Should I buy travel insurance is a frequent question I get. In the past my answer would have been a bit different. But today, in an environment where the airlines are flying planes that are virtually full, the answer is ‘Yes.’ If there is a hurricane, major thunderstorm, winter storm, or any other event that throws an airline off schedule, it can take days to reroute passengers to their intended destination, and if it is weather related, the air lines are not obligated to compensate you for your lost expenses. So now you are on the hook for the non-refundable hotel or resort fee. You can’t recover the cost of the cruise you just missed.

Then there are life’s surprises that come up. You are notified that you just lost your job. You become seriously ill just before the cruise. You break your leg skiing. There are a million things that happen. Well, travel insurance can protect you against all of these and other unforeseen events.

Did you realize that Medicare will not cover any medical expenses outside the US. If you get sick on a cruise ship, have an accident on a tour of Paris, or start having chest pains while exploring New Zealand, Medicare will not reimburse anything, but travel insurance can take care of you. In addition, many private and group health insurance plans have limitations and restrictions on paying for claims outside the US.

So I strongly recommend travel insurance to my customers. There are a lot of companies and options. Give us a call if you have any questions.

Below is a list of items covered by Travel Guard, one of the companies we use. Take a look at what is covered and you will look at travel insurance as a necessity.

Travel Medical Assistance

Emergency medical evacuation transportation assistance

Physician/hospital/dental/vision referrals

Repatriation of mortal remains

Return travel arrangements

Emergency prescription replacement

Dispatch of doctor or specialist

Medical evacuation quote

In-patient and out-patient medical case management

Qualified liaison for relaying medical information to family members

Arrangements of visitor to bedside of hospitalized insured

Eyeglasses and corrective lens replacement assistance

Medical payment arrangements

Medical cost containment/expense recovery and overseas investigation

Medical bill audits

Shipment of medical records

Medical equipment rental/replacement

Worldwide Travel Assistance

Lost baggage search; stolen luggage replacement assistance

Lost passport/travel documents assistance

ATM locator

Emergency cash transfer assistance

Travel information including visa/passport requirements

Emergency telephone interpretation assistance

Urgent message relay to family, friends or business associates

Up-to-the-minute travel delay reports

Long-distance calling cards for worldwide telephoning

Inoculation information

Currency Conversion or purchase

Up-to-the-minute information on local medical advisories, epidemics, required immunizations and available preventive measures

Up-to-the-minute travel supplier strike information

Legal referrals/bail bond assistance

Worldwide public holiday information

Personal Security Assistance – Identity Theft

Assist Identity theft victim by ordering and reviewing credit bureau records on their behalf

Investigate financial accounts where identity theft is suspected

Interact with law enforcement to pursue prosecution of criminals

Review account activity to identify any suspicious activities

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Travel Emergency Assistance

Flight rebooking

Hotel rebooking

Rental vehicle booking

Emergency return travel arrangements

Roadside Assistance

Rental Vehicle Return

Guaranteed hotel check-in

Missed connections coordination

Concierge Services

Restaurant referrals and reservations

Event Ticketing

Ground transportation coordination

Golf tee time reservations and referrals

Wireless device assistance

Latest worldwide weather and ski reports

Floral Services

Private air charter assistance

Cruise charter assistance

Latest sports scores

Find, wrap, and deliver one-of- a-kind gifts

Movie and theater information

Latest stock quotes

Special occasion reminders and gift ideas

Lottery results

Local activity recommendations