Each day’s news cycle seems scarier than the day before, whether that is due to hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes, terrorism, or political unrest. It can feel far too daunting to book travel months in advance given the unpredictable nature of our world right now.
These are the moments when travel insurance is more essential than ever. To wait until things stabilize often means missing out on valuable travel experiences because families wait too long to book a trip. Insurance offers travelers, and especially families, an affordable way to protect their travel expenses. It also provides essential benefits beyond cancellation coverage, like evacuation and health coverage, that families often need when going abroad (or even domestically).
Savvy customers may know the ins and outs of their homeowner policy or car insurance coverage, but travel insurance can feel mysterious to first-time purchasers.
Many clients are surprised to learn that travel insurance is actually quite affordable. Insurance typically prices out at 4 to 7 percent of the costs covered. Most families choose to insure the big, upfront expenses like airline tickets, accommodations and any activities they’ve paid for in advance.
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A great perk is that Ciao Bambino-preferred insurance providers typically cover children at no cost. This means that a family of four can get half their travel expenses covered by a policy for free.
And there are other ways to maximize insurance’s value. For example, hotels and resorts often offer significant discounts to guests if a stay is paid for at the time of booking, instead of at the time of stay. Insuring this expense often costs less than the discount itself, so this is another great way to lock in a good deal but still be protected should your plans need to change.
Travel insurance plans can include coverage for trip cancellation; trip interruption; emergency medical and emergency evacuation/repatriation; trip delay; baggage delay; and more. An evacuation is incredibly expensive and can bankrupt families if it becomes necessary. Should your family need to leave a destination urgently, whether it is due to injury, weather or any other covered reason, knowing this will be paid for gives peace of mind.
In general, there are two levels of coverage that we recommend for families: cancel-for-any-reason coverage and general cancellation coverage.
Cancel-for-any-reason coverage: This means just that: You can cancel your trip for any reason. This is top-of-the-line, maximum-level protection. This type of policy typically needs to be purchased within 21 days of your initial trip deposit, so once you’ve incurred expenses related to your trip, it’s important to jump on it. You can always adjust the total amount of coverage needed later once the entire trip is purchased.
For some providers, this may be the only type of policy that covers pre-existing conditions, so if a member of your family has a diagnosed medical condition that could be cause for cancellation, this may be the type of policy you need. But this varies from provider to provider.
General cancellation coverage: While not as flexible as cancel-for-any-reason, this is the level of coverage that most families opt for and find sufficient. It can be purchased at any time leading up to a trip departure, but we still encourage clients to book early in the process. For example, once a hurricane has been officially named by the National Weather Service, it is too late to insure a trip to a destination that is in the storm’s path.
There are typically more than 40 reasons that families can be covered by these general policies. The reasons vary between companies, but most include flight cancellations, terrorism, sickness, job loss, etc. When you receive a quote, be sure to read the approved reasons for cancellation.
Contact Ciao Bambino! Let one of our trained travel advisors walk you through the process of booking a policy. We can make a recommendation for a preferred supplier that best suits your family’s needs and can address your top concerns.
Unlike tickets to a show or a fabulous hotel room with a stunning view, travel insurance is an expense that you hope you’ll never need while on a trip. But in the event it becomes necessary, it can be a family’s most important investment.
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Editor’s Note: Photos by Virtuoso.
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