Planning a vacation can be stressful. The pandemic showed how quickly plans can change and need to be adjusted or even canceled. With borders opening back up and cruise lines running once again, people are taking a closer look at travel insurance.
"About one-third of Americans are now wanting to purchase travel insurance," said Doug Shupe of the Auto Club of Southern California. "They say that it's directly because of the pandemic."
Travel insurance protects customers who have unexpected issues arise that affect their vacation plans. Depending on the type of insurance, it can cover anything from cancelations beyond your control, to family emergencies.
"Travel insurance is relatively inexpensive when you consider how much you spend on vacation," said Shupe. "But reach out to the travel insurance provider to get questions answered before you purchase that insurance."
Make sure you know exactly what is covered. Many vacations canceled because of the pandemic were not covered by travel insurance.
"In the past travel insurance has not covered epidemics or pandemics, but that is changing," said Shupe. "More and more travel insurance providers are starting to meet consumer demand and wishes, so there are more coverage options for certain kinds of covid situations."
There are two major types of travel insurance. Basic trip cancellation protection covers small things that go wrong, such as losing your bags or getting sick before a trip. Comprehensive travel insurance covers major issues such as a medical emergency, or even the destination being hit by a disaster.
Check to see if the travel insurance you are looking to purchase includes a "cancel for any reason" clause and double-check what the policy's pandemic coverage is.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can get costly, so weigh the pros and cons. Depending on the plan, it might cost between 4 and 12% of the total price of your trip. It may work better for more expensive and international travel, instead of short trips.
Also be sure to check with your credit card company, auto, and medical insurance providers. Some companies will provide protections for travel booked using their cards or for their customers.