. Always carry your policy number and the 24-hour hotline number with you during your trip.
- Keep all records. Receipts from travel arrangements, such as airline flights or hotel accommodations, are required when filing your insurance claim.
- Obtain medical proof. If you become ill before or during a trip you will need a doctor’s statement claiming that you were not fit to travel or medical records to substantiate your claim.
UStiA is a nonprofit association of insurance carriers and allied businesses involved in the development, administration, and marketing of travel insurance and assistance services. UStiA promotes fairness, integrity, and a commitment to excellence in the travel insurance industry, with a mission to educate the public on travel insurance while maintaining high industry standards. For more information on UStiA and travel insurance, visit www.ustia.org.